Bali: 20 years

At about 11pm on 12 October 2002 three bombs were detonated in Bali, two in busy nightspots – the Sari Club and Paddy’s Bar – and one in front of the American consulate. The explosions killed 202 people, 88 of whom were Australian, and wounded hundreds more.
Carried out by terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiyah, the attacks represent the single largest loss of Australian life due to an act of terror.

Let us lean into peace-making and justice-seeking with more resolve on this 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Martin Luther King Jr

Prayer (adapted from a 2022 prayer by Bruce Prewer)

Most loving God,
you are our refuge and strength,
the light in the darkness,
and so with confidence we offer our prayers to you.

As we remember the 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings,
we pray for all who have been victims of this terrorism.
Let your help be with those who continue to mourn the loss of loved ones.
Let your help be with all who have been physically marred for life.
Holy Spirit of consolation, reach down into the soul-depth of the grieving, and bring comfort, hope and peace.

Let your help be with the many who may have physically escaped injury, yet whose minds have been damaged for ever by the horrors they have witnessed.

Let your help be with the gentle people of Bali as they continue to find ways to cope with the outrage perpetrated in the heart of their community, actions in stark contrast to Balinese hospitality, kindness and generosity.

Let your help be with leaders in Australia and Indonesia.
Holy Spirit of light and love, grant them courage and wisdom,
that their actions may be for peace in the region.

Let your help be with world leaders in this time of war and escalating conflict, suspicion and derision, injustice and greed.
Holy Spirit of wisdom, we seek your guidance as we navigate the way forward at a time when so much in our world is fragmented and in disarray.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
(A silence is kept)

Loving Lord, make us instruments of your peace;
where there is hatred let me sow love,
where there is injury let me sow pardon,
where there is doubt, let me sow faith,
where there is despair let me give hope,
where there is darkness let me give light,
where there is sadness let me give joy. (St Francis)

God of light over darkness,
come into our hearts in the moment of now!
Come to transform our sorrow over the lost
into blessings to the living.
Come to reassure us your eternal truth
in the resurrection of Christ Jesus:
Life is always stronger than death. (Rev Dr Ji Zhang)


This is God’s world, and it is not aimless.
Time has a purpose and God is its steward.
Loving God, I believe, scatter my unbelief.
It is not possible that greed and injustice are forever.
It is not possible that the meek will stay dispossessed.
It is not possible that peacemakers must inevitably fail.
It is not possible that nations will always make war.
It is not possible that the merciful will be always be scorned.
It is not possible that forgiveness will at last dry up.
It is not possible that the weak are doomed to be down trodden.
It is not possible that the hungry will always go unsatisfied.
It is not possible that sincere hearts will always be exploited.
It is not possible that laughter shall finally be stilled.
It is not possible that fear will always outwit love.
It is not possible that the cynics will always be right.
It is not possible that goodness will have flowered in vain.
It is not possible that death will render all things futile.
It is not possible that Jesus will ever be forgotten.
It is not possible that faith will die out on earth.
Christ holds God’s secret in open, wounded hands,
Christ is our future and all will be redeemed.
Loving God I believe, scatter my unbelief.


Most merciful God, Friend and Saviour, please help this world to rid itself of the obscenity of terrorism, and of the greed and injustice which feeds its roots. In both affluent countries and in the impoverished ones, may your will be done. Among those whose culture is influenced by Islam or Buddhism, or among those who have been taught by Hindu faith or Christianity, let the thirst for justice, compassion and peace prevail over fear and hatred and avarice. Give us minds that are willing to be taught, goals that can be reshaped, desires that are purged, and wills that are toughened to seek the good of all through loving means.
This we can only do with your help; on you we cast our fate. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
(Source: Bruce Prewer, “Australian Prayers”, revised edition, P. 123)