Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | May 10, 2007

A prayer for a child

As a parent, my greatest fear is not having the opportunity to watch my son grow up, for something to happen to him or to me that would deny me the chance of seeing the person he will eventually become. I wish I could say that I can’t imagine how great the pain must be to lose one’s child, but sadly, I have been there, and I know that there is no greater pain, no feelings of greater helplessness than watching one’s child grow sicker and sicker, knowing that nothing can be done, and that the only thing you can do is hope and pray for a miracle.

I admit that I am not religious, nor do I believe in God. I do, however, respect those who do, and at times I even wish that I could share in their belief that there is an entity out there who controls, who makes things happen, who grants wishes and miracles. I imagine that it must be a comfort to know that such an entity exists, somewhere to lay your trust, some sort of being to pray to in times of dire need, and hope that your prayers will be answered.

This is one of those times. Without divulging any identifying details, I have been profoundly saddened to hear about a little boy (the son of a friend of a friend) who is very, very sick. A sweet, innocent little boy who should be experiencing the joys of first grade, who should be outside playing with his friends, who should be making all of the mischief that one expects from sweet little boys. Instead, he is fighting for his life, and the prognosis isn’t good. His parents are bringing him home from the hospital, and we have reason to believe that this isn’t a good sign.

The family is devastated, as are all those who know them and those who simply know their tragic story. I have been where they are, and it is a situation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I think about what they are going through, and I can feel my body go numb as the tears well up in my eyes. I don’t know them personally, and do not wish to intrude on their private hell. All I can do to help is to write. So, I am humbly asking all who read this, please pray, or do whatever it is that you do when you desperately need a miracle. Maybe together, we can all make a difference. Thank you.



  1. I’m so sorry to hear this……it’s truly one of those things you wouldn’t wish on your WORST enemy. I look at MY 6 year old and I do not ever want to know what these parents arefeeling. painful. painful. and sending prayers their way……

  2. I am so sad to learn that not only is someone going through this now, but that you have first-hand experience yourself. I can only with you (and the friends) continued strength and grace to bear the deep scars.

  3. That’s terrible. I’ll be thinking of them.

  4. I am not religious myself, per se… and yet I do pray. Because I cannot imagine that there isn’t something bigger than us… some higher whatever. If nothing else it focuses positive thoughts where they are so clearly needed. I will be praying for that little boy and his family.

  5. This is the worst thing that can happen to somebody, and there are no words for comfort either.

    I’ll pray.

  6. I’m so sorry, there is nothing sadder than a sick child. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  7. I am so sorry to hear about your personal past. I didnt’ know:-(

    I, too, don’t believe in God, but I will send out my best and goodest life force energy for your friend’s son. Please universe, hear this call.

  8. thank you, Liza. if there is a God out there (and I believe there is), the prayers, wishes, positive thoughts and life force energy you are helping to focus on this little boy from around the world will be noticed and heard.

  9. Liza:

    If you want to email me the boy’s name (if he is Jewish, both his Hebrew name and his Mother’s Hebrew name — if he is not Jewish his first name and his mother’s first name) I will have it added to our kehilla refuah sheleima list. There is also a group of women from my community who go to Kever Rachel weekly — to learn and to pray for those who are ill. Obviously, I will also include him in my own prayers….

    A double-blind study on prayer and patients at Harvard University medical school showed that those patients who had people praying for them — even when they were unaware of those prayers — had more successful recoveries….

    I am not so naive as to suggest that it will definitely help…. but it DEFINITELY could not hurt….

    I am terribly sorry to hear this news….

    zahavaworks at yahoo dot com

  10. Hi Zahava,

    Thank you for your very kind words, which were greatly appreciated. I’ve heard about the Harvard study in connection with fertility treatment – it generated a great deal of discussion on a mailing list I was on.

    I’ll send you the names offline so as not to give any information away publicly, but please know that my friend is very touched by your offer (on behalf the other friend), so, thank you. Truly.

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