Founder of Prayer Canada remembered as ‘a remarkable man’

Surrey resident Arne Bryan, who died Sunday, lived until the age of 99

Arne Bryan as pictured on the cover of Beth Carson’s book, “Arne Bryan: Pioneer of Prayer Canada.”

Arne Bryan, a Surrey resident who founded Prayer Canada, has died. He was 99.

The organization works to establish prayer groups in government buildings across Canada, including Surrey City Hall.

The Alberta-born Bryan died last Sunday, May 14, after developing pneumonia.

“He was a remarkable man,” said his friend Dolphe Hoffman, who first met Bryan in the early 1970s.

“He had a strong conviction that everyone, all people of Canada, should be praying for their politicians, irrespective of what their political stripes may be. He believed we should pray for those in authority,” Hoffman said.

Prayer Canada’s goal, as stated on its website, is “to encourage Christians to pray for their nation and to establish weekly prayer meetings in their legislatures, city halls, churches and homes.”

In 1977, the group’s first meetings were held at the old Surrey Inn in the “upper room,” according to Hoffman.

In 2006, the group’s prayer meetings at Surrey City Hall were put under review when an item titled “Can a Muslim be a good Canadian?” was published in its newsletter.

Bryan, a former insurance salesman, said he started Prayer Canada after receiving a command to do so from God.

“Pray for those in authority over you so all can live in peace and godliness. That’s the message God gave to me,” he told the Now in 2006.

Bryan stepped down from his leadership role with Prayer Canada in 2013, at a time when his longtime wife, Kathie, was ill. She died later that year.

A celebration of Bryan’s life will take place on Saturday (May 20) at Calvary Worship Centre, 11125 124th St., Surrey, starting at 2 p.m.