Ruth Gledhill’s guest blogger Elizabeth Kirkwood has an interesting article on online prayer. It seems that more and more people are turning to this. I’m sure this is not a new phenomenon – indeed my personal prayer letters have been online since 2002. But apparently there are now specialist websites for online prayer:
You log on and submit a prayer in the hope that others will respond by praying on your behalf …
One Beliefnet user, Scott C, writes on the financial prayer forum: “I have been out of work since December 2008. Please pray that I find a full time job again. Unemployment has been very difficult finianically and has placed a strain on my marriage”.
Another user, Merlock, replies: “May God guide you to find a job, provide for your needs”. …
Worries about the ethics of these sites are further fuelled by the existence of some which charge for intecessionary prayer, offering a ‘call-centre’ style service.
Well, I certainly am worried about any site which might try to make a profit from prayer for others’ misfortune. I would consider that entirely unethical. It might be a different matter if this is a charity only covering expenses. Of course it is very difficult to be sure with US sites, like the one linked to, which are not bound by the strict rules of the British Charity Commission.
But what about the free sites? Are they unethical too? I don’t see them as being entirely wrong. But I do accept the concern that they can trivialise prayer into just petition and intercession, with no place for wonder and praise. So, like Elizabeth, I remain unconvinced.
But what is OK for a specialist site is surely OK for a blog like this one. So:
I am currently looking for a job. Not having one is putting a strain on my finances, especially as I also have a wedding to get ready for. So please, anyone who reads this, pray in the name of Jesus Christ that I can find a good and suitable job, through which I can bring glory to him.