Workday Prayers: Don’t Make an Idol Through Your Work

By Mark D. Roberts

June 22, 2023

Scripture — Psalm 135:15-18 (NRSV)

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
    they have eyes, but they do not see;
they have ears, but they do not hear,
    a nose, but there is no breath in their mouths.
Those who make them
    and all who trust them
    shall become like them.


Human hands can do wonderful work. Our hands can make beautiful art. Our hands can heal broken bodies. Our hands can build homes, cook dinner, or embrace children. Yet our hands can also do horrible work, work that wounds, injures, breaks, and steals. With our hands we can form idols that lead us away from God. Sometimes we even make an idol of our work, putting the value of work above all other things. Psalm 135 warns us about our capacity to do work that dishonors God.


Gracious God, today I’m reminded about how our work can make things that dishonor you. Our work can draw us away from you. Our work can even become an idol, something we worship with our time, attention, and love.

O Lord, if I have made work an idol, show me so that I might repent. May my work never be the most important thing in my life. On the contrary, may it always be something I offer to you, recognizing your supreme sovereignty and goodness.

Give me eyes to see my work clearly and truly. Show me where I am working in ways that are contrary to your will. Point me in the right direction, Lord. May everything I do in my work glorify you. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

In your work today, honor God in everything you do.

For Further Reflection

Read all of Psalm 135.

You might wish to read “3 Signs We’ve Made Work an Idol” by Jeff Haanen.

Banner image by Kyle Hanson on Unsplash.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Why Should We Praise the Lord?.

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Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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