There is an email rumor circulating (I myself have received it a number of times in the past week.) It says that Paul Harvey aired the text of a prayer by Billy Graham and received the largest response ever.
You’ll find facts about the story here.
The prayer actually happened in the Kansas House (not Senate) in Topeka on January 23, 1996. Joe Wright is the pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita and was guest chaplain that day. The prayer of repentence he prayed was written by Bob Russell, pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. It did stir controvery, and one person got up and left.
The controversy kept spinning… Later that year in the Colorado House, Republican representative Mark Paschall used Joe Wright’s prayer as an invocation. It angered the lawmakers and some protested by leaving.
In July 2008, someone started circulating the prayer with Billy Graham’s name attached to it.
I am sure Billy Graham would not want to take credit for something he did not write. But he could have uttered these words, because I know his heart for America. They are words of truth and ring of a righteous standard that we cannot attain, without repentance and the saving blood of Jesus. The prayer is beautiful. In fact, it should become every man’s prayer. Here is the prayer.
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 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; 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 this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.
I ask in in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ