We pray for our beloved city, Melbourne.
We give you thanks, O God,
for its beauty, history, diversity, friendliness, vitality,
its commitment to art and sport and café-culture.
We rejoice that, although it is far from perfect,
people from all around the world have found in Melbourne
a home where they can live and love and thrive.
Loving God, we pray for the people murdered in Bourke Street,
knowing that you have already received them with love,
and that as the whole city grieves their shocking and untimely deaths
you are holding them safely in your welcoming arms.
We pray for all the injured, that they may be swiftly and completely healed,
and we thank you for the hospitals where they are being treated,
remembering all those whose hard work established them and keeps them running.
We pray for all those who were in the city yesterday,
especially the people who were close to this crime,
who saw their safe city suddenly become a place of horror.
Loving God, we ask you to be with those mourning people they loved.
Give them strength and comfort in their grief and shock,
surround them with your love and with ours,
and assure them that we are holding them in our hearts.
We give you thanks for all the emergency responders,
the police, the ambos, the firies, the emergency chaplains, the passers-by,
the people who with courage and compassion committed themselves to helping others.
Gracious God, we remember all those who experience family violence,
including the family of the perpetrator of this crime.
May this appalling event inspire us to continue working against violence
wherever it occurs,
especially within the family.
we pray for those who sought to use this tragedy for their own political ends,
asking that you open their eyes and minds and hearts to your truth and peace and love.
Finally, God, in all our anger and outrage and pain, we pray for the perpetrator.
We ask for his healing, that he may be able to repent and seek forgiveness.
God, we make all these prayers together with your Son,
our Brother, Mother and Friend Jesus,
who we know is weeping with us today.