Equal Opportunity Prayer, For only $5!!

[ 3 ] Comments

by Nick Galieti

Old Five Dollar Bill - 1934I am not sure how many of you have heard of or spent any time on the website Fiverr.com – I have and it shows how fun a free market economy can be. The concept is that people list what they are willing to do for a small fee of five dollars. One day, I decided to search what services were available when searching the term mormon. Not sure what would come up I found a couple interesting listings, even though fewer options came up compared to some searches.

One of the services offered is for what amounts to be a professional person that prays for people, a professional prayerer (is that a real thing, or its proper spelling?) His ad copy for this services is as follows:

I am so good at prayer that in my previous life I was a praying mantis. Just let me know what you want me to pray for, and I will pray as hard as humanly possible. I own a bible, Koran, Torah, Book of Mormon, so all the major religions are covered. If you wish for me to pray to some other god, or even Joe Pesci, just let me know. I’m an equal opportunity prayer.

For those interested in this service, feel free to click here. After a good laugh, I got to thinking, do people really pay for this sort of thing? Is five dollars a good deal, or is that the going rate? If I paid him five bucks to pray about the Book of Mormon being true, would he actually feel the spirit confirming its truthfulness?

My search continued. After going to another listing that came up, I saw that someone was willing to answer questions about the LDS faith for five bucks — interesting. Since missionaries are actually paying their way to dedicate themselves to this service for 18-24 months, I wonder if they would be bothered by the idea that someone would actually make five bucks off such a thing. (People pay big bucks for pets when shelters can’t seem to give them away; could be the same mentality, who knows?) Maybe people think that they get what they pay for. A free answer from missionaries comes with a catch: you have to listen to the missionaries. With this service, you get the one answer, and nothing more.

Perhaps there is a market for people that will do home teaching for $5?

In any case, while I laugh at these ideas (for my own reasons, not that it is all that funny), is there a perception that God is for sale? I don’t wish people to be unsuccessful in their commercial ventures, but prayer is not for sale. While there are some great products that teach great principles and have a price to them, ultimately these are simply optional tools in building the kingdom. Money is no mediator or watch guard to the heavens. And while it is fun to laugh occasionally at the spiritually ridiculous, I worry about the way the gospel is presented, or at least perceived when it comes to listings like these.

All I know is tithing on those prayers would come roughly to fifty cents… and that home teaching idea sounds like a gold mine.

photo by: Kevin Krejci

3 Responses to Equal Opportunity Prayer, For only $5!!

  1. Bookslinger says:

    One could apply this in a cynical manner right back at Mormons. A promise to pay 10% of income is required to join the church. A verbal assertion of currently paying 10% is required for good standing in the church and admission to the temple. (It’s essentially a sliding-scale fee.). It seems fair to me, and I believe it is a true principle. And fortunately, 10% of zero is zero; and if paying 10% makes someone unable to afford necessities, the church helps by providing food.

    Some religions break it down into specifics. E.g., ministers, as do Justices of the Peace, often charge a fee for performing weddings. I visited a Hindu temple and saw a schedule of fees for the various rituals (poojas) performed by the Hindu priest on behalf of the individual congregant, but it now seems to be a standard hourly rate. See: http://htci.org/images/pooja_services_form.pdf

    In a way, the Law of the Harvest (you reap what you sow) is a kind of karma. When you help others move, you hope people will be there to help you move, even if it’s not the same people you helped.

    Long ago, poor members could be paid by other members to do temple work.

    I’ve met some very spiritual people who were members and ministers of other Chrisitan religions. I believed that certain of them would recognize the truth of the Book of Mormon if they only read it, and then considered paying them to read it. Such as handing them a $100 check and a Book of Mormon, saying “If you don’t think it was worth the time reading it, then cash the check.” Sort of putting my money where my mouth is. if it weren’t such an awkward proposition, I would have made the offer to a few, confident that they would have given me the money back.

    Hey, there is a crowd-sourcing idea! What if I get 20 Mormons to pitch in $5 each, and then use the $100 to “hire” a minister who has never read the Book of Mormon to read it?

    It’s an interesting subject. But charging for prayer does seem to enter into “priestcraft” territory.

  2. Ramona Gordy says:

    This is so funny; it proves that there is nothing new under the sun. In the Acts of the Apostles, there was a man named Simon who practiced sorcery or witchcraft in Samaria:

    ACTS 8:9-23
    9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,

    10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”

    11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorcery for a long time.

    12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

    13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

    14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,

    15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

    16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

    17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

    18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

    19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

    20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perishes with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!

    21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God
    22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
    23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

    Now the end of this story was that after he was rebuked so powerfully by Peter, this man felt remorse and asked for the disciples to pray for him, that he might be able to repent.
    I wonder; in 3rd Nephi, the Savior tells the Nephites and us, I give unto you to be lights of the world”. Ye are, we are the lights of the world.

    Maybe if this person who prays for people for money, and someone would actually pray a sincere prayer for him, that he could see the “error” of his way. Could it be you, who are offended by this, and speak to him or at least try. Maybe like Peter you could help him to see the truth. Then that one lost sheep could come into the fold. I have met people like this and in their hearts they feel that they are doing a good thing, but like Peter said, his heart is not right. They may even have a testimony, but they do err in the process, having the appearance of God, but denying the power.

  3. Paul says:

    Perhaps I should recommend my son get in on this business as he looks for ways to fund his high adventure trip this summer…

    Of course there’s a time in Christian history allowed you to buy more than prayers — you could buy your way out of purgatory.

    It would be interesting to know if the pray-er has had any clients take him up on the offer.

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