MSN recently ran an article about a scam website that has been shut down after several people got scammed out of their money.
The website touted that people could request a prayer and that thousands of people would pray for them, but you had to pay money. The website had a pastor and testimonials of people whose prayers were answered, but it was all fictitious.
The article cited one particular family that has a child with a rare terminal illness that paid several times but saw no change in their child’s health. The state attorney general’s office estimates that about 125,000 people have been scammed out of their money.
The bible does talk about the power of praying and also having other righteous people praying for you as well. But you do not have to pay someone to do that. Christ said, Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8
These were instructions that he gave to his disciples and anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ should also follow the same example, to not charge anyone for whatever “spiritual service” that they’re performing.
Let’s look at another scripture that doesn’t mention anything about charging money for a prayer.
James 5:14-15 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Nowhere within these passages of scriptures do we see it mention anything about paying money.
For those familiar with the bible knows that Elijah was a very righteous man, so righteous, he didn’t die a regular death like everyone else, but instead was taken up into heaven. Some of his righteous acts are recorded for future generations to take heed to.
One such example written about him is where he healed a woman’s son that fell ill that he was staying with. Lets see if he charged her any money for his prayer and healing.
1 Kings 17:17,19,21-24 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.
Nowhere do we read that Elijah charged her anything and on top of that her son was healed. Unlike the false website that was set up and the child with the terminal illness saw no change in his health.
We have to realize that in today’s world, especially with the Internet, there are thousands of scam artists and ways to get people’s money. The way to avoid these things, specifically when it comes to matters of spirituality is using the bible as a guide.