News Story

Canadian Government and Religious Leaders Unite in Prayer

Religious and government leaders gathered in Ottawa on May 18 and 19, 2016, for the 51st Annual National Prayer Breakfast and Leadership Dinner. Elder Alain L. Allard, a member of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada, and 20 Mormon leaders were among the almost 1,000 attendees. “It is a wonderful and rewarding opportunity,” said Allard, “to meet, associate, discuss and pray with others who love the Saviour and [who] care deeply about our country.”

The National Prayer Breakfast is held annually under the combined authority of the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers. It provides a public setting in which to read scripture and pray for the nation, as an extension of a private weekly prayer breakfast. Each Wednesday morning while Parliament is in session, members of Parliament from all parties meet to pray for the nation and for wisdom in decision-making.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the event and read from Romans 12:3–18, a New Testament scripture written by the Apostle Paul, which encourages personal development of Christlike qualities and teaches us how we should treat each other.

During his address, keynote speaker Jonathan Aitken, a former British member of Parliament who came closer to Christ while serving seven months of an 18-month prison sentence for perjury, referred to prayer and repentance, saying, “The spiritual milestones that are effective are as relevant to prisoners as they are to politicians.”

While the annual National Prayer Breakfast is a Christ-centred event, it does not seek to convert people to Christianity. Rather, the aim is simply to meet and pray together with a Christlike attitude of acceptance and respect for each other, with a common goal of praying for Canada and its leaders.

When asked how he felt about the prayerful support of citizens on behalf of government leaders, Bob Zimmer, member of Parliament for Prince George–Peace River–Northern Rockies and chair of the 51st National Prayer Breakfast, said, “We definitely appreciate the prayers of support.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are encouraged to pray often for their countries and their leaders (see “True to the Faith”).

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.