Recently there was an annual event in the U.S. called the “National Day of Prayer.” While the vast majority of Americans are totally unaware of this yearly call to pray for America, it is very important – for obvious reasons. For me, the biggest prayer I believe we Americans need to pray is a prayer of repentance:

“Oh God, please forgive America – please have mercy on us!”

prayericon.jpg falling on our faces

One American pastor – Rev. Joe Wright – felt that way back in 1996 and offered the prayer below as the opening prayer at a session of the Kansas House of Representatives. Sadly, he was severely criticized by many. Though I may not agree completely with every point (for example, every welfare recipient is not lazy), nevertheless, all these years later I stand with him in praying this prayer to Almighty God for America. . .


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’ve 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 multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

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 neighbors’ 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 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.



Joe Wright’s prayer was primarily about our sins at home. . .here. . .in America. I am an American. I love my country and I know we have helped people all over the world in many, many ways for many, many years. But I also believe that in our pride (American “exceptionalism”) and greed, we have abused our incredible power on the world stage.

We as Americans – like all nations, like all peoples – have sinned against a totally holy God and He will judge us.

And so I pray,

“Oh God, please forgive America – please have mercy on us!”

I am encouraged that God hears this kind of humble prayer from any person from any nation who belongs to Him:

prayer_w_caption.jpg if my people. . .