Prayer in a Time of Covid

Prayer in a Time of Covid

Louis M. Profeta 15/04/2020 11
Prayer in a Time of Covid

Prayer is a funny thing. I guess it’s like an N95 protective mask to guard you from Covid-19. You don’t realize how valuable and precious it is until you’re without it, and sadly we are all running low.

For the past 25 years of my career as an Emergency Physician, I bet my partner Dr. Jaime Harper and I have passed by them on the droplet isolation precaution carts a thousand times without so much as giving them a second glance. Just a simple box of masks that now may be all that separates us from dying . . . from not being able to grow old with the people we love. Now we get dressed, we go to work, we hug our spouses and kids goodbye, and we wonder.

Covid Israel

Is today the last day of our lives that we will be healthy? Is today the day we get sick from those who come to seek our help? Is this the day?

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.

Some years ago my oldest son fell ill with leukemia. Jaime came to visit him in the hospital in New York. She brought mandel bread. It was the worst singular period of time in my life, but at the same time it was also the most immersive and incredibly spiritually awakening experience. All because I found prayer then. I showered in it. I drank it, soaked myself in its soothing waters, and I let it pour over me. I surrendered to it. But as things go, sadly I let it fade a bit over time.

Jaime and I are both alumni of Lori Palatnik’s vision of Judaic awakening. Jaime recently went on the Momentum trip to Israel, and she will tell you it was one of the greatest moments in her life. A few years prior I had gone on the men’s trip to Israel. We both made friends we will carry with us forever— friends that have been flooding us with texts of support, and offers of food and a deluge of “hey, hang in there, we’re proud of you, we love you, and we’re praying for you.” One such text came from Lori Palatnik.

Covid doctor

Lori texted me the other night while I was at work.

“How bad is it?” she asked.

“Bad as bad can be, Lori,” I responded.

“In the last war here in Israel, someone out there made a website matching people to soldiers. Every soldier had someone praying for them . . . What is your Jewish name and mother’s Jewish name? Not only do you have someone davening (praying) for you—it’s me,” she tells me. 

prayer israel
Dr. Jaime Harper

Later that night I donned my mask, my gown, my goggles and gloves, and walked into the room where the man of about sixty lay gasping and coughing. He labored with each breath, a look of fatigue and panic spreading across his mottled face. I thought to myself:

I wonder who is praying for him. I wonder who is praying for the rest of us. 

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Dr. Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis and a member of the Indianapolis Forensic Services Board. He is a national award-winning writer, public speaker and one of LinkedIn's Top Voices and the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He's God. Feedback at is welcomed. For other publications and for speaking dates, go to For college speaking inquiries, contact


Cover photo by By Sheryl Profeta 

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  • Mike Duke

    Doctors across the globe have rushed to the frontline to manage this unprecedented crisis, often plagued by a lack of resources and overburdened health-care systems. Thank you all !!

  • Olivia Welsh

    So touching

  • Craig Masterson

    The epidemic has really exposed each countries' healthcare system.

  • Linda Peck

    Stay safe Dr Profeta

  • Simon Williams

    I hope some Americans can see that medicine is not a service industry and all healthcare workers deserve better respect.

  • Wade Long

    Stay home and watch Netflix. This will make life easier for every doctor & nurse out there.

  • Andy Palmer

    We should praise all those healthcare workers.

  • Tommy Beckham

    God bless everyone working on the front lines! We will get through this together!

  • Phillip Brown

    I will be the first to volunteer in case you need help

  • Shaun Doherty

    Be safe, smart, and stay well, everyone.

  • Chris Meftah

    I have so much respect for your work

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Louis M. Profeta

Healthcare Expert

Dr Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis. He is one of LinkedIn's Top Voices and the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He's God. Dr Louis holds a medical degree from the Indiana University Bloomington.

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