In our current climate of aggressive secularism – including a recent move by the Greens to remove the Lord’s Prayer from Parliament, I find it incredible that while 13 Wild Boars were trapped underground, people everywhere prayed. 

Images of the families and classmates of the boys praying filled our newsfeeds, candlelight vigils were held all throughout Thailand, students in India gathered together to pray for the boys safety, the Thai Navy SEALs commented they didn’t know if the rescue was “a miracle or science or what”, and even Manchester United Football Club tweeted “… our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.” 

I watched along with the whole world as the dangerous mission to save the 13 Wild Boars unfolded. We all listened intently as cave diving experts warned it could be too risky to try and dive the young boys out, we were united in grief when news broke that a Thai Navy SEAL died, and as monsoon rains threatened to trap the boys for months people everywhere prayed while the rescue mission continued. 

I believe it is moments like these that unite us as human beings. 

And it is in moments like these we realise, deep within our spirits, that we are not capable of solving everything. 

We are dependent on a higher power, we are dependent on God.  

And indeed, that was the case here, for the rain stayed away, until everyone was out – that was God.  

It is also in moments like this that we realise the great benefit of prayer –that we can call on God in our deepest need. 

This is a perfect example of why we must fight for religious freedom to be central in Australian life – so that the reality of our dependence on God, our frailness and His omnipotence in never lost. Without it we shall find ourselves living in a state of deluded self-sufficiency, to the detriment of our very souls. 

I’m reminded of a scripture in Hebrews 11:3 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen.” It is faith and the freedom to live and promulgate it that gives us the quality that kept the 13 Wild Boars going – hope. 

If religious freedom is not central to our national life – hope cannot be either.  And without faith and hope the third great quality that makes life worthwhile – love will also be lost. 

Yet still the scripture tells us; “faith, hope and love abide” (1 Cor 13: 13), and so our battle to keep religious freedom central to Australian life (ultimately) will not fail. It cannot!