You made this country beautiful, but ugly events disfigured its face.
You made this city a garden of light and joy, but dark reality brought it close to a jungle.
You meant mankind to smile without fear, but we had a week of fright and terror.
You expected religion to spread love and harmony, but religion turned a dangerous believer into a monster.
We mourn the death of two of his victims: we pray for those who lived but will bear the scars.
We thank You for the courage of all who were caught up in the events.
We thank You for the quality of those who serve in the emergency services.
We know that Australians remain a generous, helpful, fair-go nation, even when their resilience is sorely tested.
We pray that the spirit of the Divine will remain with us, and sustain the fundamental soundness of the Australian way of life.
We pray that Your word will be the principle of all religions and sectors of citizens, when You say, “Choose life! Love your fellow as yourself!”
May Your arms support us, Your hand steady us, and Your love sustain us.
May this be Your will, and let us say Amen.
A prayer written by Rabbi Raymond Apple in the wake of the hostage crisis at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place on 15-16 December, 2014.