Use these powerful deliverance prayers against idolatry to break free from spiritual bondage and reclaim your faith.
Often, when we think of the word “idolatry,” we envision the children of Israel dancing around the golden calf. Or, we see little wooden sculptures and imagine people from the past, or maybe a different culture, bowing in worship and adoration.
Then we give a huge sigh of relief and say, “Thank goodness I’m not worshiping idols,” as we pick up our smart phone and continue scrolling.
The truth is, idolatry is just as alive in our culture as it was thousands of years ago, when the children of Israel molded the golden calf. And it’s more than likely that we have areas in our own lives where we struggle with idol worship.
God is very clear in the Bible: He has no tolerance for anything that is placed above Him in our lives. Beginning with the ten commandments in Exodus 20:3, God states:
“You shall have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3
There are no caveats to this declaration. We are to have no other gods before Him. This is why it’s so important to routinely examine our lives for any form of idolatry. Anything that we elevate to a level equal to, or higher than, God in our lives is an idol.
This is why it’s also imperative to go to God in prayer. Asking Him to show us where we are struggling in this area and to ask Him to deliver us from the snare of idolatry. So that no one or nothing comes between us and Him.
Continue reading to discover:
- the definition of idolatry
- examples and consequences of idolatry in the Bible
- idolatry in modern life
- how idolatry impacts our personal, physical, and spiritual lives
- how we can arm ourselves in prayer against idolatry
Idolatry may have a hold on your life, but it doesn’t have too. God can set you free from the spiritual bondage idolatry has in your life, and you can walk in His freedom today.
Understanding the Forms of Idolatry
The Oxford Dictionary defines idolatry as “the worship of idols.” A secondary definition reveals: “Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.”
Idolatry is anything we admire, love, or revere more than we do God. It is putting anything other than God on the throne of our hearts and giving our attention and devotion to something more than we do to Him.
God declares in Deuteronomy 6:5 that we are to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deuteronomy 6:5
Nothing should come before Him.
We see in the Bible that idolatry played a big part in the lives of the Israelites. After 400 years in Egypt, the Israelite children had become accustomed to a life filled with idol worship.
Even after seeing all the miraculous wonders God did to get them freed from their slavery, we see them return again and again to the worship of idols.
Most notably, when Moses was on the mountain receiving the ten commandments from God, the Israelites commissioned Aaron to cast a statue of a golden calf. And Aaron complied.
Moses returns from one-on-one time with God and sees the entire camp dancing and worshiping this man-made statue. The same people who had seen the ten plagues, the parting of the red sea, and the miracle of Manna so quickly forgot who the One true God was.
From there, we see a pattern of Israel’s back and forth between serving the living God and worshiping idols.
From the time they enter the promised land and fail to follow God’s commands in conquering it, we see them intermingle with the surrounding cultures and continually fall into idol worship.
After hundreds of years of warning His people to turn from their idolatry and back to Him, God finally punishes the Israelites by sending them into captivity for 70 years.
Books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel contain graphic images about how God feels about anything that takes His rightful place in our lives. God is a jealous God, and He seeks our full love and devotion.
Jeremiah, called the “weeping prophet,” for God revealed to him what would befall the children of Israel, writes in Jeremiah 10:3-6:
“For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
No one is like you, Lord;
you are great,
and your name is mighty in power.”
– Jeremiah 10:3-6
Flash forward to today. It’s easy to assume that we don’t have the same struggles with idolatry that we see the Israelites having. We think that, because we aren’t bowing down to images of gold and stone, idolatry doesn’t exist in our lives.
Unfortunately, idolatry is as alive today as it was thousands of years ago when the Israelites danced around the golden calf. And the truth is that we are all susceptible to putting other things on the altar of our hearts, a place that should only be reserved for God.
What does this look like for us in our modern culture? What ways does idolatry sneak into areas of our lives? In what ways do the messages from our culture clash with what God says in the Bible?
Read on to discover some ways Christians can struggle with idolatry.
Click here to read more about the definition and history of idolatry in the Bible.
1. Idols of Self
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
We see this verse played out in our culture today. It reads like the front lines on the newspaper and magazine covers you see in the checkout line at the grocery store.
From T.V. commercials, the latest “how-to” books, and popular stars and icons—the message is all the same. It’s all about you.
What you want. How do you feel. What feels good to you. Your truth. What makes you happy. We see messages that tell us to “follow our hearts” and not worry about anyone other than ourselves.
And we buy it. We make decisions based on our feelings in the moment or what we feel would benefit us long-term. We put ourselves at the center of our universe and insist that everyone and everything else revolve around it.
We make ourselves the gods of our own lives. With our own list of commandments and dos and don’ts we set ourselves up on the altar of our hearts and seek to satisfy the longing we feel with more self-indulgence.
And every single time, we come up empty.
The worship of self is prevalent in our society, but we must resist its pull on our lives. It leaves nothing but pain and emptiness as we see our own selfishness cost us those we love the most.
Do you struggle with making yourself an idol in your life? Ask yourself these questions:
- do I search out Scripture for God’s will in my life, or do I do what feels good to me?
- do I feel like the world revolves around me, or that it should revolve around me?
- does my life mirror the world or God’s Word?
We must continually search out God’s Word and apply it to every aspect of our lives. We must obediently put God in His rightful place as Lord in our lives and submit ourselves to His rule in our lives.
This will be the only way we will ever find lasting joy and ultimate fulfillment. For the Christian Galations, 2:20 sums it up:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galations, 2:20
2. Idols of Food
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35
It is very easy to make food an idol in our lives. We have access to all kinds of food all the time. Right at our fingertips.
Whether it’s grabbing something from the kitchen pantry, swinging by the drive-thru on the way home, or having Door Dash drop something off, we have access to almost anything we want at almost anytime we want it.
There isn’t anything wrong with eating or enjoying good food. God created us to need food to sustain our lives and keep going.
The problem is when we use that food in place of Him. When we eat above and beyond what we need for life and continue eating to fill an empty place inside our hearts.
God created us to worship. It’s an innate need inside of all of us from the moment we are born. We feel the craving for something that we cannot satisfy on our own.
The danger becomes when we attempt to use food to fulfill that longing. It will work, but only temporarily. We will feel satisfied, but the satisfaction won’t last.
Instead, we find our waistlines growing, our bank accounts shrinking, and our health failing. Too much of anything, even seemingly good things, can be detrimental if used outside of God’s will for our lives.
We will continue to crave more and more to fill those empty spaces in our hearts, missing out on the only One who can ever completely satisfy us.
Some questions you can use to take a deeper look into your heart are:
- do I crave food instead of God?
- do I use food to try and fill the longing I feel inside of me?
- do I find it impossible to say no to certain kinds of food?
Jesus Christ says, “I am the bread you hunger for, I am the water you can drink from and never thirst again.”
Let’s guard against using food as an idol in our lives, and instead seek after the One who will fill us completely, body, soul, and mind.
3. Idols of Money
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
Serving the idol of money can often creep into the life of the Christian. After all, we have to earn money in order to live. We all have bills to pay.
Again, the line is crossed in the heart. When the need for something is replaced with the insatiable desire for it. When the getting of a thing becomes all consuming.
We do have to pursue money in order to live. We need a roof over our heads, food on the table, and that electric bill comes like clockwork.
But when the need for money is replaced with the desire to worship it, problems arise. This may be rooted in the desire to provide security outside of God, or simply a desire to have the biggest and best things.
Whatever the reason, we must be careful to examine our hearts to see if we’ve put the love of money in the place where our love and devotion to God should be. Some questions you can use to examine your heart would be:
- am I working to live, or living to work?
- do I trust that God can provide for me, or do I doubt His provision and am I relying on my own?
- am I consumed with having the things the world says I should have, or do I find contentment in what God has graciously given me?
Paul assures us in 2 Corinthians 9:8:
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
Love and the pursuit of money are desires that can never be satisfied. It will end, as with all other forms of idolatry, with us always running after it and never feeling fulfilled. You will always need more; it will never be enough, and you will continually worry about losing what you have.
Chasing after God isn’t like that. He is completely and totally satisfying. When you make Him Lord of your life and your bank account, you will find that He meets your needs in ways you never thought possible.
4. Idols of Technology
“So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.” – Psalm 81:12
What is the one thing we tend to reach for more than anything else throughout the day? I think the answer for most of us would be our phones.
Our smart phones, which have enhanced our lives so much, have also pulled us away from God and set themselves as an idol in our lives.
From that alarm clock to wake you first thing to a constant stream of notifications, likes, messages, buzzes, beeps, alerts, and vibrations, our “devices” have our attention all day long. And not just our attention; often our adoration too.
We aren’t reaching for our Bibles to see what God has to say; instead, we’re searching Facebook and Instagram to see what our friends say—or worse, total strangers.
We allow the opinions of others to influence our behaviors instead of seeking out what God has already said. We are constantly looking to others to soothe our egos instead of finding our identity in the One who created us.
Our phones have definitely become idols in our lives. We may not know where our Bibles are, but we always have our phones within reach. We may not know what God said in the Bible, but we certainly know what the latest influencer thinks.
If you are wondering if you’ve allowed your phone, social media, or technology in general to have an unhealthy foothold in your life, ask yourself:
- do I spend more time on my phone than with God?
- do I value the opinions of others more than I value what God has said?
- do I spend my days looking down at my phone, or up towards the Lord?
The more time we spend on our phones, on social media, or with other various forms of technology, the more disconnected we become from God. God desires us. All of us.
Just like we get annoyed when our spouse won’t look up from their phone to have a conversation with us, so does it make God angry when we’d rather spend time with a little plastic box over the one who Created the Universe.
You will only be left feeling alone and dissatisfied when you choose technology over God. We are all susceptible to putting our smart phones in the place in our hearts where God should be.
If that’s you, take some serious steps to remove that idol in your life and put God back where He should be at the center of your life, allowing Him to completely satisfy your soul.
Psalm 107:9 says:
“for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” – Psalm 107:9
5. Idols of Nature
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25
There is nothing that thrills the soul more than seeing God’s glorious handiwork on display in creation. The intricacy, the order, and the sheer magnitude of intelligence, is breathtaking.
But be careful that you don’t let your worship of the Creator through creation, turn into worshiping the creation. Too often, we can allow ourselves to make idols of the things we see around us.
Trees, flowers, even cute and furry animals, can easily become idols in our hearts and minds. We need to care for the creation around us, we’ve been commanded to be good stewards of it, but we must not allow ourselves to cross the line into worshiping it.
Are you wondering if you’ve been tempted to make God’s creation an idol in your life? Ask yourself this:
- is what you see around you more important to you than the One who created it?
- do you find yourself putting plants and animals before other people?
- are your thoughts and feelings directed at nature itself, or the One who designed it?
It’s ok to commune with God through His creation. It may be where you feel the closest to Him, or where you can worship Him without distraction. Just make sure you don’t cross that line and put nature in the place where God belongs.
Psalm 111:2 says,
“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.” – Psalm 111:2
God wants us to see His handiwork around us and give Him the praise and glory for it. It’s a perfect way to grow closer to Him.
Just remember that, no matter how gorgeous the sunset is, or how enthralling the waves as they crash into the shore, none of it would be here without our loving Heavenly Father. He alone deserves our praise.
The Effects of Idolatry
I could go on. Since time began, humans have been replacing God with anything, and at times everything, they see around them. It’s part of our human nature. One of the really bad parts.
We need to be on guard against idolatry in our lives and ever vigilant against it. We must continually come before the Lord, confessing and examining our lives to make sure we are keeping Him in His rightful place in our hearts.
The moment we find anyone, or anything, else taking the place only He deserves, we need to immediately cast it out. Otherwise, we will feel the effects of idolatry in our lives.
You will damage your relationship with God. We serve a jealous God and He will not share your affections with anything else. Exodus 20:5 says:
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” – Exodus 20:5
Just as we would not tolerate our spouse giving their love and adoration to another, God has no tolerance for us to give our love and worship to anyone or anything else.
Walking down that path will lead to separation from God, quenching of the Holy Spirit in your life, and God even setting Himself in array against you. James 4:4 states:
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
After that, you will find that your idols don’t hold up. God’s of wood and stone are just that: wood and stone. They cannot sustain and uplift you the way your Heavenly Father can.
You will be left feeling lost and alone, continually seeking and never finding, because God is the only one who will ever satisfy the thirst of your soul.
Don’t fall into this trap. Keep God on the altar of your heart continually. Regularly come before Him, confess your sins, and examine your heart to see if you have set anything over Him in your life. If you find that you have, confess that sin and get rid of that idol in your life.
Keeping God at the forefront of your life and worshiping Him and Him alone, will provide you will lasting joy all your earthly life.
For more information on understanding spiritual warfare, follow this link.
Prayer Against Idolatry
In the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I come before Your holy throne. I know you are a jealous God and that you demand my entire heart and devotion.
I want to give my whole heart and life to you, O Lord. I don’t want there to be anything between us. I ask You, O God, to break any generational curses that exist in my life and restore my life and my family back to You.
I ask that you send the Holy Ghost fire into my life to cleanse me and protect me from the snare of the enemy. I pray that You will break the bonds that idolatry has on my life and my family line. We would experience freedom from the bondage of sin through Your saving power.
I thank you Lord, for the blood of Jesus, that washes as white as snow. Thank you for what You did on the cross and the freedom I now have through Your redemptive sacrifice. Even now You sit at the right hand of the Father, interceding on my behalf.
I ask all these things in Jesus name, giving you all the glory and the majesty, both now and forever. Amen.
Click here for more prayers for spiritual deliverance
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Idolatry
Don’t fall into the trap of idolatry. Jeremiah 2:13 says:
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” – Jeremiah 2:13
Don’t forsake the spring of living water. The One whom you can drink from and satisfy your thirst forever. Whose water is cool and life-giving. Don’t cast that off to build your own well, broken and empty.
God’s ways are, and always will be, higher and better than anything we can come up with. Keep Him front and center in your life and in your heart. Continually pray against idolatry and guard your heart against it.
You won’t regret it.
More Collections of Biblical Prayers That Can Help You:
Greta is a Faithful Finish Lines member and a mom of 3 from Florida. She enjoys homeschooling her kids and baking and writes to women who want to know God and make Him known.