National Prayer Breakfast

National Prayer Breakfast

I had the privilege of attending the National Prayer Breakfast on February 7 in Washington DC. It was an extraordinary experience!

 

I was one of 1500 people in an overflow room, so I watched the proceedings in the main room on a video feed. That didn’t really matter. It was still thrilling to be led in worship by singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin, to hear an outstanding keynote address by Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission, and, of course, to listen to President Trump.

 

But the best part was the leadership of Senator Chris Coons (Democrat from Delaware) and Senator James Lankford (Republican from Oklahoma). These two men are the co-chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast and leaders of the weekly Wednesday morning Senate Prayer Breakfast. As someone who follows politics carefully, I thought I knew Chris Coons and James Lankford from seeing them on television. But it takes much more than that to fully know someone.

 

What I experienced was two men with very different views on policy who yet clearly like each other, clearly care for each other, and clearly pray for each other just as I do with the men in my covenant group.

 

Both Coons and Lankford bring theological training to their work as senators and spiritual leaders. Coons is a graduate of Yale Divinity School; Lankford is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

Lankford says, “Getting behind to say, tell me about your family, tell me about your own personal faith journey, how did you grow up, the context the worldview that you really see things through, makes an enormous difference.”

 

Coons says, “It means I have somebody in this incredibly divided, shallow, partisan place who I actually care about and I think cares about me.”*

 

An object in two dimensions is a flat plane with length and width. An object in three dimensions adds depth. It is all too easy to experience people in two dimensions. We think we know them but we really don’t. We miss their depth.

 

When we see a person as someone to pray for, or better yet, as someone to pray with, we begin to experience them in three dimensions.

 

The great adventure of being a follower of Jesus is not only being fully known by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is also coming to know fully the great communion of saints that gather round his throne.

 

There is no better way to do that than by praying with others. “Pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

 

David Lenz, Lead Pastor

 

*Elizabeth Dias, Time, February 7, 2018, https://stage.time.com/5137579/national-prayer-breakfast-lankford-coons/, accessed February 11, 2019.

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