A Prayer of Repentance
I came across this prayer several years ago and was reminded of it recently when a friend posted it on Facebook. It has been attributed to Billy Graham and Paul Harvey used it on his radio programs, but it was not from either of these men. This prayer actually comes from the Rev. Joe Wright, senior pastor of the Central Christian Church in Wichita. He was invited to deliver the opening prayer at a session of the Kansas House of Representatives on January 1996. He did not know what a ruckus his prayer caused until his secretary called him and asked him what he had done? One Representative walked out in the midst of his prayer, others took to the floor after he had left and accused him of intolerance and of being a right-wing extremist. His church began receiving phone calls of criticism and support. They stopped counting the calls at 6,500. Here is the prayer in which he prays for repentance:
“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. 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 politics. 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, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and set us free. Search us oh 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.”
Offered by Rev. Dr. Michael Elmore
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