On February 2nd the 65th Annual National Prayer Breakfast will once again be held at the Washington Hilton, near our Washington DC bed and breakfast. Every year this long-standing event is held on the first Thursday of February to serve as a forum for over 3,000 attendees from around the world to assemble, make connections, and hear from distinguished speakers, including the U.S. president. Since the inception of the National Prayer Breakfast in 1953 with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, this event has served as a time for leaders to come together to acknowledge the significance and impact of prayer and faith on both their lives and the nation.
The U.S. Congress hosts the National Prayer Breakfast, and the Christian organization, The Fellowship Foundation, organizes the event on their behalf. The one-day event comprises of meetings, luncheons, and dinners focused on faith and the opportunity to build relationships with other attendees. This year, the newly elected and inaugurated president will attend and give a speech as well as an undisclosed keynote speaker. Previous keynote speakers include, Bono (2006), former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, Academy Award Winner Randall Wallace (2011), Dr. Ben Carson (1997, 2013), and television producer Mark Burnett (2016). This year’s keynote speaker will not be revealed until that day.
How did the National Prayer Breakfast get started? In the mid-1930s with a man named Abraham Vereide, a Norwegian immigrant and Methodist minister, had the idea to organize and gather with local groups of politicians and businessmen to pray and talk before going to work. Vereide was dedicated to addressing the problem of poverty, and used these gatherings as an opportunity to spread the message. In 1942 Vereide moved to Washington D.C. and started having these prayer groups with members of Congress, and through the connections made through the Congress, the House, Senate, and President all became involved in the event. Since then, other cities around the nation and world have developed their own yearly prayer breakfast.
For those interested in attending this event you must get in touch with your Congressman or Senator.
If you do plan to attend the upcoming 2018 Prayer Breakfast, we would love for you to stay with us at the American Guest House.
Shannon Stiles, Innkeeper at American Guest House