“I have always believed in miracles,” the Prime Minister said firmly sometime after midnight on election night, as he claimed victory. “I am standing with the three biggest miracles in my life” he added. “And tonight we have been delivered another one.”
These were the words of our Pentecostal PM who had heard his faith mocked or disparaged during the campaign campaign. Was he:
• reaffirming his faith?
• smiling broadly rejoicing in his win, which is largely down to him?
• or simply using a good line, being the marketer that he is?
Most likely all three.
“I have always believed in miracles,” was how I started the church service I led this morning. Partly to wake them up. But mostly to say that the PM has it right. Christians do believe in miracles. We believe in a God who intervenes in our world. Who sent his son, both man and God, to change how the universe worked, to die for our sins. Who performed miracles himself.
And we plain ordinary Christians believe in miracles. Because we pray. This morning my church prayed for James, Amy, Nick and Lachlan, all in urgent need of prayer because they are sick. We happen to be going through a period of trial because of the number of seriously ill people among us, and our pastor, Al, is preaching a series on suffering.
So we pray.
There will be many churches, up and down the land, going through a similar season of concern and hope, or can remember such a time.
So they pray, too.
Because God’s future new world, breaking into our current world, means prayers are answered.
Whether we pray for obviously “supernatural” healing, or simply to guide a surgeon’s hand, we are praying for God to intervene in the natural order of things. And it is in the nature of Christians to pray.
There are many Christians who do believe that there was an electoral miracle. A good example is the conservative blogger Bill Muehlenberg who writes, “This clearly had to be the work of God. There really is no other explanation for it! This result had caught almost all the experts and commentators by surprise. But our God is a God of surprises, and a God of the miraculous. Indeed, Morrison began his acceptance speech by speaking of how he believes in miracles.”
And in this he writes for many.
But in this, to the incredulity of both groups, Australia’s Christians are divided. Michael Frost, from Sydney’s Morling College was clear that he was praying for a government to take “decisive action on climate change”. He stands for many too.
The big issues need to be debated. And will be. But whether your prayers were answered in the election result or not, I hope you continue to believe in miracles. Be sceptical. Test them. Examine them closely. But believe in them.
And can I suggest that a prayer for someone who disagreed with you on election day is a good idea?