Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Billy Graham's Prayer for Our Nation

I've been meaning to write a blog post about our tendency to justify selfish motives, and maybe I still will. But I received an e-mail today with this prayer, credited to Billy Graham*, and I thought it timely to pass on here.

“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 reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. 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 politics. 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; cleanse us from sin and set us free. Amen!”

 The scripture address, by the way, is Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

*Snopes.com says this is not Billy Graham's composition. It has circulated before as Paul Harvey's prayer, but it can be traced to a Kansas pastor's speech in 1996. A Reverend Joe Wright offered his version of this prayer, originally written by Bob Russell for a Kentucky prayer breakfast the year before.

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