Kansas Prayer

Now and then someone shows up and dares to say it like it is. Pastor Joe Wright is such a person. In the Kansas House in Topeka on January 23, 1996, Joe Wright, the pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita, was guest chaplain that day.  He prayed a prayer of repentance that was written by Bob Russell, pastor of  Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. According to an article in the Kansas City Star from January 24, 1996, his prayer did stir controversy and one member of the legislative body walked out.  Others criticized the prayer.  The controversy didn’t end there.  Later that year in the Colorado House, Republican representative Mark Paschall angered lawmakers by using Joe Wright’s prayer as the invocation.  Some members there also walked out in protest.

Here is a the prayer that upset a few, but inspired many more:

Heavenly Father,

We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ”Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism;

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;

We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation;

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;

We have killed our unborn and called it choice;

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;

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 ambition;

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, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in 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 this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.

I ask in the name of your Son, the Living Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.  In six short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.

Thanks, Pastor Wright, for not falling in silence (like so many of us) but standing up for the good!

4 replies »

  1. Just a clarification I gave to the friends at Facebook:

    “Of course, everyone may comment here as they want – and by doing so FEEL what they want. But to clarify: What this preacher is talking about is the state of the world: that we have inverted our values, calling evil good, etc. I think I can speak for most Christians, at least, that this is no doubt a general consensus. So he is just telling us what is PRINCIPALLY wrong with society’s way of thinking. Now sure, there may be those of you who find some of his wording a bit off, but personally I think he is spot on! You just have to look at the context of the words. About “welfare”, for example, here again the preacher is talking about a principle: that for a large host of people welfare has come to mean pacification. He certainly didn’t say that we should forget the poor. On the contrary, in the previous two lines he talks about the importance of not neglecting the needy and not exploiting the poor.
    So friends, you’re entitled to your opinion. but so am I 🙂
    This prayer has a lot of HEART!”

  2. What a great prayer!!! I am so glad someone really dares to say it!!! I’m gonna save this myself! Thanks a lot for sharing Louis!


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