The United States National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year. The founder of this event was Abraham Vereide. The event—which is actually a series of meetings, luncheons, and dinners—has taken place since 1953 and has been held at least since the 1980s at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue NW.
The National Prayer Breakfast, held in the Hilton’s International Ballroom, is typically attended by some 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries. It is hosted by members of the United States Congress and is organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a Christian organization. Initially called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, the name was changed in 1970 to the National Prayer Breakfast. Every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the annual event.
It is designed to be a forum for the political, social, and business elite to assemble and build relationships. Since the inception of the National Prayer Breakfast, several U.S. states and cities and other countries have established their own annual prayer breakfast events, including Guatemala.
My recent visit to Guatemala capped off with my attendance of the Guatemala National Prayer Breakfast. Modeled after the United States National Prayer Breakfast, this one is also intended to unite national leaders who call upon the name of the Lord, petitioning him to move on behalf of the country.
The Hotel International in Guatemala City was bustling with people who made their way into the main hall, took a seat and enjoyed a breakfast of poached eggs, rolled prosciutto with cheese, and biscuits. Once the event began, the room fell quiet, and I turned on my translator earpiece, which gave me in-ear access to English translation in real time.
Speaker after speaker took the stage and each had a unique message to share, but there was certainly a theme…
The people of Guatemala matter to God and they matter to us.
Each in his own way, they called on the audience to be better and do better for the people of Guatemala. Each encouraged those listening to commit to overcoming the problems that Guatemala faces and striving for a better future for everyone. There were many calls to overcome political divides and work together to tackle common problems facing the country such as violence, poverty and chronic malnutrition in children.
Several men from the United States were there to encourage and support the leaders of Guatemala including, Former Congressman and Former Ambassador to the United States, Tony Hall, Congressman from Colorado, Ken Buck, and the Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley.
We also had the pleasure and honor of hearing from the President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales.
It was my first time ever attending a prayer breakfast, international or otherwise, and I was so encouraged by the intentionality of this event. I knew that God heard these prayers and looked down on the people of Guatemala with favor. I’m honored to play a small role in bringing His restoration to the people of this great country and I’m honored to have been in attendance to witness such an incredible gathering of believers.