The Unexpected Prayer


When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new 1996 session of the
Kansas House of Representatives on January 23, 1996, everyone was
expecting the usual politically correct generalities. But what they
heard instead was a stirring prayer, passionately calling our country to
repentance and righteousness. The response was immediate and a number
of legislators walked out during the prayer. In six short weeks, more
than 5,000 phone calls were logged, with only 47 of those calls
responding negatively. Commentator Paul Harvey aired the prayer on the
radio and received a larger response to his program than any other
program he has ever aired. Requests for copies of the prayer are coming
from India, Africa and Korea. Below is a transcript of the prayer:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you to ask your forgiveness. We seek
your direction and your guidance. We know your word says, “Woe to those
who call evil good.” But that’s what we’ve done.

We’ve lost our spiritual equilibrium. We have inverted our values. We
have ridiculed the absolute truth of your word in the name of moral
pluralism. We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We’ve exploited the poor and called it a lottery. We’ve neglected the
needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and
called it welfare. In the name of choice, we have killed our unborn. In
the name of right to life, we have killed abortionists.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building
self-esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have
coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it taxes. We have polluted
the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of
expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers
and called it enlightenment.

Search us, oh, God, and know our hearts today. Try us. Show us any
wickedness within us. Cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide
and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of
the State of Kansas, and that they have been ordained by you to govern
this great state.

Grant them your wisdom to rule. May their decisions direct us to the
center of your will. And, as we continue our prayer and as we come in
out of the fog, give us clear minds to accomplish our goals as we begin
this Legislature. For we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

— Joe Wright