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National Prayer Breakfast keeps true to tradition

By 2nd Lt Naomi Evangelista | 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs | Feb. 26, 2007

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — A yearly tradition was honored here Thursday during the National Prayer Breakfast. 

The breakfast was hosted by Col. Richard M. Clark, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, and sponsored by the Randolph Chapel. 

Guests were welcomed into the enlisted club with music by the First Baptist Academy Ensemble. Colonel Clark was the guest speaker for the ceremony, which also included the posting of the colors, prayer, narrations, readings, and special music from the Randolph Gospel Choir. 

The tradition of the National Prayer Breakfast began in 1942 when prayer breakfast groups were organized in the Senate and House of Representatives to meet weekly and pray for their individual spiritual needs and to affirm the dependency of America on God. 

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and members of the Senate and House prayer groups established the first Presidential Prayer Breakfast. The breakfast became a yearly observance, known as the Annual National Prayer Breakfast. In 1970, the name was changed to The National Prayer Breakfast to emphasize the individuals attending and their purpose in gathering. 

Yearly, as soon as Congress convenes, the President, Vice-President, Cabinet members, Senators and Representatives, Justices of the Supreme Court, Government officials and other military leaders gather to pray and celebrate our nation's spiritual and moral heritage. 

During a National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 1 at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington D.C., President George W. Bush said, "We are a nation of prayer. America prays. Each day millions of our citizens bow their heads in silence and solitude, or they offer up prayers in fellowship with others." 

The observance on military installations and in communities across the nation is an extension of the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C. The purpose remains what it was in 1942, "to bring together the leadership of the United States in recognition of moral and spiritual values upon which the Nation is founded," said Colonel Clark.