“Forever Loved”, the message we want our entire community to hold onto as we remember the tragic events that unfolded at Hillcrest Primary School almost a year ago.
At the 12 month mark a Remembrance Service was held at the Devonport Church of Christ to reflect on the precious children who were taken, to support their families, friends, the school and broader community, and all others who were involved.
The service included a brief message of Hope, a candlelight vigil, moments of reflection, the opportunity for prayer from local Pastors, Ministers and Chaplains. Our Premier, Jeremy Rockliff and Tasmanian Labour Leader Rebecca White were both in attendance along with other Members of Parliament and Government representatives.
Following were the Prayers shared on the evening by our Chaplains,
Dear Heavenly Father, as we pray for our community I want to begin with a thankful heart. We say thank you for the courageousness, kindness, and generosity of so many from across our community when the tragic events at Hillcrest occurred last year. We thank you Dear God that we live in a great community and that we can call this beautiful place, Devonport, Tasmania, our home.
But Father, what happened was hard, it was difficult and has left a scar on our community. We need your help to find a sense of Hope and for our recovery.
Heavenly Father, in some ways we have no idea what to say right now. Precious life was taken from our little community last year, this will never make sense, it will never make sense at all. We do find it hard to understand why!
We have times when our questions have no answers and we just don’t understand. For many of us we have times where the tears just keep on coming. Dear God, some of us often find ourselves overcome by grief and doubt.
Tonight we humbly ask you, please help us ?
Heavenly Father, right now I am praying and interceding on behalf of our community that they will experience Peace. Father, I pray and ask that it will be a peace that brings inner strength, inner healing, and release deep down inside.
Dear God as I pray this evening I am reminded of words from your Bible that say…. (Phillipians 4:7), “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Protect our hearts and minds Dear God. These types of challenging circumstances have a habit of stirring us up inside, we can tend to relive and recycle things to the point where they make life very difficult. Protect us from this Dear God, help us see and be able to live in the power of Hope. When times do get difficult, help us to recognise your love and care that is available to every single one of us.
Dear Heavenly Father, as we continue to live and go about our daily lives, give us eyes and ears tuned in to others in front of us who may be overwhelmed with the things that have happened. Help us to always be aware and alert of those nearby who just need our care and support. Help us to ALWAYS be a caring community.
Heavenly Father, I finish where I started in this prayer, please grant us HOPE, please help us all to be always thankful, appreciative and grateful.
The precious children taken from our little community last year…..
Heavenly Father they are FOREVER LOVED
In the Name of Jesus we pray, AMEN
I would like to take this opportunity to pray for the families of the Hillcrest victims and the current school students.
Dear Heavenly Father, we come here today with heavy and sad hearts as we remember the families of those children, who died in a tragic event at Hillcrest Primary school last year .
We come to stand beside those six families, the parents, siblings, grandparents, extended families and close friends as they grieve and reflect on that day.
We acknowledge their deep and painful loss of their precious children, who will be “forever loved”.
We pray for these families that they will find comfort and will be supported by those who love them most and our community.
We pray that they will find peace and strength as they courageously face this very first anniversary of loss .
Oh Lord God, This year there have been dark ,sad, grief filled days that have threatened to become overwhelming, like a rogue wave.
We pray dear Heavenly Father, that you uplift and uphold, the physical, mental and spiritual health of these families. We ask in days ahead, that whilst the families face the painful reality of the loss of their child, that they will find glimmers of joy and hope for their future.
Oh Lord, you are close to the broken hearted and save those crushed in spirit. You know everything about us from the numbers of hairs on our head to all the days that we will ever live . You know our thoughts and our every movement’. You keep our tears in a bottle. We ask that you surround these families with your grace and peace . We ask that they will know your presence with and around them . We ask that you will guard and protect their hearts with your peace . We pray that you will be with them in the weariness that comes with grief, may they know your supernatural presence with them.
We pray for the current student community at Hillcrest primary . We pray that you will put your angels of protection around these precious children and care for them as they move in and around the school. We pray for protection over all the schools in our city, our state, our nation.
We pray that you will give the adults who teach and care for Hillcrest students the right words of comfort and support to alleviate fear and to help them navigate through this first anniversary of loss that is difficult to comprehend for us all.
We pray for those grade 6 and grade 7 students who were friends and classmates of those who died last year. I pray that the trauma of this event will leave no long lasting wounds . We pray that whilst these young people will forever remember this tragedy and their friends who died , that their lives will find meaning and joy .
We pray for those children injured on the day, that they might fully recover and that you might provide the support, care and assistance that they and their families require to heal and move forward.
We pray that all these young people might live a life that is full with a future that is bright, not only for themselves but for their friends whose lives have been so tragically lost .
And so we remember those who grieve and we grieve with them .
We also rejoice in the children at Hillcrest that are still here . We thank you that they are the future of our world, they are our future leaders and the hope of our community.
So we commit to your care, Heavenly Father, those who sorrow, we remember the children who died , forever loved , along with those who are our future. We ask for help in the difficult days and that in the midst of our sorrow we will find peace and hope for the future.
We commit these people to you,
In Jesus name, Amen
I bring to you in prayer the Hillcrest primary school staff. This community of amazing people are navigating through this anniversary without a road map as is there is no map for this situation. Lord as they face their own emotions and those of others around them I pray that they will gain strength from each other and from you.
May they have a safe space in which to process the complex emotions they are feeling is part of their process to healing. Holy Spirit our comforter will you surround the staff and calm their anxious minds and bring peace to their souls.
When darkness comes, be their light.
When despair numbs their souls, give them hope.
When they stumble and fall, lift them up.
When doubts attack them, give them faith.
When I thing seems sure, give them trust.
When they lose their way, be their guide.
May they feel the presence of these 6 beautiful angels in the sparkle of the sunshine, the whispers of the breeze, and in the rainbows after the storms.
Give them rest for their tired being, give them your peace, your purpose and your hope.
We pray in Jesus name
Prayer for Jumping Castle Owners, First Responders, Education Department
This tragedy has deeply affected hundreds of people in various workplaces and government
agencies and we pray specifically for some of these groups now. Thank you Lord for your
everlasting and complete love, and thank you that you are the God of all comfort.
Lord, we pray for the police, paramedics and other first responders who were involved on
the day and ask that you would strengthen them, supernaturally, with your incredible
peace. Their lives were forever changed as they battled hard and utilised all their skills to try
and save the lives of others. Lord, help them to come to terms with what they experienced
and to continue to serve the community with resilience. The situation they find themselves
in now is unique for each one and we pray that you would show them individually how
much you care and love. Calm their hearts and mind, and give them your perfect peace.
In the midst of the chaos of that fateful day, were the jumping castle operators and we pray
specifically for them now. Lord, they do what they do as a business because they love to see
kids having a fun time and this was worse than their worst nightmare. Lord, grant them your
peace and give them hope for the future. Thank you God for your promise of a bright future
and we pray that bright future into their lives right now.
Father, we are aware that the pain of this tragedy was felt across the entire state within the
Education Department. So, we pray for the staff members and administrators who suddenly
found themselves dealing with an unimaginable tragedy. We thank you Lord for their
faithful service and ask that you would continue to show them your support. Help them to
reach out for help not only to those around them in their lives, but also spiritually to you.
Lord, we thank you for all these people who have worked hard through this crisis and for
everyone involved we ask for your deep, life-changing peace.