On Thursday, May 25th, three us from the Pray Oregon team gathered at the Salem Convention Center to witness the 2017 Oregon Legislative Prayer Breakfast. The last Prayer Breakfast was six years ago. It was a momentous occasion as an estimated 44 legislators (out of the 60 State Representatives and 30 State Senators) were in attendance with over 200 community leaders and praying constituents. There was a lot of enthusiasm and many personal connections were made over coffee before and after the breakfast.
Unity was an overriding theme throughout the morning, where both the Democratic and Republican party leaders, House Speaker Tina Kotek and Minority Leader Mike McLane, did a wonderful job opening and closing together.
Author Paul Young was the keynote speaker, who shared passionately about his life message, the theme in his bestselling book and the movie The Shack. The timely significance of this message of forgiveness and reconciliation to our state legislators, brought a strong spirit of truth during the breakfast. You could have heard a pin drop. His weighty words seem to hang in the air and set the stage for the upcoming next round of difficult sessions at the Capitol.
Senator Jackie Winters gave the background of the annual National Prayer Breakfast, which is held the first Thursday in February. The morning was enriched by the prayers and scripture reading of Senate President Peter Courtney, Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, Representative Teresa Alonso Leon, Representative Rich Vial, and Representative Andy Olson.
One particular point of answered prayer was Representative Janelle Byrum’s report that the weekly Bible study at the State Capitol has grown to over a dozen legislators. Thank You, Lord! We were also blessed by Representative Mark Meek as he beautifully sang Amazing Grace at the close.
Unity, forgiveness and reconciliation during a season of intense decision-making, was the request during the final parting words by leaders Tina and Mike. They emphasized their gratefulness for the unanimous support of the committee to resurrect the Legislative Prayer Breakfast. Although the party leaders may differ politically in the Legislature, as colleagues and friends, there is common ground. They both see the Prayer Breakfast as a significant step of building solidarity and growing unity in our state government, and are hopeful that it will contribute to finding good solutions to the tough issues still outstanding in the state of Oregon. It is a difficult time for legislators in Oregon, and they are grateful for the prayers of Oregonians to make good decisions.
Please continue to pray for our legislators in Oregon, remembering 1 Corinthians 13:13; And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
If you want to reach out to your legislator you can do so at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts-mobile_new.htm