Connection, Crisis and Corona

words by Fr Rod Bower

Thoughts and prayers have got a lot of bad press of late.

The term has been hijacked and used to characterise inaction when action was so desperately needed.

Appropriate action in a time of crisis is always important as the 13th-century mystic; Meister Eckhart said, “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” Perhaps it’s also time to revisit the real value of thoughts and prayers.

We are all inextricably connected; we are all part of the ONE when you hurt, I hurt.

Prayer is the intentional consciousness of that reality, and it is powerful, more powerful than we can imagine. It can be felt. I posted something along these lines on Twitter, and one tweeter retweeted with the comment “There goes Fr Rod, even teaching atheists to pray”. I was encouraged and just a little tickled by this because I think this understanding of thoughts and prayers is available to all humanity, regardless of your belief system. 


When discussing the current COVID-19 crisis with my wife Kerry and the consequences of isolation due to social distancing, we found our way into the subject of ‘thoughts and prayers’.

Now Kerry has a very acute discerning radar when it comes to platitudes, especially when they come for either politicians or religious leaders, which constantly rescues me from making too much of an idiot out of myself.

So, when Kerry suggested that “prayer is the space between us” I recognised deep wisdom and universal truth. 

Thoughts and prayers expressed out of love, concern and compassion is the true space between us. When we embrace this consciousness, we may well be practising social distancing, and rightly so, but we will never be isolated. SO, PRAY. Hold each other in your deepest consciousness and in the Ultimate Consciousness.

Let people know that you will intentionally hold them in your heart for ten minutes (or more) every day. Light a candle for them, take a photo and send it to them, let them know they are loved.

We need to flatten the curve, to slow the spread of Coronavirus so that our health care system can cope and lives of the most vulnerable saved. So, practice social distancing, but don’t be isolated. When thoughts and prayers fill the space between, that space connects, rather than separates us.

The Venerable Rod Bower is an Australian Anglican priest and social activist and a treasured conributor to Ponderings. He is currently the Rector of Gosford, Archdeacon for Justice Ministries and Chaplaincy in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and lives on the NSW Central Coast. Visit here- you won’t be disappointed.