The National Prayer Breakfast is the brainchild of Abraham Vereide, a Methodist minister who immigrated to the United States from Norway. He, along with his friend Senator Frank Carlson and Billy Graham, saw the Breakfast as an opportunity to nurture Christian leaders in our country. After presenting the idea to then President Dwight Eisenhower, they got the green light. Eisenhower recognized that this would be a positive influence on our country.
Invitations were sent to leaders in the United States and in other countries. In part, the invitations said, "This is a time to seek the Lord's guidance and strength...and to renew the dedication of our Nation and ourselves to God's purposes." The first Prayer Breakfast was held in 1953 and has been held on the first Thursday in February ever since.
The 65th National Prayer Breakfast took place last week and can be viewed on You Tube. I found it so encouraging and inspirational! About 3,500 people gathered to be led in singing and prayer and to listen to several speakers. The keynote speaker was the Chaplain from the United States Senate, Dr. Barry Black. His address was stellar! As I listened to it I felt hope for the revival of our country rising within me and a sense of excitement over God's plans for our future.
Joel Rosenberg, Founder of the Joshua Fund, communications strategist, best-selling author and international speaker, was one of the attendees at the Breakfast. Here is what he said about Dr. Black's address: "It is one of the most powerful, most compelling, most winsome and moving presentations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I have ever heard delivered. We all urgently need to hear and respond to the message the Chaplain preached so passionately to us."
Dr. Black encouraged his listeners to pray, calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus in three different ways.
The Chaplain made it clear that this nation will not prosper unless our faith is built upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. His impassioned presentation of Edward Mote's hymn, The Solid Rock, stirred everyone who heard it. "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand--all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand." I praise the Lord for the bold proclamation made by this man of God. He left no doubt in anyone's mind of the course this nation must take in order to prosper. It is vital that we pray in agreement with him.
Joan E. Mathias