A Prayer In Response to COVID-19 by Rabbi Andrew Jacobs

As I take a deep breath, God,

May I remember the lesson you shared with the prophet Elijah,

God is not in the destructive wind, the catastrophic earthquake or the ravaging fire.

I, God, am the still, small sound that asks you,

What are you doing here?

As I take a deep breath, God,

May I ask myself the same question,

What am I doing here?

What am I doing in the midst of this crisis?

Is my response helping me, my family?

Is it making my community stronger?

As I take a deep breath, God,

May I remember that saving lives is holy work.

May I remember that it is not just healthcare professionals who are saving lives these days.

We each play a role,

By washing hands,

By staying home,

By creating distance even when we crave contact.

As I take a deep breath, God,

May I find the strength to look after myself and my loved ones.

At the same time, God,

May I embrace the sacred command to open our hands and hearts to those in need.

May I remember that distancing myself physically from others is not an excuse

To distance my heart from others.

I am obligated to pursue justice and justice I will continue to pursue.

As I take a deep breath, God,

Let me find gratitude in simplicity.

I have become used to having so much,

Doing so much,

Being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want.

But things have changed so suddenly.

May I remember that I still have so much, God.

Despite my fears and anxieties,

I give thanks for this moment,

Time to catch my breath,

To focus

And count my simple, yet oh so beautiful blessings.

As I take a deep breath, God,

I marvel at the technology that fills our lives.

I might not be able to be physically with all those I love,

But smart phones and laptops, tablets, desktops and wi-fi

Let me connect in meaningful ways with family, friends and community.

Yes, I admit that in moments of darkness, I do feel so isolated.

But, right now God, with this breath,

I am reminded that I am so very connected to so much love.

As I take a deep breath, God,

May the teachings of the great King Solomon guide me:

We can’t control what will happen tomorrow.

May I live in this very moment,

In this breath

And may I cherish it.

Even during these challenging times,

Right now is a gift.

Thank you, God, for this breath,

For this gift.

As I take a deep breath, God,

May I seek the truth.

May I not fall victim to the gossip about this virus,

The endless chatter about “what if” and the “maybe games”

That only spread darkness.

I want the facts.

And with these facts, let me remember that I can be

A source of light.

As I take a deep breath, God,

May I find some comfort, some peace.

I pray for the health and well-being of

My family,

My friends,

My community,

My country,


And I pray for my own health and well-being as well.

As I take a deep breath, God,

I end with the timeless words of Torah,

Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad

Let us all remember, that through You,

Through the sacred light, love and energy that still remains a vital part of our world,

We are all connected.

We are not alone.

We are one.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Rabbi. These words are very comforting to me. I plan to pass your post along to others that can be inspired by them. Be safe and stay well.

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