As the members of the Kansas House of Representatives stood and bowed in prayer at the opening of a recent session, some were shocked and offended by what they heard — a heartfelt prayer of corporate confession, forgiveness and divine guidance.
One representative walked out, another sat down in protest. The Wichita Eagle reported: "And the House came alive with the flutter of agitation that comes from offense and its often loud response."
"I have never heard in 10 years as divisive, sanctimonious, self-serving, overbearing prayer as I have heard this morning," one representative said.
However, Rev. Joe Wright who offered the prayer said, "Prayer is prayer. I'm praying to God when I'm praying. I'm not up there to put on a show. I'm here to pray. I don't do it any differently in public than in private ...."
Here is the full text of Wright's prayer:
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've 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 moral pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism.
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 esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbors' 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 Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule, and may their decisions direct us to center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ.
Reprinted from Christians and Society Today, a newsletter supplement of the American Family Association.