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The Preacher's Prayer That Stirred Protest In the Kansas Legislature-Truth!

 

 

 

bulletSummary of eRumor: 
The email says that a session of the Kansas State Senate was opened in prayer by a Pastor Joe Wright.  His prayer was a sizzling one and prompted controversy.  The story says that several members of the Senate got up and walked out and that Paul Harvey aired the text of the prayer and it prompted the largest response he's ever had.
bulletThe Truth:  
This event actually happened in the Kansas House (not Senate) in Topeka on January 23, 1996.   Joe Wright is the pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita and 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. 

Paul Harvey did air the story and the prayer.  He got such a large response that a phone number was set up to handle the calls.  He's aired it a couple more times since.
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

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 in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.  In 6 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.
 
 Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on "The Rest of the Story" on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

 With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called one nation under God.
 
  If possible,  please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don't  stand for something, you'll fall for everything."
 

 

 


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