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On the first Thursday of February each year, political, social, and business leaders gather in Washington, D.C., for the Annual Prayer Breakfast. It began in 1953 to build relationships, and since then, every U.S. Chief Executive has participated. The president’s involvement helps to shine the spotlight on the event; and it symbolically conveys the idea that our nation values prayer and dependence upon God. But who knows if our nation at prayer matches the city of Nineveh long ago. Back then, God sent Jonah to warn the people that their city would be destroyed unless they repented and turned from wickedness. The king was convinced that God meant what Jonah said that he led the entire city to turn from their wickedness. The king’s participation helped the residents know the danger was real. God was so moved by this repentance that he changed his mind about destroying the city—much to the displeasure of Jonah. In every generation, God calls and waits for people to turn from self-centered living and show love, justice, and kindness to each other.

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