Here's another gospel-drenched prayer from Scotty Smith. I suggest we all make this prayer our own every day:

Heavenly Father, in Rome I saw the statues of various gods that filled the temples and lifestyle of that great ancient city. In London, I visited the biggest Buddhist temple in the city and wandered from station to station as worshippers offered prayers and gifts to deities that looked so strange to me. In Israel, I studied decaying remains of various idols which competed for the worship of the people of God.

Yet for me to obey John's command to keep myself from idols requires so much more than simply staying away from ancient sites, pagan temples and man-made idols. Father, I've never been more aware of the invisible pantheon of idols that are constantly angling and clamoring for my heart's worship.

Sometimes the approval or rejection from people has more sway over my heart than what you think about me. Sometimes my need to be right is more compelling to me than being righteous in Christ. Sometimes my desire to be in control of my world and circumstances claims much more of my time and energy than seeking you and basking in your love.

Have mercy on me, Father, and free my foolish heart from giving anything or anyone the attention, allegiance, affection and adoration you alone deserve. That I am your "dear child," forgiven, secure, righteous and beloved in Christ, should be all the motivation I need to keep myself from any form of idolatry. May the gospel of your grace relentlessly expose and dethrone all "empty nothings" from my heart. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus' name.