Pastor Joe Wright of Central Christian Church, Wichita, Kansas is well-known as one of the leaders who led the campaign for a constitutional amendment banning “same-sex marriage” in Kansas.
On January 22, 1996, a Kansas state legislator, also a member of the Central Christian Church, Wichita called on the pastor at his home and proposed that he deliver the prayer to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, in Topeka on the following day. Consequently, Pastor Wright sat down and wrote a prayer in 30 minutes.
On January 23, 1996, Pastor Joe Wright delivered his prayer before the Kansas House of Representatives. Everyone was expecting the usual broad, non-specific and glittering politically correct generalities but what they heard instead was a stirring prayer, passionately calling the citizens of the country to repentance and righteousness.
The response to the prayer was immediate. According to the Kansas City Star, at least one legislator walked out during the prayer.
Pastor Joe Wright’s prayer sparked a political furore. It went viral on the internet with hundreds of emails republishing and some critiquing it.
In May 1996, Marc Fisher, a senior editor, at the Washington Post wrote that in the ensuing months Pastor Joe Wright’s prayer led to “angry walkouts in two state legislatures, an unprecedented two readings on Paul Harvey’s ABC Radio newscast, more than 6,500 phone calls to Wright’s church and so many boxes of mail that the church staff (didn’t’) know where to put them anymore.“
The Central Christian Church, in Wichita, received unprecedented international requests for copies of this prayer.
Here is the transcription of Pastor Joe Wright’s Prayer:
“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 inverted our values.
“We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your word in the name of moral 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 ‘a lottery.’
“We have 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 esteem.’
“We have abused power and called it ‘political savvy.’
“We’ve coveted our neighbors’ possessions and called it ‘taxes.’
“We’ve polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it ‘freedom of expression.’
“We’ve ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it ‘enlightenment.’
“Search us, oh God, and know our hearts today. Try us, and show us any wicked 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 the center of Your will.
“I ask it in the name of your son, the living savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
- STARK PRAYER SPARKS AN ABSOLUTE POLITICAL FUROR
- Prayer to the Kansas House of Representatives Sparked Furor (thoughtco.com)
- Original Version Of Pastor Joe Wright’s Prayer Before The Kansas State Legislature (believersportal.com)