The Australian Prime Minister has committed his country to God in prayer as he seeks to lead the nation through the COVID-19 crisis.
Scott Morrison, who attends an evangelical church in Sydney, said his faith gives him “enormous encouragement” when making difficult decisions.
In a video, filmed from his Parliamentary office, he thanked the people of Australia for their prayers.
Following a short statement and a Bible reading, he prayed: “Heavenly Father, we just commit our nation to you in this terrible time of great need and suffering of so many people. And we do this also for the entire world.
“In places far from this country, there are people suffering even more, going through tremendous hardship, crying out.
“Lord, we pray you will hear their voice, we pray you’ll deliver them, you’ll send them peace and you’ll send them comfort. And you’ll send them strength in this time of their great, great need.
Peace and love
He continued: “Father, give us strength here in this country, give us wisdom, give us judgment, give us encouragement.
“Let your peace reign, let your love shower this nation at this time, and let your people – those who trust in you, Lord – be instruments for your love, for your compassion, for your justice, your mercy, your grace. Let us be lights in a time of great darkness.
“May you lift us up at this time. May you strengthen us and encourage us. And in all things Lord, may you shine upon all of us at this time as we seek your grace, and as we seek your strength and your favour. We pray this in Jesus name.
Strength and unity
“We pray also for our leaders, my colleagues in parliamentary roles – it doesn’t matter what party they’re from. I pray particularly for my colleagues in the cabinet and ministers making difficult decisions each and every day.
“And I especially pray for my colleagues on the national cabinet, the premiers and chief ministers who are faced with terrible challenges that were unthinkable a few days ago, as they become realities and they must deal with them.
“I pray that you would keep the national cabinet strong and united, and that we might be able to face each day and each challenge in unity of purpose. As we pray your words: ‘May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
“Bring peace to our world. Bring it to our nation, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.”
In the wake of last year’s row over rugby player Israel Folau, Mr Morrison said: “Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of what we are as a country, and it’s important our laws reflect that”.
The sport’s star was accused of being ‘homophobic’ and fired by Rugby Australia last May for a social media post quoting the Bible.
It later apologised to Folau and agreed a financial settlement.