Rev. Diane Berke, the founder and spiritual director of the One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York City, offered this prayer at a virtual community gathering on March 12, 2020, a few days after the World Health Organization called the coronavirus crisis a pandemic.

I'd like us to join together now in prayer as we pray for ourselves, as we pray for those we love, as we pray for — as we always say at the end of seminary — for those who are in need of prayer but have no one today to remember them by name. So if you're comfortable, close your eyes, and take a few deep, centering breaths that draw your awareness deep into the space of your own heart, the hear that is the home of love, the heart that is the home of courage, the heart that is the place of connection to Source, to our own true Self, to one another. And from this place we call upon the Divine Beloved, by whatever name and whatever expression we know and love the best, and we ask that tonight, possibly more than ever before, we be open, Beloved, to experience your presence, to feel Your love enveloping us, each one of us specifically, and all of us collectively, embraced in an energy of love that has no beginning, that has no end, that is boundless and limitless and excludes no one and nothing.

And as we feel ourselves enveloped and embraced and surrounded by that limitless, boundless love, we begin to bring to mind those in our lives that we love, whose well-being and health and safety is so very precious to us. In consciousness, Beloved, we lift them up to you, seeing them held, surrounded, enveloped, and embraced by this brilliant, all-embracing love.

We bring to mind all of those who are ill, not only with coronavirus but with any of the illnesses that plague humanity. We lift them up to you in their suffering, in their fear, and we see them embraced, surrounded, and enveloped in this perfect, limitless, compassionate, healing love.

We lift up all of the doctors and nurses, all of the aides in the hospitals and medical offices, all of the researchers and scientists who are on the front lines of this incredible challenge we face. We see them, as well, embraced and surrounded and protected by the brilliant light and the tender holding of this boundless love.

We lift up all of those, all over the world, who are living in such fear right now, and uncertainty: whether about their health, about their finances, about how they're going to pay next month's rent. We lift all of them up to You, Beloved, and we see them surrounded, embraced, enveloped in love that touches their hearts and soothes their fear.

We lift up our leaders and all those with the power of decision making, and we ask that love surround and enter them as wisdom, as strength. And we lift up the whole of humanity, what beautiful, fragile, tender magnificent beings we are. We ask that this be the moment that the eyes of our hearts are open and that we recognize truly we are all family and we learn to live wisely in deep care and compassion for the well-being of all.

We ask that this knowing of connection be a balm to any sense of loneliness and isolation and disconnection so many are feeling right now. And we ask for the inspiration and the willingness to reach out, to be a presence of encouragement, of strength, of kindness, of reassurance, of compassion to one another.

And finally, Beloved, we offer you ourselves. Sometimes we don't even know what it is we need, but here we are. We place ourselves, our loved ones, our precious world in Your hands. You know the way to healing. Please show us the way.

Together we say: Amen.

Diane Berke