The Power Of The “Wright” Words
When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing – nothing.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Wichita, Kansas. A small city by the standards by which we measure most cities here in the US with a population of only 382,368 by the last census data collected in 2010. And yet it is the largest city in Kansas, a state situated right in the middle of our nation’s heartland. Kansas is a state known for its wheat production and it’s propensity for severe weather, especially during the summer months when the fury of the tornado has been known to level huge expanses in a matter of moments. But I suspect Kansas never expected to be known as the state when the stormy words of one, Rev Joseph Wright, would very nearly tear down the very walls of the State House of Representatives which is located in the capital city of Topeka.
As is their custom, the legislature welcomed the Rev. Wright, pastor of the Central Christian Church in Wichita, to offer the opening convocation for their session on January 23, 1996. I am sure most of these men and women expected the usual, perfunctory prayer and I am equally certain that most sat, feigning an interest in the words, minds most probably a million miles away, thinking about bills and votes and discussions that were going to happen in just a short few minutes. Then Rev. Wright began to speak. The impact of his words was profound and immediate as many of the state representatives left their seats and promptly exited the chamber. His words prompted nearly 5,000 calls to his church office and of those, there were only a mere 47 negative comments. His words were aired by renowned radio host Paul Harvey on his show, “The Rest of the Story” and resulted in the highest viewer response of any show Mr. Harvey had ever aired. His words earned him the nickname of the Pastor with “GUTS” even as the prayer he offered has become known as “the prayer that wouldn’t die”. Even today, 18 years later, a week rarely passes without Rev. Wright being asked about it. And now you all will be reading it, for perhaps the very first time. And whether or not you agree with or endorse the sentiments expressed yourself, I bet his words will make just as significant an impact on you as they have on millions of people worldwide!
Rev. Wright’s “Wright” Prayer of Repentance
“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 and called it moral pluralism. We have worshipped other Gods and called it multi-culturalism. 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 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, Oh, 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 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 this in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.”
To hear these words in Rev. Wright’s voice, click the YouTube link below.
So the next time you start to say something without thinking about the potential impact your words may have on other people, I hope you will stop and take a breath and think about the far-reaching impact the prayer that just one minister prayed, had on the world. Then ask yourself if you can live with the possibility that the words you speak just might reach many many others, especially people for whom you never expected to hear your words. Then speak only when you are certain that you will be proud should you hear your words said back to you in a day or a week or a month or a year! I am sure the words Rev. Wright spoke made him proud 18 years ago, the day he first spoke them, and I am equally sure they continue to make him proud today! And even more than that, I bet that they will make you proud, as well!
Now ye may see this, as we have declared, not so much by ancient histories, as ye may, if ye search what hath been wickedly done of late through the pestilent behaviour of them that are unworthily placed in authority. And we must take care for the time to come, that our kingdom may be quiet and peaceable for all men,
Esther 8:19-20 KJVA
(from the Apocrypha)
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