US lawmakers have put aside their political differences to unite in prayer at the nation’s 70th annual National Prayer Breakfast on Capitol Hill.
President Joe Biden offered a message of unity and hope to the bipartisan group of House and Senate members.
He encouraged them to follow God’s greatest commandments:
“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind, and all thy soul. And love thy neighbor as thyself,” he declared.
The president conceded the second one is the most challenging in the corridors of Congress:
“That’s the hardest one I think, at least it’s hardest here. Didn’t used to be as hard.”
“My prayer for this prayer breakfast is we start to see each other again, look at each other again, travel with each other again, argue with each other again, but then still go to lunch together,” he continued.
CBN News reports the Democrat President promised to lead by example through his relationship with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“Let’s start treating each other with respect,” the President proposed. “That’s what Kevin and I are going to do. Not a joke, we had a good meeting yesterday. I think we’ve got to do it across the board. Doesn’t mean we’re going to agree, but let’s treat each other with respect.”
“My message to all of you and to the nation as we go forward, go forward together,” said Biden. “Let’s be the doers of the Word. Let’s keep the faith, let’s remember who we are, we’re the United States of America.”
This year’s prayer breakfast was different to past years with the event returning to its roots in an intimate audience instead of a much larger crowd including faith leaders from around the world.
One of the speakers was Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie the interim president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and a retired bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
She preached: “What a powerful message it would be to the world if we walked together, put compassion over callousness, cooperation over competition, and at the end of it, go and do likewise.”
Pastor Jim Cymbala from the Brooklyn Tabernacle told the lawmakers: “Everyone who humbles themselves and comes to God and says God help me, God has given His word ‘I will never, ever turn you away, I will give you the very thing that you need. If anyone needed to pray for wisdom, isn’t it you folks? Every single day, every single hour.”
Every week on Capitol Hill bipartisan groups of senators and representatives come together to pray in a tradition that has been going on for decades.