A few years ago, I decided it would be fun to go to a prayer breakfast. Have you heard of these? Everybody’s doing them. Republicans do them because that’s when all their constituents are awake, Democrats because that’s when all theirs are asleep. They have small ones in small towns for Rotarians and large ones in large towns for presidential candidates. I had been invited to other prayer breakfasts in the past, but always declined, leery of any event that sought to put two perfectly fine things together and ruin both, like “Tupperware” and “Party” or “the Captain” and “Tennille.”
The practice appears to have its roots in the Old Testament, when the Israelites were instructed to make a sacrifice every morning, in preparation for the day’s smitings. In the Middle Ages, the practice of predawn prayer was carried on by monkish folk, who prayed for something new to eat besides warm water. And it continues today, where we prostrate ourselves to the Lord God Almighty in close proximity to serving tubs of powdered eggs and sausage patties of such orthodox shape and size they must have been stamped out of a steel press somewhere deep in the Guangdong Province.