Pay For Prayer

By Nigel Boys

While most people are aware that churches or Christian believers will gladly pray for you to lighten the load of your burdens or help with healing, an online website believes that while they’re at it, they might as well make a lucrative business out of it.

Komonews.com reports that the Christian Prayer Center, who describe themselves as an online church able to provide prayer requests from thousands of Christians, is more than happy to fulfill your needs, that is if you have money to pay them for it.

While the answering of a prayer survey might seem innocent enough at first, those who get through the stage of completing it are then met with a choice of choosing the prayer they require to fulfill their requests, in the form of an online collection plate. The online church based in Seattle, Washington, charges a minimum of $9 upwards, depending on your specific needs, according to reports,

“Jesus never did that. Jesus never did that,” said Pastor John Carlson of the Sound Christian Fellowship, who regularly meets at the Milton Activity Center outside Seattle. “People are thinking that their problems are going to be solved,” he adds, noting that some people might also believe that God requires donations to fulfill prayer requests and that is un-Godly.

What makes it worse as far as Carlson is concerned is that one of the names linked to the Christian Prayer Center in state records, happens to be the same as his own. He adds that he was told by one person who believed him to be involved with the online scam that he would be going to hell.

Carlson says that despite the fact that he’s not involved with the company, he still suffers from those who believe he is, because of the rules of the State Department of Revenue allowing any name to be registered when they file as a corporation. He adds “With people who are really upset and angry at Pastor John Carlson. And I’m Pastor John Carlson!” it’s rather upsetting.

“They called us because they were upset they couldn’t get a refund,” said David Quinlan of the Better Business Bureau, noting they have received complaints about unexpected monthly charges. “They had a hard time getting a hold of the company. They tried emailing them,” he adds.

The Christian Prayer Center has since resolved the complaints about refunded money and agreed to make the monetary obligations for prayer requests more translucent, according to Quinlan.

Komonews.com further reports that Benjamin Rogovy of Seattle, who is listed as the brainchild of the Christian Prayer Center in state licensing records, has a past record of dubious deals and advertising. In 2005, he allegedly paid panhandlers to advertise his game website on their cardboard signs in a venture he described as “Bumvertising.”

“They’re better of advertising for me than not advertising for me,” Rogovy allegedly told the outlet at the time. However, despite attempts to contact him through his Seattle post office box, at his home or by email and phone, he would not reply to any of their requests to talk about his latest paying for prayer venture.

“What I would recommend people do, is spend some extra time, and look at the terms and conditions,” said Washington Assistant Attorney General, Shannon Smith. The Attorney General’s office has received 18 complaints so far from those who believe they have been diddled by the Christian Prayer Center, with one coming from a person in Singapore, according to records.

If after all this you still would like to try the prayers offered on the Christian Prayer Center website, which they are quite within their rights to charge for as it is perfectly legal, make sure you click on the “No Thank You” button when offered continuing prayers. That way you should be able to avoid the automatic monthly charges, but who knows?

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