Purpose of the National Prayer Breakfast

National Prayer Breakfast 2018
Credit: Christian Diotte, House of Commons Photo Services
© HOC-CDC, 2018

The purpose of the National Prayer Breakfast is to invite leaders to meet in the spirit of Jesus Christ in order to pray together and build relationships. The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual Christian event and is historically offered under the auspices of the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House on behalf of the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast Group.

At the heart of the National Prayer Breakfast is a small group of Parliamentarians from different political parties who meet for breakfast each Wednesday morning while Parliament is in session. The annual National Prayer Breakfast is more visible, but the weekly meetings are far more significant as they provide opportunities for deeper friendships to flourish and grow.

The Prayer Breakfast helps to facilitate the creation of genuine friendships built on the Spirit of Jesus. It is our hope that individuals can discover ways of being together which cross religious, social and political boundaries. Together we will be able to bless the lives of others.

In these non-partisan gatherings, members are not only given the chance to know one another better but also have an opportunity to recognize the presence of God in one another. The exercise of effective political leadership has always demanded that positive relationships need to be fostered across party lines. Such relationships facilitate the working of our Parliament.

The purpose of the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast is to call men and women to God, and then to entrust them with the application of what it means to live out God’s grace as leaders. The Prayer Breakfast is not a lobby group. Lobby groups seek to influence policy. It is not the aim of the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast Group to influence the thinking of others towards any particular political viewpoint. Instead, we trust in the workings of God that as we love and pray for one another the Holy Spirit will work in our lives to help us grow as women and men who love mercy, seek justice and humbly walk with God.

The annual National Prayer Breakfast is Christ-centered but it is not exclusively for Christians. It does not seek to convert people to Christianity. Rather, the aim is simply to meet in the spirit of Jesus and pray together. This means that we seek to love those around us just as Jesus loved those who were around him.

Finally, the goal of the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast Group in Ottawa is all about reaching out to political opponents. It also means reaching out to Christians of various theological backgrounds. It means reaching out with respect and love to people from different faith groups. In this way, Jesus’ teachings and his way of life are witnessed in quiet and life-changing ways.