Don't Make Me Pray

Andy Livingston
Andy Livingston


I don’t have a fondness for public expressions of faith. I suppose there is a time and a place for it, but it often comes across as pompous at worst and disingenuous at best. For many years, even when I was an active participant in organized religion, I felt uncomfortable praying in public. I felt it became more about performing than a sincere plea to divinity. My relationship to the divine is something I prefer to keep private. I suppose it has something to do with the idea of showing me what you believe rather than telling me. All of that notwithstanding, the irony of this is that the song itself is a prayer. Buried among three sardonic stanzas is that sincere plea…

 I just want to be good.

Yeah, thou mayest, babe.


Holy, sure, but

one and only

one could have been saved

looking on as

king takes pawn

“That’s quite the god you’ve made,”

he said.

“Take my name in vain.”

Please don’t make me pray


One and done

well, where I’m from

that’s called a double play

Blood and wine

“What’s yours was mine”

but only my blood stains

like Cain’s

“Yeah, thou mayest, babe.”

Please don’t make me pray


Oh, I take it all back

I just want to be good, Dad

Kneel and bow my head

Amen and amen

Oh, divine reprieve

Give the gift of speaking

Wash and raise my hands

Amen and amen


One more flood

I was wide open

long before you came

please don’t make me pray


Do you know

that man? He knows

the answers and my name

please don’t make me pray

Take Me With You

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