Heal Her Now

June 21, 2024

Prayer is a fundamental part of many people’s lives, a way to connect with the Divine and express our deepest hopes, fears, and desires. Yet for all its importance, prayer can sometimes feel like a struggle, especially when we are flooded with anxiety about saying the right words or remembering everyone who we want to pray for. On a very personal level, I have been praying for most of my life, and I know this struggle all too well. But recently, I had an experience that shifted my perspective on prayer in a profound way. I had the privilege of meeting Yair Levi, an up-and-coming Israeli musician who creates and sings beautiful and poetic worship music. While much of his music is written in Hebrew, his songs have a universal quality that touches people across languages and cultures.

In my conversation with Yair, I learned something that completely changed how I will approach prayer. Yair shared with me the inspiration behind one of his beautiful songs, Refa Na. The words “Refa-Na” come from the story of Miriam and Aaron from the Book of Numbers. Miriam and Aaron criticize their brother Moses for marrying a Cushite woman and claim that it’s not fair that Moses has a closer relationship with God. God rejects their criticism and chastises them, explaining that Moses’ prophecy is more intense and intimate than theirs. And as a consequence, Miriam finds herself afflicted with the skin disease tzara’at. A snowy white rash.

In response, Aaron begs Moses to forgive their sin, and without hesitation, Moses offers a short but powerful prayer:

“God, please heal her now.” This prayer is unusual in its brevity and form, with just five words that center around the urgent request for healing. Yet despite its simplicity, or perhaps because of it, God listens to Moses’ prayer and heals Miriam.

This story has had a profound impact on my own prayer life, particularly when it comes to praying for the sick. What strikes me most about Moses’ prayer for Miriam is the sense of urgency that it infuses in such a short and clear way. It’s a direct call to God from the heart – no bells and whistles, just a direct line of communication. 

But there is another layer of meaning to Moses’ prayer that I find particularly inspiring. The prayer has eleven letters, which sages say points us toward the eleven-letter name of God that is revealed to Moses at the burning bush:

“I will be who I will be.” When we use this short prayer to pray for healing, we implicitly call upon the ever-changing God who is continually becoming and continually evolving to heal and strengthen our loved ones who need transformation and change.

This understanding of prayer as a way to connect with the Divine in all its complexity and dynamism has been a source of great comfort to me. It reminds me that even when I struggle to find the right words, even when I feel anxious or inadequate in the words that I do find, the power of prayer lies not in the perfection of my prayer but in the sincerity of my heart. 

So to anyone who is in need of healing, or who is walking alongside someone who is, I offer this prayer: “אל נא רפא נא לה,” “El na, refa na lah” – “God, please heal them now.” May you find comfort and strength in the power of prayer, and may you feel the presence of the Divine in all its ever-changing, continually becoming forms.

Yair Levi’s new song, Blessed is available where-ever you listen to his music. It’s a beautiful tribute to all of those who are faithful to the word of God.

Our new Prayer Book,Stand By Me allows you to connect to thousands of years of Jewish prayer and tradition, providing you with the words you need to speak to God about what matters most to you. You can purchase your copy, TODAY by visiting the Israel365 store.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

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