Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Prayer for the Nation

While not word-for-word accurate, this is a fair transcription of an actual prayer delivered before the Kansas House of Representatives by Central Christian Church Pastor Joe Wright on January 23, 1996. It has circulated continuously on the Internet ever since. At least one legislator walked out during the prayer, according to the Kansas City Star. Others made speeches criticizing what the House Minority Leader, a Democrat, called "the extreme, radical views" reflected in the prayer. It was aired nationally on the radio in February 1996 by Paul Harvey.

THE 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 reversed our values.
We confess:
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 alternative lifestyle.
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 every sin and set us free.
Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the Name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.



My Comment:
In reflecting on this I wondered what I would pray if asked to pray in our Parliament. I do not like this prayer, because it shuts out people of other religious beliefs. But instead of criticising it, I thought to respond to it. Using the structure of the above prayer, I offer the following as my suggestion:


"O God our Creator, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know that the prophets Amos and Hosea said, “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 by practicing ‘closed door tendering’ for government projects
We have killed our unborn with our slowness in providing antiretroviral medication
We have not paid attention to our children, and called it building a career.
We have abused power, and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbour's possessions, and called it ambition.
We have sexually abused our women, and called it culture.
We have destroyed our natural environment, and called it 'development'.
We have selfishly accumulated material possessions, and called this God's blessings.
We have closed our eyes to crime, and asked the victims to emigrate.
We have ridiculed the religious beliefs of our neighbour, and called it evangelism.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and let us treasure our hard won freedom. Amen!"


Your comments?
And I hope that you will find a way to pray with me for our nation.

4 comments:

Kentish Exile said...

Thank you Rock for reassuring me that loving our neighbours does not stop outside a Mosque, or Temple. I find myself surrounded by increasingly negative attitudes towards other religions, particularly Islam. I fear that the society I am living in is itself reacting to a misunderstood idea that acknowledging and valuing other religions 'weakens' Christ's message. That we lose our 'Christianess' if we talk to Muslims about God. And we are wholly against God if we listen to Islam about God.
Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone in seeing God's logic being above and beyond our own.
I would love to pray this prayer in a service here in the 'Garden of Enlgand' where mission is only for countries in the Third World, and its much easier to send money. If I did pray this in a service, it would draw serious negative comment, and would drive a wedge between my employer and myself. But I will pray this prayer with you, and find a way of including it in the ministry to the wealthy.
Thank you for being prophetic once more.

Wessel Bentley said...

Can I use it on Sunday?

Thanks for this powerful piece.

Anonymous said...

Once again........ I salute you!

Anonymous said...

"We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery."
exploited the poor? the lottery has made so many people rich at the cost of $1 and people have a choice about these things its a form of gambling...

"We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare."
NO! not laziness, people make mistakes big and small those who mess up once should deserve a second chance. welfare only applies to some not all who are jobless.

"We have killed our unborn and called it choice."
i personally believe in abortion its fine if u dont but, i really think its up to the mother. sure its gross ive seen the pics of dead fetuses its not a peasant sight to see and its wrong sometimes, but do u really think everyone should have children even if theyre not fit? people have different reasons for CHOOSING abortion and there are plenty of cases in which i would slap the mother if she chose to abort despite the situation.

"We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable."
violence is wrong, but it will always exist as long as there are extremists around and theres nothing we can do to stop it, the most we can do is limit their numbers...

"We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem."
hahaha makes me laugh.. this is a new age now everybody has their own unique personalities and standards no one should have to live by someone elses opinions

"We have abused power and called it politics."
politics sucks period.. greedy bastards, but few are still straight among the crooked. point is without a proper form of government the world would be in chaos.

"We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition."
no idea what this means but freeloading is human nature no matter how much u like god or jesus or muhammed or whatever..

"We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression."
we call it freedom of expression because it IS freedom of expression if you dont like it move to a country where they hang you for speaking up, and the porn part well.. thats part of being human its not unnatural and shouldnt be denied and repressed

"We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment."
i smell hypocrisy... freedom of speech was one of our fore-fathers' values and it should be carried on, and it didnt really specify the value that was lost, but it might be for a reason. if we never think outside the box, open up our minds, immigrants will be picked on, blacks will be slaves, and the KKK / Nazis will try to kill off anyone not on their list of "approved races"

all this is just my opinion im probably wrong but i standby it proudly