People all over the world are praying for health care workers right now. But a new prayer initiative seeks to put names to those masked heroes who are putting their own lives at risk to help others during the global pandemic. Care With a Prayer was started by a group of Israeli women who were inspired by a doctor serving on the front lines in the United States and from a similar prayer campaign utilized to support the Israeli military during a recent war.
“In the last war here in Israel, someone out there made a website matching people to soldiers. Every soldier had someone praying for them,” Lori Palatnik of Momentum wrote to her friend, Dr. Louis M. Profeta, indicating she was praying for him.
Care With a Prayer was started by Momentum, formerly known as the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, a group that aims to empower women to change the world through Jewish values. The Care With a Prayer initiative is geared toward anyone who prays. “Just as a parent wants their children to come to them for anything, so too with God. There is nothing too big to ask for, as God has already given us the greatest gift of all—life,” the website states. It also emphasizes that prayer can happen anywhere, in any circumstances: “It can be in any language, said anywhere, at any time.”
The initiative is driven by a website that matches those who pray with health care worker in need of prayer. Visitors to the website can either ask for a worker to pray for or submit a name for others to pray for. Participants will be given the name, profession, and location of a healthcare worker when they sign up.
Care With a Prayer has even included an example prayer you can use as you pray for your assigned worker:
Dear God, Creator of heaven and earth — we ask you from the depths of our hearts and souls to please protect those on the front lines of this war– all of the courageous doctors, nurses, hospital workers and first responders. Their selfless efforts inspire us to call out to You. I ask you to please protect ________________, who has a special place in my prayers. And when this time passes, may we emerge as better people committed to making a better world. May it be soon.
In addition to the goal of supporting health care workers and expressing our appreciation for them, Palatnik says it’s also about encouraging people to pray. “This campaign is not only a way of showing our care for [health care workers], but is built to help inspire action and awaken our souls to the transformative power of prayer,” Palatnik wrote in a statement to Fox News.
For Dr. Profeta, the reminder to pray is a welcome one at this time. In his essay “Prayer in a Time of Covid,” the doctor writes, “We forget sometimes about prayer. We pass by it on a daily basis. It waves to us at times, trying to get our attention like a child wanting to catch a ball with a father too wrapped up in a business call to notice.”