Politicians from both political parties came together to testify to the work of God in the country and pray for reconciliation on Thursday, just like they do every week, only this time their prayers were televised on C-SPAN.
The National Prayer Breakfast represents the most public-facing display of the regular bipartisan prayer meetings that take place in each chamber of Congress. Due to the pandemic, the annual event was held virtually for the first time in history, and the politicians’ petitions for unity felt more critical coming less than a month after the divisive uprising at the Capitol where they work.
The recent hour-long presentation consisted of pre-recorded clips from President Joe Biden, several former presidents, and members of Congress. They appealed to Christian teachings on neighborly love and reconciliation to get the country through political divisions and the burdens of the coronavirus crisis.
“For me in the darkest moments, faith provides hope and solace,” said Biden, who referenced one his favorite quotes, philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s line that “faith sees best in the dark.”
“It provides clarity and purpose as well. It shows the way forward, as one nation in a common purpose: to respect one another, to care for one another, and to leave no one behind.”
The president urged the country to see each other—especially the hungry, the needy, the dying—as fellow Americans rather than as Republicans and Democrats. Other participants likewise emphasized a spirit of bipartisanship, rooted in their convictions around a common humanity before God.
The four co-chairs of the event— Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Chris Coons, Rep. John Moolenaar, and Rep. Tom Suozzi—convene weekly prayer breakfasts where members of Congress share prayer requests, reflections, hymns, and their testimonies.
“Our nation today more than ever needs to see a bipartisan coalition of believers, believing in America, our God, and frankly, all of you, our country,” said Scott, a Republican and evangelical from South Carolina.
Every president since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast, put on by the Fellowship Foundation, also called the Fellowship or the Family. The Christian organization brings together Capitol Hill influencers for prayer and fellowship outside the constraints of political obligations. (The National Prayer Breakfast is not the same as the National Day of Prayer, which is acknowledged every May by presidential proclamation, or the Easter Prayer Breakfast, a White House tradition President Barack Obama began in 2010.)
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Source: Christianity Today