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Foundation of Faith and the National Prayer Breakfast

The Dominion of Canada denoted the dominion that God would have over the vast new nation of Canada, “A Mari Usque Ad Mare”—our national motto is the Latin translation of Psalm 72:8 which translates to “from Sea to Sea.” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to men”—Parliament Hill has Christian Symbols such as Luke 2:14 carved on the bell inside the Peace Tower. 

 

From early missionaries and country churches to grand cathedrals and national leaders, the legacy of faith has shaped much of our nation, and it continues to be a significant factor. It built the foundation for modern pluralism and democracy. Today, there are many debates about this history, because of many who haven't always represented the Gospel well.  However, in our increasingly divided country, I want to share one of the ways Christianity still brings people together in Canada. 

 

There has been an organized weekly Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast meeting for many decades. This weekly gathering of Parliamentarians is open to all MPs and Senators to study God’s word, pray for each other, and pray for our nation. This is a non-partisan gathering, where we don’t share who does or doesn’t attend. For me, this plays an important role in my week representing you in our nation's capital. An extension to this weekly gathering is the National Prayer Breakfast, a large-scale event often seeing as many as 1000 people gather together to pray for our country, this year, for the 59th time! 

 

The National Prayer Breakfast invites Canadians from all backgrounds, including Members of Parliament, Senators, Canadian and international religious leaders, ambassadors, and business leaders. The event’s mission is to gather in the Spirit of Jesus to pray for our nation. Along with the breakfast, there is a Leaders' Dinner which is held the evening before, and a Young Leaders’ Summit that welcomes young Christian leaders aged 18 to 30 who will join MPs, faith leaders, and others to explore how they can make a difference in our communities, in Parliament, and in our nation. This year's Prayer Breakfast theme is "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," and it will address important issues such as how to remain hopeful as we face challenges and what political leadership looks like as followers of Christ in a troubled world. 

 

As a Member of Parliament, one is tasked with representing constituents, addressing big political issues, and many other important duties. However, being a part of the Parliamentary Prayer Gathering and an organizing committee member for the National Prayer Breakfast is a constant reminder of how important my faith is to my role as an MP. This gathering also shows how the Christian faith still plays an important role in Canada. And it reminds me of the hope for the future of our nation, no matter how bleak the political situation can appear. 

 

Due to the interest of constituents, local churches, and faith leaders, as well as others who wonder about the history of events like the Prayer Breakfast, I believe that this was an important message to share in my bi-weekly news column. If you are curious to hear more about the National Prayer Breakfast, the associated events, and the weekly gathering, or if you would be interested in learning more about my colleague, MP Richard Bragdon, who chairs both the breakfast and leads the organizing committee, please feel free to connect with us. Further, if you are interested in following or attending the event, you can visit www.nationalprayerbreakfast.ca and follow the Prayer Breakfast on social media. 

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