At this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast, streamed live from Parliament House in Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered a brief thank you to Australians for praying for him and his family.
“I’ve been so grateful this year for the letters and emails encouraging me, messages that cause me to pause and draw strength. I’ve been so touched by the support for my family, for Jenny and the girls,” Morrison said in a pre-recorded address.
“There was a six year old from Melbourne who sent me a picture of himself with a big smile. The young women with terminal cancer letting me know that they were praying for me. And the older lady from Townsville who wanted to share a few things with me in the last days of her life. It was very special.”
“I’ve seen what a big-hearted people we are. And what a big faith Australians have.” – PM Scott Morrison
Morrison said that the coronavirus pandemic has shown Australians “how much we draw strength from each other”.
Quoting from the Book of Hebrews, he said: “Do not neglect meeting together … But encourage one another.”
“Former Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, Jonathan Sacks, was asked recently ‘What does faith mean during a pandemic?’ Quoting from Moses in Deuteronomy, he said ‘The call of faith is to choose life.’
“He’s right,” said Morrison. “That’s what we’ve been doing this year, even when we’ve been kept apart. Choosing life. Encouraging one another to do good works. Fulfilling the law of love.
“I’ve seen what a big-hearted people we are,” Morrison said. “And what a big faith Australians have.”
Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, also gave a brief address, reminding participants that prayer was a chance to step back from politics and “reach deep within ourselves while reaching up to a higher power”.
“It’s an invitation to each of us to be better, not just for the sake of ourselves, but for the sake of those around us and indeed everyone we represent. And it is a reminder that we don’t ever have to feel alone.”
It’s a message, according to Albanese, that is more important than ever during the pandemic.
The National Prayer Breakfast is organised by the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, led by Senator Amanda Stoker and Luke Gosling, Federal Member for Solomon. This year, for the first time in its 31-year history, the National Prayer Breakfast was held online, for free.