The Burger King Way

Awesome God, what a perversion of your kindness and grace it is to exalt into an idol the freedom of choice that you have granted us as human beings. How utterly ungrateful we are to take the choice you give us as men and women and use it to break your heart. How sorry I am for any tendency of my heart to use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh (Galatians 5:13), as a way to conceal evil (1 Peter 2:16) and bless myself secretly, saying to myself, “I will be all right, even though I will stubbornly keep doing whatever I feel like doing” (Deuteronomy 29:19, Complete Jewish Bible). Please save me from such tendencies, and help me instead to cast all idols far from my heart and life. Teach me to live in the freedom you give me, standing firm, pleasing you, and serving those around me through love, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter eleven, "The Burger King Way," in my book, American Idols)

The Martha Malady

Father, thank you for revealing to me the danger of busyness in my life. I don’t want to be faithless, foolish, or feckless. Please show me the extent of my own tendencies to bow to the idol of busyness. Convince and convict me of all ungodliness. I repent; help me to bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Luke 3:8).

Help me to truly and wholeheartedly believe in you, and not in myself, my abilities, or my activity. Help me to find significance in you and in my obedience to you, not in the false importance of busyness. Help me to overcome the laziness of letting other people set my schedule for me, and not lazily abdicate the essential work of deciding and directing, establishing values and setting goals.

Finally, Lord, teach me the bane of busyness in my life, and the hurt that hurry does to me, and reward my earliest efforts at overcoming this idol with early rewards, that I might sit at your feet and learn to enjoy the “better things” that come only—and generously—from you, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter fifteen, "The Martha Malady," in my book, American Idols)

The Superman Myth

God, you created the heavens and the earth. You created me. You are God. You are my God. I bow before you. I worship you. I exalt you and glorify you above all.

Forgive me for ever bowing to the idol of humanism. Forgive me for ever thinking that I can accomplish anything apart from you. You are the vine, and I am the branch; apart from you I can do nothing.

Thank you for all your good gifts to me. Save me from the idolatry of forgetting you and thinking that my own power and my own ability have gotten those things for me. You give me the power to gain wealth and to accomplish great things. You have promised that I can do even greater things than Jesus did on this earth, but only if I trust in you and rely on you moment by moment.

Teach me, Lord God, that it is not by might, nor by power, but by your Spirit (Zechariah 4:6) that I do anything, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter seven, "The Superman Myth," in my book, American Idols)

This New Day

Dear Lord,

It is a new day. The sun is shining and I have no idea what today will bring. I pray today that You would set a watch over my mouth, that my words would be sweet, and my motives pure. I ask for Your strength to face the day, Your power when I am weak, and Your light to see my way through those dark moments. Please take my hand and lead me through.


(borrowed from the Daily Prayer Blog)


Lord, please save me
from pharisaism
and from Pharisees.

Save me from those who would control,
and condemn others.
Save me from those who see sin
in others but not themselves.
Save me from those whose arrogance
and lack of self-knowledge
allows them to sin against others
while calling them sinners.

Have mercy on me, a sinner,
and save me from my constant tendency
to be a Pharisee, too,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer from Alexi Murdoch

My salvation
lies in
your love.

(from Alexi Murdoch's "Orange Sky")

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Abba, Father, thank you for electricity:
its creation,
its discovery,
its availability.

Thank you for the electricity
that lights the darkness,
that charges our phones,
that pumps our water,
cools our home,
connects us to the internet,
provides hot showers,
washes our clothes,
chills our food,
cooks our meals,
powers our medical equipment,
and more.

It is just one of your many gifts,
and one we take for granted.

Thank you.

For the People of Norway

Author of life,
Man has turned violent,
Cutting down youth in Utoya, Norway,
Our children,
Future leaders,
Brothers and sisters,
Crushing lives,
Upending dreams,
Attacking hope for tomorrow.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of murder in Utoya
Whose lives were cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression.
Remember the survivors of this horror,
And the victims of any disaster,
Any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear,
And lead us to a time when no one will suffer at the hand of another.
Grant the people of Norway Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

At the Start of a Writer's Conference

as you know,
this week I'll be speaking to hundreds of writers.

Help me to instruct,
and guide
with wisdom
and effectiveness.

Grant more energy,
focus, and
than I could ever possess
or relay
on my own.

Let your Spirit rest on me
and work in me
and through me,
according to your good pleasure
and perfect will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Sixth Anniversary Prayer

Lord God Adonai,
thank you for the first six years
of this prayer blog.

Thank you for all 1,758 prayers
I have prayed on this blog
to date.

Thank you for the blessings
and growth
and grace
that have come to me
through these prayers,
and for the many thousands of other people
who have read them
and prayed them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(to see the first prayer posted on this blog, go here)

The La-Z-Boy Life

God, I confess that I value my own comfort too highly, and sometimes exalt my own comfort above your commands and plans for my life, especially when I _____________. I confess that I don’t believe in you as I should. But I want to.

Help me to believe that you are in control. Help me believe that you know what you’re doing. Help me believe that you know what is best for me. Help me believe that if I put you in the driver’s seat you will not hurt me. Help me believe that if I deny myself and sacrifice my own comfort, you will take care of me. Help me believe that your will is far better than my own comfort. Help me believe that what you want out of me is more important than what I want (or think I want) out of life.

Please teach me to be more and more like your Son, “who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame” (Hebrews 12:2), denying himself and sacrificing himself for my salvation and my eternal good. Teach me to endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3) and to consider it a great joy whenever I experience trials, knowing that the testing of my faith produces endurance. Let endurance do its complete work in me, so that I may be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4), in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter thirteen, "The La-Z-Boy Life," in my book, American Idols)


Goodnight, Lord.
Thank you for answered prayer,
For taking care of Aubrey and keeping her safe,
For two-and-a-half days of amazing productivity,
For blessing
And peace
And joy.

Now I plead again for news of a healthy baby
when the results of the amnio come in.
Hear my prayer,
my King and my God,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The Modern Baal

Gracious God, I confess my flirtation with mammon. I confess that I have placed too much faith in money and far too little faith in you.

Teach me not to trust in money, which will soon be gone. Teach me to use my money to do good, to give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever you have given me. Teach me to store up real treasure for myself in heaven.

I submit to your lordship. I commit myself to a tithe. I commit to new giving goals, especially _______________ and _______________. And I commit to stretching myself in this “grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7), that I may cooperate with you in breaking the chains of mammon that would enslave me, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter fourteen, "The Modern Baal," in my book, American Idols)

The Passion for Fashion

God of beauty, God of all, I confess to you the ungodly ways that I focus on outward appearance, both mine and others, especially ____________________. Please deliver me from all extremes, from all idolatrous tendencies to please men instead of you.

Help me to seek your approval. Help me to bask in the knowledge that I am “remarkably and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Help me to learn what pleases you and to pursue modesty, decency, and propriety in how I appear to others, that I might glorify you. And help me to clothe myself with good deeds, that those around me might see me and glorify you, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter twelve, "The Passion for Fashion," in my book, American Idols)

Provider Prayer

Oh Lord, You have been good.
You have been faithful to all generations.

Oh Lord, Your steadfast love
and tender mercy has been my salvation.

For by Your hand I have been fed,
And by Your Spirit I have been led.

Oh, Lord, you are my Yahweh Yireh.
You have provided for me and mine.
Thank you, amen.

(First three stanzas from the song, "You Have Been Good," by Twila Paris)

The Eros Ethos

Father, I believe that your divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness through my knowledge of you who called me by your own glory and goodness. I also believe that you have given me your very great and precious promises, so that through them I may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world—and in my life—caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Please deliver me from all forms of sexual idolatry. Change my way of thinking. Change my way of acting. Change the way I respond to the incessant flow of sexual stimuli in the world around me. Help me to be more than victorious through you and your love for me. Help me to obey you and reflect you in all I do, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter ten, "The Eros Ethos," in my book, American Idols)

The Lexus Nexus

Heavenly Father, I do not want to pursue or reflect the world’s idea of success. I do not want to install the idol of success in my beliefs and behaviors instead of you or ahead of you.

Please cure me of a false assessment of success; save me from pursuing status, power, position, or recognition. Deliver me from the “relentless drive to enhance my image in the eyes of admirers.

Heal me from having a flawed agenda for pursuing success; help me to seek not to lord it over anyone, but to be like the Son of Man, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45). Help me to feel your pleasure in truly serving others, in literally or figuratively washing their feet, and in stooping low so that I may identify with my Lord who stooped all the way from heaven to earth for my sake.

And please grant that my life may reflect the only godly application of success in bringing glory to you and honor to your name. Save me, too, from being proud of my humility when I spurn the pleasure of achievement and scorn compliments and praise.

Shatter the idol of success in me and be exalted to your rightful place in my heart, mind, and life, my King and my God, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter nine, "The Lexus Nexus," in my book, American Idols)

The Drive for Instant Gratification

Abba, thank you for showing me that I don’t have to be a slave to my passions, and least of all to my drive for instant gratification. Please forgive my idolatry, and help me to cast this idol far away from me, even as you continue to show me how the “microwave mentality” shows up in other areas of my life.

Help me to return to you with all my heart, with fasting (Joel 2:12). Enable me to crucify my flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24), in order that sin’s dominion over my body may be abolished, so that I may no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). Teach me to discipline my body and bring it under strict control (1 Corinthians 9:27) in order to worship and serve you fully. And help me to be the kind of person who by constant use of my spiritual muscles trains myself to distinguish between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter six, "The Microwave Mentality," in my book, American Idols)

The Myth of More

God, I confess my desire to acquire and repent of my consumerism. I confess that I sometimes believe that having more things will make me happier, more important, or more secure. Please teach me to be grateful for what I have instead of always wanting something new or something more. Teach me to defy the myth of more and set my mind and heart on eternal things instead of material things. Teach me to keep my life free from the love of money and possessions and be content with what I have, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter two, "The eBay Attitude," in my book, American Idols)

The Cult of Personal Experience

Father God, I want to believe in you when I feel like it and when I don’t. I want to triumph in you when the fig tree buds and when there is no fruit at all on the vine. I want to love you when times are good and when times are bad. I want to rejoice in you even when the crop fails and there are no sheep in the pen, no cattle in the stall, and no money in the bank. I want to worship you not primarily to bring pleasure to me, but to give pleasure to you, and to give the glory that is due your name (Psalm 29:2).

Deliver me from the cult of personal experience, and help me to learn anew how to worship you and enjoy you forever, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter eight, "The Cult of Personal Experience," in my book, American Idols)

Corkscrew Slide

please make me
like a child
who launches out
from the top of a corkscrew slide,
trusting his unseen father
to be there when needed
to safely catch him
and pick him up,
in Jesus' name, amen.

You Make Us Glad

O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Day of War

Lord, my God,
My salvation,
cover my head in the day of war;
shield me in the heat of battle.

(based on Psalm 140:7)

One Step Enough

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

(a prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Summer Thanks

A sudden thundershower,
fresh peaches,
a mouthful of watermelon seeds,
crushed mint,
a Frisbee on the beach:

For these I give you thanks, O God.

(one of "Ten Prayers for Summer" by Rick Hamlin, executive editor of Guideposts)

Lift My Empty Cup

I come to this day, Lord,
and lift my empty cup
to the overflowing fountain
of your strength
and sufficiency.

You are more than enough
for all I need this day.

A Prayer on Independence Day

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 235th birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2011,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for a Repentant Heart

Lord, please give me
a thoroughly repentant heart;
let tears flow down my cheeks,
let me weep unceasingly,
without relief (Jeremiah 3:49),
whenever I depart from
your good, perfect, and pleasing will (Romans 12:2).
Make me hyper-sensitive
to sin in my heart and life,
and uncompromising in my daily task
in partnering with the Holy Spirit,
my comforter and guide,
in rooting it out,
in Jesus' name,

One More Vacation Prayer

Gracious God, my time away is nearly over. Nourish in me excitement for going back to my daily life with renewed anticipation, ready to dig into the work and relationships that make my life meaningful and productive. Let me feel the creative impulse moving through me again. Help me take with me the tenderness that has nourished and refreshed me. May these times of quiet and rest, adventure and play give me new ways to think about my work and the demands of my life. May I always know that life is a balance between giving and receiving, working and resting, doing and being. May I do each with a heart filled with joy and gratitude. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.


Another Prayer On Vacation

Gracious God, in the midst of the busy-ness of my life, I often forget that you are near me, waiting patiently for my attention. I come to you when I am troubled, but I am so easily consumed with the round of activity that I don’t sit in stillness and feel your presence in the beat of my heart. Help me now, while I am away from work, to enter the space of quiet awe within my own soul, and find you there. Give me the silence and solitude I need to hear my heart beat again. Let me be astonished by the movement of your breath in me and startled by the closeness of your Spirit, so that when I return to the demands of my life, I will know again the importance of staying in your presence. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.