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2024 National Prayer Breakfast


For those of us who attended, the 2024 National Prayer Breakfast was an encouraging event to be a part of. In addition to the Breakfast itself, there was lots going on. The Young Christian Leaders Summit gave young adults from the Church a peek behind the curtain of political careers on Parliament Hill. There were several seminars, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for pastors, ministry leaders, and those in politics.

 

What has us even more excited, is the fact that prayer and worship are becoming an increasingly central component of the week. Sunday night featured an evening of corporate prayer and worship at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Anglican Church near Parliament Hill (for which there was a full house). Tuesday afternoon, we led three groups on the NHOP Parliament Hill Prayer Walk, covering our nation and government in prayer. Tuesday evening marked NHOP’s first annual night of prayer and worship at the National Prayer Breakfast, “Come Up Here.” More than just the breakfast event, we are seeing the National Prayer Breakfast expand toward a week of prayer!


Having said all that, the National Prayer Breakfast is still the keystone event of the week. Four aspects of this year’s Prayer Breakfast stood out to me:

 

1.        This event, the 59th annual National Prayer Breakfast, was the largest in its history, with over 1300 attendees. This group included MP’s, Senators, foreign dignitaries, pastors, ministry leaders, and many others. The sheer number of people who made the effort to be there was encouraging. We know that this number is only a representation of many more across our land who are praying for Canada and her leaders. There are many standing on guard for Canada in these days.


2.        The Holy Spirit was present. He was speaking through the passages that were shared by members of the various national parties: the Beatitudes (Matt. 5), Jesus calming the storm (Mk. 4), Psalm 46, and Isaiah 58. His presence was tangible as we were led in worship by Natalie Grant. It was not a dull affair, but inspired.



3.        We could see answers to prayer. In what was perhaps the most poignant moment of the event, our Prime Minister shared about how the Word and prayer had a place in his upbringing, and how faith plays an (admittedly quiet) role in his life today. Some may write off his comments as disingenuous, but we saw vulnerability and humility in his remarks. We have been praying for God to move in his life, and we believe we saw a glimpse of that this past week.


4.        The crowd honoured the leaders well this year. Last year, there was a clear partisan bent in the responses: the Conservative leader received a much larger ovation than the Prime Minister. If you’ve followed our messaging over the past few years, you know where we stand on this matter: we are to pray all kinds of prayers for everybody, including kings and those in authority (1 Tim. 2) – not only the ones we agree with. The responses were much more honouring of all our leaders this year.

 

Of course we have parties that we agree with on policies, and naturally we want to see them do well in our elections. But we must remember that there is no single political party in our country that represents the Kingdom of God. In fact, we can see Kingdom-oriented values in each of the federal parties, if we take an honest look. God is impartial; He judges all with equity (Ps. 9:8; 67:4; 75:2; 96:10; 98:9; 99:4), and He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). In the same way we must be impartial (Jas. 2:1), lifting up all those in authority as we pray.

 

 We encourage you to keep praying for your church, your community, your constituency, and your elected officials. News and social media can give us the impression things are moving in the wrong direction, but for those of us who were on the ground in Ottawa this week, we could see how God is moving and active! Keep praying. Keep serving. Do not grow weary in doing good!


“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Mt. 7:7-8,11; ESV)

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