This week in Washington, D.C. is one of the most exciting weeks of the year. Over 4000 people will descend on the Washington Hilton for the annual National Prayer Breakfast, and many of those will leave with a new taste for politics, leadership, and faith.
I’ve attended the NPB for the last several years surrounding myself with people who are interested in the power of prayer around the globe. Initially, I looked for an agenda. After all, Washington, D.C. is a town full of people with agendas. So my critical side was looking for the networking angles, the business deals in the back rooms, or even some sort of overarching faith agenda to influence politics. Of course, when people get together there are all kinds of relationships that emerge, but what I found was quite enlightening. The National Prayer Breakfast is really all about encouraging people here in America and around the world in the name and character of Jesus.
From what I understand, the NPB all started in Washington during the Eisenhower administration. America was at war, and there were giant issues facing the nation (kind of like today.) The President gathered a group of Senators to start praying for America, and ever since then the leadership in Congress have been praying every single week. All in the name of Jesus, there is a breakfast where all are welcome to lift up the country in prayer.
For years I’ve been looking for a group of people who would focus on Jesus + Nothing. Call me a minimalist, but I’m interested only in pursuing Jesus. I’m interested in trying to figure out how to live life with a central core message of “Loving God and loving others.” I’ve been mostly discouraged finding places in the faith-world that are Jesus + Stuff. There’s Jesus + Church. Jesus + Religion. Jesus + Family. Jesus + Publishing. It just seemed like everywhere I looked there was Jesus, and then something else added on to be a “good Christian.” What I found at the NPB over the years has truly encouraged my soul.
Democrats pray with Republicans.
Businessmen pray with leaders in the non-profit world.
Prime Ministers pray with academics.
Muslims pray with Christians.
People who are experiencing pain in life pray with encouragers.
Prayer in the name of Jesus is the central theme.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
There are no booths selling the latest Jesus stuff.
No speakers trying to fill the rest of the calendar with events.
No pastors trying to recruit people to their church.
No technology guys trying to sell their latest Jesus app.
Just a large swath of people from around the world who find Jesus compelling.
For the next week prayer will be at the center of conversation for all who attend, and I find it encouraging when people come together to focus on Jesus.
So for the next few days, I would ask you, the readers here at andybraner.com, to pray.
Pray for miraculous encounters.
Pray for supernatural energy (I’ve got meetings stacked hour on hour for the whole week).
Pray for people to encounter Jesus.
Pray for bridges to be built, and peace to be made in the most unlikely of places.
I’ll be sure to report back when I catch my breath.
May God be lifted up in a mighty way this week in Washington.