The prayer I read at tonight’s vigil:
Gracious God, whose son Jesus Christ was born in a stable because there was no room in an inn, whose family fled violence as refugees in a foreign land, who said, “foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,” we pray this evening for our friend, neighbor, our brother Bob, who was attacked while sleeping and now lies in a hospital bed near death. We ask that you surround him with your loving presence and give him healing and strength. We pray too for all of those who are providing for his care: doctors, nurses and others who tend his body, that they may have the necessary skill and wisdom but above all compassion as they care for him. We pray too for the man who attacked him, that he may seek forgiveness for whatever led him to this heinous act, and that he too might know and experience your love and grace. We lift up to you all of those who are sleeping on the streets, in their cars or in shelters this evening that their hope is kindled, their faith renewed, and that they might experience the warm embrace of a just community. We pray for all of us here, and all of those who are with us in spirit, that we may be renewed by your grace and power to speak more boldly and act more resolutely on behalf of those in our community who have no place to lay their head. We pray for this neighborhood, the city and the county, that we may create here a community in which everyone has safe shelter, food to sustain them, and we all can flourish together.
All this we ask in the name of the one who stretched his arms of love on the hard wood of the cross, even Jesus Christ, Amen.