Providers, nurses, caregivers and hospital staff everywhere are working tirelessly to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Mercy Health – West Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, team members, patients, families and the local community are coming together to pray for these health care heroes and their patients.
This new prayer service called “3 at 3:00” is taking place twice daily at 3:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. It was started by Mario Apodaca, BSN, RN, manager of emergency services, and Deacon Mike Cassani, director of mission integration. The goal is for everyone to spend three minutes each day praying for the sick and the people who care for them.
“You can always stop for three minutes and take some time for reflection,” says Mario.
After a COVID-19 update meeting, Mario and Deacon Mike came together to discuss starting a daily time for prayer. Deacon Mike suggested conducting the prayer service 3:00 p.m., the hour of mercy, and at 3:00 a.m. for the team members who work night shifts.
“This became a sacred time to pray for our patients, their loved ones and to pray for our staff. We knew that all of these people needed prayer,” says Deacon Mike.
Many team members now have alarms on their phones as a reminder to pray and an announcement is made over the intercom system each day. As word of “3 at 3:00” spread across social media and into the community, local churches and people in the area have started joining the hospital in prayer as well.
When asked about the motivation for starting this prayer service, Mario shares, “this team shows up every day and puts themselves in harm’s way to serve patients and they don’t ask for much. They come to work and do their job and don’t realize the enormity of their work. They are my heroes and the reason I show up every day. They truly amaze me.”
Mercy Health – West Hospital invites everyone interested to join them at home at 3:00, morning or afternoon, to pray for COVID-19 patients, their loved ones and all health care heroes.
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