On February 8, 2018, the 66th Annual National Prayer Breakfast (NPB) was held at the Washington Hilton Hotel (Washington, DC). Each year, more than 3,000 people attend the annual event. Jason J. McGuire, President of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation, attended this year’s breakfast at the invitation of Rep. Claudia Tenney (R, NY-22).
“The non-partisan breakfast is always chaired by a Democrat and a Republican. Its leadership alternates each year between the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate,” explained McGuire. “The event offers a rare moment of civility in a climate that is too often marred by political rancor, he said. The 2018 prayer breakfast was co-chaired by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL).
Every president since President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 has participated. This year was no exception. During President Donald J. Trump’s remarks, he noted:
Our rights are not given to us by man; our rights come from our Creator. No matter what, no Earthly force can take those rights away. That is why the words ‘Praise be to God’ are etched atop the Washington Monument, and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people.
So today, we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American. Across our land, we see the splendor of God’s creation. Throughout our history, we see the story of God’s providence. And in every city and town, we see the Lord’s grace all around us, through a million acts of kindness, courage and generosity. We love God.
When Americans are able to live by their convictions, to speak openly of their faith, and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive, our communities flourish, and our nation can achieve anything at all.
Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE) have been named co-chairmen of the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast. Lankford and Coons both spoke at the gathering about their weekly Senate prayer gathering, and how faith is a common bond that unites them.
“Prayer is a unifying force in our country,” said Lankford. “When the pressures of life build and politics divide us, prayer refocuses and recommits us to our relationship with God and each other. One of America’s greatest freedoms is the right to live your faith, or have no faith at all. Freedom of religion has played such an important part in the creation of our country; it is only fitting that we continue to recognize prayer and its important role in the lives of so many Americans through the National Prayer Breakfast.”
“I’m honored to lead the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast with my colleague and friend, Senator Lankford,” said Coons. “At a time when our country and Congress are deeply divided, we need to make more ways to listen to each other, trust each other, and remember that we’re called to love one another and care for our neighbors. For me, as for millions of Americans, prayer is an important way to bring together people from all faith backgrounds to listen to one another, respect one another, and share our common concerns.”
“The remarks offered by these senators is reminiscent of what our organization witnesses at our Legislative Prayer Breakfasts and Bible Study each week in Albany. Around God’s opened Word, legislative hearts soften, personal defenses are lowered, and trust begins to bloom. It’s a beautiful thing,” concluded McGuire.