Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Hosts His Final Prayer Breakfast, Featuring Guest Speaker Ravi Zacharias

( [email protected] ) Apr 16, 2015 06:06 PM EDT
Bobbi Jindal and Ravi Zacharias
Bobby Jindal (left) and Ravi Zacharias (right) lead prayer at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion on April 14, 2015. (Photo: RZIM Ministries)

On Wednesday, the 51st annual Louisiana Governor's Prayer Breakfast was held in the state's capitol of Baton Rouge. The sold out event, hosted by Governor Bobby Jindal (Rep.) featured guest speaker Ravi Zacharias, founder and president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

"We are coming together to worship our risen Lord," said Jindal. "And that is a wonderful thing in a society that is becoming more and more secular and at a time when there are those who want to take God out of the public square."

Held near the opening days of the Louisiana Legislature, the interdenominational event is centered on Jesus Christ and the promotion of His glory. According to its website, the annual gathering exists for attendees to "seek God's guidance for all leaders and citizens of our State, and to strengthen ourselves for the journey as we try to live as a responsible community of faith."

"It's an amazing spiritual time and it's a privilege to be able to do this," Jindal said.

The Louisiana breakfast was born from the International Christian Leadership movement which initiated other events like the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Every sitting U.S. president since President Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in that breakfast at least once during their tenure in the White House.

In February, President Obama's remarks at the annual breakfast caught the attention of republicans and democrats alike, and Jindal - a presidential hopeful for 2016 - did not shy away from expressing his own concern over the president's speech.

"It was nice of the president to give us a history lesson at the prayer breakfast," Jindal said the day after the breakfast. "Today, however, the issue right in front of his nose, in the here and now, is the terrorism of Radical Islam, the assassination of journalists, the beheading and burning alive of captives."

The governor's comments came after President Obama referred to the "terrible deeds" committed during the Crusades and the Inquisition in the name of Christ, as well as the more recent discrimination that occurred in the U.S.

Jindal added that medieval Christianity is over, and asked the president to focus on dealing with radical Islam.

During his time in Louisiana, Zacharias - whose organization seeks to "reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" - also discussed increased threats toward the gospel and followers of Christ.

"As I travel around and see all that is going on, I use the analogy...about us being on the high seas with our chart and our campus," he said. "And what is even worse is we don't even know the destination of where we are headed. At a time like this the gospel is needed but the challenge is how to bring the gospel...so often in a hostile setting in different parts of the world."

Wednesday's gathering at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge marked the eighth and final prayer breakfast that Jindal would attend as the governor of Louisiana.

And while he has yet to put in a bid for the White House - he has been endorsed by fellow Louisiana resident Willie Robertson - his focus yesterday was not political.

"It's a couple hours where I'm not a governor but I'm just a brother in Christ," he said. "I'm a sinner just like everyone else in that room, and what makes me valuable is not this title, not this home, not this office, but rather that He died for me and I was created in God's image."

Zacharias, who has served as guest speaker for many prayer breakfast events around the globe, shared in Jindal's sentiments in remembering the reason they gathered on Wednesday.

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only truth we know that transforms hearts," he said.