Joe Wright's Prayer Before The Kansas State Legislature

The Sad State of Society

by Gene Taylor

Having had the opportunity to give invocations and benedictions at several city, county, and state functions, I was very interested in reading a newspaper column by noted radio personality Paul Harvey. This article was entitled "What did Pastor Joe Say?" It related an incident that took place in the Kansas State Legislature when Joe Wright, a preacher for the Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas, was asked to deliver the invocation.

It seems that after he was finished, three Democratic state legislators were on their feet in protest to his prayer. They labeled it such things as "divisive," "blaphemous," "overbearing," "ignorant," and "overbearing." One of the legislators said, "He can't talk like that about us!"

When you read this prayer, you will see why I have entitled this article as I have. If these people are truly "representative" of the population in general, things are bad and getting worse. The entire text of the invocation was included in Paul Harvey's column. It now follows.

"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 worshiped 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."

I have studied this prayer. I find nothing in it that conflicts with the will of God. Now I know why those legislators were so upset. You see, to the worldly, the wisdom of God is still "foolishness" (1 Cor. 1:18-25). And, sadly, we are living in a society that is becoming increasingly more worldly all the time. Our only hope is to look to God and place our trust and confidence in Him.