Faith and Belief in Times of Crisis

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.


Michael Laitman
Michael Laitman
Dr. Michael Laitman is a global thinker, a prolific author who has published over 40 books on a variety of topics including world affairs, economics, education, anti-Semitism, and Kabbalah. Laitman’s books have been published in more than thirty languages, including English, Russian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Turkish, Farsi, Chinese, Italian, and Arabic. Laitman is also a sought after speaker and columnist. To date, he has written for, or been interviewed by The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, Huffington Post, Corriere della Sera, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, The Globe, RAI TV, and Bloomberg Television, among others. Dr. Laitman has thousands of students from around the world whom he teaches on his daily lessons. These lessons are offered with simultaneous interpretation in more than thirty languages, the main ones of which are English, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, French, Turkish, German, and Chinese. In addition to the live lessons, Laitman has millions of students in over 100 countries around the world, who watch Laitman’s lessons at their own convenience or study through Laitman’s affiliate platforms such as KabU and MAC Online. Laitman has a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah from the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and an MS in Medical Bio-Cybernetics from the Saint Petersburg State University. His latest book is available on Amazon: The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism.

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  1. Temporary contingencies, whether tragic or happy, cannot determine the vitality of our faith; but only “whoever has endured to the end will be saved” (Gospel of Matthew 24:13).
    In circumstances like the present one, our behavior and attitudes are the mirror of our faith in front of our family members, colleagues, neighbors. We pray that we will always be a light that “they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Gospel of Matthew 5:16).
    Prayer is the relationship with a father. Christians have the grace to turn to God as a father. He is not a superior entity, he is a father. Each of us, based on our experience, can have a positive or negative idea of the father. In reality, the father is the one who gave you life, who gives you subsistence. In this time, the need for a father has been felt very much. Believing is not seeing everything clearly, it is giving a hand to a person who sees. People do not see the reason for all this evil, but they know that everything contributes to the good of those who love a Father.

  2. I appreciate the spirit behind this piece. It will certainly give solace to some. I’m a bit concerned, though, about the idea that belief in a higher power is as far as it goes. In other words, it is not the higher power, but an individual’s belief in one that makes him/her feel better. There is another level that involves a real relationship with that higher power. While belief is a necessary precursor, it is only a step in the direction of personally engaging with that higher power. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He offers a real relationship and engagement with God.

  3. Michael, this is such a beautifully written, thoughtful piece. I absolutely love the vision you have put forth, “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.” I wish, with all my heart, that I could see this come to fruition and that I could see as you see now. I see so much hurt. I see a fractured, aching country. A people struggling to find our way. But I will work to look with new eyes. Maybe by inviting your vision to come to pass, I will learn to see in a new light.

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