PM compares himself to Moses in leaked virus prayer
Scott Morrison has compared himself to Moses in leading Australia to safety in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Prime Minister, an evangelical Christian, was seen asking people to "pray for all Australians" in a leaked video published by the Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools.
"People are going through the deepest of heartache, the deepest of shock," he said.
"The world is largely in trauma at the moment but the scale and pace of what is unfolding is incomprehensible."
Mr Morrison said the pandemic was very much like the "moment where Moses will go out to the sea and held up his staff … and they went".
"There are moments of great faith in all of this," he said.
"As Prime Minister I have to take my decisions on the basis of very strong advice and exercise the best judgement I possibly can, and my faith gives me an enormous encouragement so I can make those decisions and try to do that in the best way I can."
Mr Morrison, who has made no secret of his religious faith, referring to his re-election in 2019 as a "miracle", then started citing verses from Psalm 34.17-19.
Many other former prime ministers throughout Australian history have identified as religious.
These include Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd.
"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers," he said, adding he relied on "all people of faith across the country to pray".
"I can feel it in your prayers - in the strength you give me each and every day."
Mr Morrison concluded his video, where he was seen in a virtual meeting with a number of others, with a prayer for Australians and others affected by the coronavirus.
"Father we come to you in this terrible time and suffering of so many people, and we do this also for the entire world - in places far from this country," he said.
"They are going through tremendous hardship, crying out.
"Lord we pray you'll hear their voice, we pray that you will deliver them, that you will send them peace, comfort and strength in this time of great need."
Originally published as PM compares himself to Moses in leaked virus prayer