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EDITOR'S NOTE: When the Rev. Joe Wright of Central Christian Church in Topeka, Kan., was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate in 1996, everyone was expecting the usual politically correct generalities. But what they heard instead was a stirring prayer passionately calling our country to repentance and righteousness. A number of state senators walked out during the prayer. Within six weeks, Central Christian Church had logged more than 5,000 phone calls, with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. Radio commentator Paul Harvey aired the prayer and received a larger response than any other program he has ever aired. Central Christian Church has received international requests for copies of the prayer. Here is Wright's prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek your direction and guidance. We know your Word says, "Woe on 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 in multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called in 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. Cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide us 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.