When things go wrong, people look heavenward for answers and comfort. Since ancient times people have looked for something to hold onto in moments of crisis and distress, so it is only natural that this pandemic has triggered a search for an upper force, as studies confirm. This outcry will accelerate our discovery of the meaning of life and help us internalize an answer that will be found in the power of love between us.
A quarter of Americans say COVID-19 has strengthened their religious faith, while just 2% claim it has weakened it, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Other studies confirm a direct link between natural disasters and moments of crisis and an increased tendency to turn to a higher power. The number of Google searches for the word “prayer” in 75 countries has nearly doubled since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
People need to feel that they have an anchor, that there is something to trust or hold on to.
Like a child grabs its mother and does not let go because she is perceived as the safest place, we too, grownups as we are, need a source of security. In the world around us, we find no such source.
Humanity once turned toward the inanimate forces of nature such as the sun and moon as ruling powers. Today, with nowhere left to turn and nothing left to believe in, only a higher power remains. But exactly who or what this is, we are not sure. There are endless discussions, hypotheses, perceptions, and beliefs surrounding these questions. After all, our hearts yearn for certainty that something is managing and arranging everything in life.
At the end of the day, we may ask whether the exact nature of a supreme power matters, as long as its very existence helps us feel safer in our short lives in this world. As long as our faith calms the weary psyche, we choose to cling to it.
And when one person feels better, it is good for those around him because calm people are kinder to one another. They are less willing to quarrel or hurt others. Although specifics and customs around belief may differ, each of the eight billion people in the world believes in something, and this faith is accepted as normal by almost every person.
This notion of faith is also related to the concept of prayer. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, people’s beliefs have brought them together in common prayers that have been broadcast live to masses on social media. The consequences of collective prayers are also positive because when people believe that they can access a powerful force by uniting in a common plea, they do it through the process of connecting together and asking as one. And if there is some trouble in our lives, this trouble binds us to each other. When we are more unified, our unity certainly draws a response.
When we overcome the distance between us and express willingness to gather to unite in a common request, transcend above the individual ego—the single factor that keeps us apart—we thereby improve everyone’s fate.
As long as we ask for everyone’s sake, and not for the detriment of anyone, our prayer is accepted. In the end, it does not matter at all why we believe, to whom we turn, the specific religion or method we practice, or even in what language we pray. What matters is our common desire and request.
As a result of the pandemic, we have reached a new stage in our development, which will propel us to a new degree of life, a new worldview of humanity as one family. The problems we face are pushing us forward. They are helping us discover that the supreme power is one and is for all and that it can be accessed through the connection between us. Humanity is discovering the power of love that is revealed in our unity.