Pastor Joe Wright’s Prayer, a Gift to America

If you’re like me, you can’t watch the news without feeling grieved. My husband and I happened to be in Raleigh the evening of the Pride parade. We prayed for the city and for our Big God to reveal Himself to the supporters, the curious, and the deceived. On the way home God winked at us through a beautiful real rainbow!

Someone sent me Pastor Joe Wright’s prayer offered at the opening session of the Kansas Senate in 1996. It shook many of the hearers then. In light of our culture, it sounds even more radical now. Pausing a moment to pray it, or a prayer of your choice, is the best birthday gift we can offer America.

Pastor Joe Wright’s #prayer at the opening session of the Kansas Senate in 1996 shook many of the hearers. Do we have the humility to pray it today? #America, #July4th Click To Tweet

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.’ And that’s exactly what we’ve done.

We’ve lost our spiritual equilibrium.

We’ve inverted our values.

We confess that we’ve ridiculed the absolute Truth of Your Word in the name of moral pluralism.

We’ve worshiped other gods and called it ‘multiculturalism.’

We’ve endorsed perversion and called it ‘alternative lifestyle.’

We’ve exploited the poor and called it a ‘lottery.’

We’ve neglected the needy and called it ‘self-preservation.’

We’ve rewarded laziness and called it ‘welfare.’

Father, in the name of ‘choice,’ we have killed our unborn, and then in the name of ‘right to life,’ we’ve killed abortionists.

We’ve neglected to discipline our children and called it ‘building esteem.’

We have abused power and called it ‘political savvy.’

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ‘taxes.’

We have 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, O God, know our hearts today, try us and show us any wickedness in us. And then 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.


We’re called to pray for the world, our nation, and our leaders. We’re also called to turn from our sin and put God first. May we dedicate ourselves to obeying Him in every detail of our lives (Phil. 2:12–13).

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV).

Comment here.



For a great recap on the role prayer played in our founding, check out this article at Give Him Fifteen, An Appeal to Heaven.

I’m currently listening to Letter to the American Church by Eric Metaxas. He draws chilling parallels between the American church and the churches in Germany during the early reign of Hitler.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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  1. J.D. Wininger

    Oh, but how it saddens me to think of how many prayers have been uttered in the public forum, and like this one, has largely been ignored by the people of this once great nation. It grieves me to consider the complacency and disregard I may have exhibited and how that has resulted in what has happened in this nation. As a Christian American, I must accept my portion of the blame because this has happened “on my watch.” Was it inevitable? I can’t know that answer. What I know is that I could have spoken up and spoken out more. I look at what has become of this nation and I can’t help but hear the words of Rev. Niemöller echoing through the halls of history. Thank you for this stark reminder my friend.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      J.D., I am with you. I look back and remember my indignation as I saw glimpses of what was happening in our schools and culture. But I naively couldn’t believe people would buy into it.
      Lord, help us to represent You to the world as You intended. And have mercy on us and grant us true repentance.

  2. Connie O'Neil

    Thank you Debbie! What a beautiful prayer!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Connie!

  3. Jane

    Excellent message. So needed. Thank you.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Jane. God bless!

  4. Annie Yorty

    A perfect prayer for our times, Debbie. I join you in praying. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Annie. May God awaken our hearts and grant us true repentance and faith in Him.

    • Shalini

      It was a feast very early in the morning listening to such genuine and honest prayers to God …yes it’s sometime so horrifying to see the condition in India ,how Christians are being persecuted here everyday …May God almighty help us all to stand firm in our faith and fight the good fight …thank u for the encouragement Debbie..much love and prayers from India’

      • Debbie W. Wilson

        Shalini, I join you in praying for the persecuted church.

  5. Ann J Musico

    He nailed where we are today. God help us and help us to shine the light of Your love and grace in our world.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Amen! Thanks, Ann.

  6. Michele Morin

    Wright and Chesterton are singing from the same hymnal!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yes! Loved the Chesterton quote you used on your blog. “Can we hate it enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing?”

  7. Jeanne Takenaka

    Deb, thank you for sharing this prayer. It’s powerful. I prayed it for our country and my state.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Jeanne, what a good idea to specify our states too. God bless.

  8. Joanne Viola

    May we keep praying for our country and individual states in the days ahead.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Joanne, I think of Samuel who said he would not stop praying for Israel even when she rebelled against God.

  9. Donna Reidland

    It’s always good to reread his prayer. And to remember it starts with us.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yes it does. Thanks, Donna.

  10. Joanna Eccles

    Wow! What a powerful prayer. Thank you for sharing. I pray that we as the church will not be silent when the world calls evil “good” and good “evil.”

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Me too, Joanna. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  11. Yvonne Morgan

    Wow that is so powerful. I am printing it so I can pray it too. We need this kind of boldness in our churches. Thanks for sharing Debbie.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yvonne, it’s amazing how powerful speaking truth is. It cuts through the fog and lets in the light.

  12. Tammy Kennington

    Debbie, this is such a sobering prayer. Oh, that we would call out to Him on behalf of our children and our nation. Thank you for sharing this message.


    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Tammy, it is sobering. And yes, may we not stop crying out to Him. Thanks for reading!

  13. Sylvia Schroeder

    Sorry I’m late on this, but it’s too good to ignore. What a powerful and sobering prayer. How we need God’s hand to bring revival to His people and nation!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Amen! Lord Jesus, please hear our prayers.

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