It lets iPhone users send prayers into cyberspace and allows them to read the prayers of others. The messages are stored in a database, and users remain anonymous.

"It's so simple, it's brilliant," said Andrew Maltin, one of the co-founders of Medl Mobile. "We think it's going to be extremely successful."

Wright, a high school junior and regular churchgoer, said he came up with the idea while lying in bed and feeling lonesome.

"If you want to send a message, and you don't have anybody to talk to, you could send a little prayer," he said.

Successful apps can generate thousands or even millions of dollars for developers. Any proceeds from "A Note to God" would be shared among Apple, Medl and Wright.

If his app becomes a big seller, Wright said he'd like to use his share of the profits to go to college.

Apple has rejected apps before for what it deemed inappropriate religious content, but Maltin said he didn't think that would happen with "A Note to God."

The application is not a joke, but a sincere way for people to reach out to the divine and to each other, he said.

Users can read each others' prayers and be supportive by clicking on a "thumbs up" sign, he said. Otherwise, they can't leave feedback or respond, he said.

Religious scholars contacted by The Bee on Monday welcomed the concept, although one offered a note of caution.

"There is in each one of us the need to communicate with the divine and to reach the transcendent," he said.

But he cautioned would-be users to question their motivations.

"Prayer is direct to God, and God should be the primary motive," he said. "If the motive is to be seen by others, be careful. There's a sense in which prayer is private."

He said whatever the form, prayers are heard. "God will hear it," he said. "You don't have to have his e-mail address."

"This application sounds to me like a call to prayer," she said. "It creates a community of prayer, and by seeing other people's prayers, it is a reminder to pray yourself."

His favorite iPhone app is one that calls up quotes from Scripture.

In his suburban home on a quiet cul-de-sac, Wright demonstrated the working model of "A Note to God" on his iPhone.

He said the need to write a message focuses his prayer. The messages can be as long as you want, he said.

He said his family has been through a lot of hardship in the past five years. Cancer, divorce and the death of a baby grandchild have taken their toll, he said.

The 44-year-old Wright said people need a way to reach out when they are grappling with heartache, trouble and tragedy. His son's app might provide an outlet for their prayers.

"It's going to do something for a lot of people to help them through," he said. "Having a place you can send a message to your lost and loved ones — people you believe are your guardian angels."

"All of us could use some place to reach out," he said. "I think Allen's is perfect."