Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Wednesday
Savvy Article #0925
The old, wrinkled woman said to me, “Remember that if you ask us to pray for you, to also pray for yourself.” Of course, I knew that. I may have been a young Christian, but even a ninny knows to pray for yourself while others are praying for you, right?
But that was the 70s, when men were men, women were women, all lesbians were militant, and very few people had peanut allergies. Now those were simple times!
Imagine my shock when I recently spied an article by Christian humorist Tim Patrick that mocked a new trend—outsourcing prayer.The article read like a piece from The Onion, which is known for publishing stories of pure fiction as if they were true. The humor comes from some insane premise that the Onion knows you’re too smart to believe. The insane premise of the Tim Patrick piece?—Christians are now too busy to pray, so they are paying companies to pray for them!
How funny, I thought. That Tim Patrick is ca-ray-zee. But wait! I did a search on Google. Know what I found? Yep … a site offering to pray for you for a fee! The company, Information Age Prayer, states that prayer is for your own connection to God and that you should pray for yourself, but it also says that the service insures that prayers will be said even if “you wake up late or forget.”
This site does not even provide human pray-ers. There is a synthesizer, and your prayer is repeated throughout the day by a computer. Your name flashes across the screen as the prayer is said.
None of the companies that Patrick mentions in his piece exist as far as I can research, but there is a group in India that is saying prayers given to them by priests. Funny, Patrick’s article mentions India, too, and has a picture of the Taj Mahal. Rather stereotypical, but nonetheless, these Indians are saying prayers given to them by American, Canadian, and European priests because the priests are stretched too thin. And yes, the pray-ers are getting paid.
Although Patrick’s piece is a mock article in The Onion tradition, it isn’t based on absolutely nothing. There are people and companies outsourcing prayer, and there are Christians who are using their services. Bizarre, disheartening, and completely ridiculous!
Before I end this article, I need to apologize to the people I have offended:
I apologize to old women. You are not all wrinkled as the stereotype suggests.
I apologize to the Indians. It isn’t your fault that India is the Outsourcing King.
I apologize to everyone from the 1970s. I respect your culture.
I apologize to everyone with a peanut allergy. I have the utmost compassion for those with this debilitating condition.
And mostly, I apologize to all militant lesbians. You can’t help it if you’re funny.
Okay. I will probably never get the militant lesbian audience back, but will the rest of you please tell me what you think of prayer outsourcing?
Related Article: My friend Lucille’s Examiner.com article called Send your prayers to the Wailing Wall using Twitter; Short on Priests, U.S. Catholics Outsource Prayers to Indian Clergy (New York Times); Information Age Prayer website; Tim Patrick’s article Outsourcing Prayer ; and, what the heck, take a look at The Onion, even though it’s a secular paper.