Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pay For Prayer ? Not On My Blogs!



Today, I shared a post from Father Zuhlsdorf's blog, "What Does The Prayer Really Say?" I received a comment on the shared post from a man who asked that I look at a "prayer exchange website", and here is what the comment said:

Hey Steve, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've i feel like I've ended up here once before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website, (I removed the website name). I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other Christians) think about it

I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
John W.

So I went to the website, primarily because I thought a "prayer exchange website" an interesting idea. It was an interesting idea that is, until I went to the website. When I went there, I found something that is rather disturbing to me.

Now when you first go to the website underneath the title at top you read:

Exchange Prayers With the World”. Then, as you read on down you see that you earn “tokens” for reading prayers. You can “buy” tokens or “earn” tokens when you pray for others. The website even tells you that you can earn money praying for others. The site says that you can have members video record readings of your prayers for $1 each.

What? Pay to pray? You have got to be kidding me!

This reminds me of a particular scandal some years back. It seems that a certain televangelist was offering viewers a “prayer cloth” he had prayed over for their particular needs. All they had to do was send in a letter with their prayer needs, and their donation, and he would send them the “prayer cloth”. The trouble is, no prayer requests were read, let alone prayed over. The checks were taken out, the letters discarded, and a “prayer cloth” that the televangelist never even saw, looked at, or touched was sent back to the donor.

I suppose that the creators of this “Pray for Pay” site think that as long as they can be checked up on by using videos, people can be assured that their prayers are “read”.

If someone is hurting, if they are suffering, if they are in need, how could anyone ever ask to be paid to pray for them?

Anyway, here is the response I intended to put back (but decided to post on this instead) into my comments section:

John,

I looked at this website, and thought a prayer exchange website among Christians an interesting idea. That is, until I saw one of the boxes there entitled "Get Paid to Pray". So, prayer is now "for sale"? I find this unconscionable and I am amazed at the concept of "pay for prayer". My blogs have had prayer requests posted for many people from around the world, and at no time have these blogs asked for payment for prayer, nor would we ask anyone to pray for any reason other than to pray from the heart for someone in need of prayer. Our "payment" is when those whom we have prayed for contacts us, and let's us know that God answered their prayers, their needs. Prayer that was freely offered up through the intercessory prayers of the Blessed Virgin, the saints, the angels, and the prayers of these blogs creators and readers. At no time would I ever promote or condone any prayer for pay website.

This in fact reminds me of Saint Luke's account in the Acts of the Apostles regarding a certain man offering to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 8: 9 - 24 .... Now there was a certain man named Simon, who before had been a magician in that city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one: To whom they all gave ear, from the least to the greatest, saying: This man is the power of God, which is called great. And they were attentive to him, because, for a long time, he had bewitched them with his magical practices. But when they had believed Philip preaching of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also; and being baptized, he adhered to Philip. And being astonished, wondered to see the signs and exceeding great miracles which were done. Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said to him: Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast no part nor lot in this matter. For thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. Then Simon answering, said: Pray you for me to the Lord, that none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me.

So, in essence, this is the first time, that I will pray for a site to fail. No one should be asking to receive money for prayer, or seek to be paid for praying.

No one!

Your thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. Can you give a link to the site? I have to see this for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't believe it! I checked out the link. I couldn't tell from the first page. I clicked "how it works" and it was the last step at bottom of the page. I had to scroll down to see where it listed the pay out amount. 2,500 tokens earned is $25. I am with you Steve! I am shocked and outraged! I will pray that God reaches the creators and changes their hearts.

    ReplyDelete

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