Image: The word “prayer” in black over a watercolor. (enterlinedesign/Shutterstock)
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, who instilled in humanity the urge to preserve life.
You gave us adrenaline and other hormones to encourage us to fight or flee when we faced trouble. For early humanity that was enough, and we lived to found civilizations.
You reinforced this urge to survive with your commandments.
You have commanded us concerning the preservation of life: “You shall keep My laws and My rules, by the pursuit of which the human being shall live: I am the Eternal.” (Leviticus 18:5)
You have also commanded us: “I call heaven and earth to witness you today: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse — therefore choose life!” (Deut. 30:19)
Now we face a time when some of us are called to action, and some are called to inaction. Those who are called to action by their needs and the needs of society face great danger, but it is in the power of the rest of us to reduce that danger, by sheltering in place and staying at home.
Support us in our time of need, O Holy God. Give us the patience to sit quietly. Give us the will to be patient. Grant us the wisdom to listen to the doctors and scientists and to do what they say. Give us a will to life that will frustrate and defeat the disease that threatens us.
And keep alive the hope that the day will come when we need shelter in place no more, when we will be free to rejoice or to mourn with friends and family.
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of Time and Place, source of our intellect and our patience.