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                               Letter from Jesus to the Modern Church

In Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, Jesus wrote letters to seven churches in the province of Asia. If He were to compose a similar letter to us today, it could well read like this:

"To the angel of the church in America write. . .

The Holy, Almighty, Sovereign One says this: 'Know your deeds.

‘You have built impressive buildings that include the latest technology. You have programs for every conceivable type of person, and you are culturally relevant in every way possible. But I have this against you — you have forgotten that church is really about Me.

'You have replaced spirit-led worship with well-staged entertainment so the congregation simply sits back and watches the "show."

‘You have replaced uncompromised, biblically-based sermons with non-threatening, theologically light, feel-good motivational speeches that are focused on yourselves rather than on Me.

'You have traded deep, probing Bible studies for the latest fad on the best-seller list.

‘You have forgotten that prayer is the key to my heart and have become self-reliant and self-sufficient.

‘You have allowed the culture to influence your way of thinking so that you look no different than the world.

'You are My beloved bride, but you have gone after other lovers — popularity, numbers and "success." In your quest to be culturally relevant, you have become spiritually irreverent.

'The results are disastrous. America is falling apart morally, and you, My church, are powerless to change its course.

'Repent! I say again, repent!

‘Humble yourselves before Me, and return to Me. Make Me the object of your devotion. Seek My approval. Surrender totally to Me. Cleanse yourself of the sins of compromise, half-heartedness and self-sufficiency.

'Die to self so that I may live in you and use you to turn your society away from destruction and toward the truth and the peace that is found only in Me. Oh, My bride, come back to Me. I love you.

'He who has ears to hear, let him hear what I say to the church in America.'"

             [We are indebted to Pastor Frank Nolton for his thoughts]


This event happened in the Kansas House 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 stirred a 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.

News commentator, Paul Harvey, aired the story and the prayer. He received such a large response that a phone number was set up to handle the calls. Since then, he has aired it a couple more times.


When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas House, 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 justice;

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 any wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless the leaders of this country, of our state, and our community who have been ordained by You. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.

I ask 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.


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