iowa prayer breakfast

“The Iowa Prayer Breakfast exists to glorify Jesus Christ through the public affirmation of His sovereignty over our State and our Nation. In obedience to 2 Chronicles 7:14, we pray for God’s intervention in the affairs of our State and His favor and blessing on our leaders.”


The Iowa Prayer Breakfast continues to be a long-standing tradition where Iowa’s Governor, legislators, community and religious leaders join with the public to ask God’s direction and blessing upon our State.

Started by Des Moines Mayor Reinhold Carlson in 1961, Iowans have continued this beloved tradition for over 50 years, gathering every Maundy Thursday. To widen the scope of the breakfast, the name was changed to the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, a name that continued until 1989, when the name was changed to the Iowa Prayer Breakfast. In 2003, the Committee filed Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and was granted a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) designation.

People from all walks of life come to enjoy this Maundy Thursday celebration with the reading of the Scriptures, local vocalists and musicians, an inspiring message from a selected keynote speaker and, of course, prayer for the state of Iowa. A hearty breakfast is served and Iowans enjoy the company of friends and colleagues as the Easter weekend celebration begins.


iowa prayer breakfast

Past speakers


iowa prayer breakfast

2021 Committee Members


Each year the committee works to find excellent speakers, often in current headlines, who can share an inspirational message. Some are proven leaders, others have changed their communities for the better, and others have come from tragedy to triumph, but all share the Christian faith that we celebrate at Easter time.

The Prayer Breakfast Committee is composed of volunteers from the legislature and business arena who meet each year to organize, raise money, secure an excellent speaker, and promote the Iowa Prayer Breakfast.

The Iowa Prayer Breakfast which operates as a 501(c)(3) corporation is made possible through the support of small business owners, corporations, churches, and private citizens.

The breakfast is open to the public. Friends, co-workers, book clubs, pastors and staff, the business community, students, teachers, the Governor, heads of state, legislators, US Senators, and US Congressman have supported this event.