The prayer rug

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories 5 Comments

We used to get this kind of thing in the mail all the time but haven’t since we moved into this building several years ago. So much to our delight the other day we opened the mailbox to find, packed away in a neat little business size envelope, our personal prayer rug. Which comes with instructions printed at the bottom and on the back. The prescription is that we are to stare at the prayer rug until Jesus opens his eyes and stares us down. Then we’re to kneel upon the rug in private, make our prayer, then return the prayer rug with a list of our needs checked off on a handy enclosed form. The prayer rug must be returned, it must not be kept in our possession, because its peculiar so-stated destiny is to be mailed to a second home that needs it.

So it is not our personal prayer rug after all. It’s a two-for-one special prayer rug (or one for two). Which kind of sucks, because I so do like rugs and a paper one wouldn’t gather dust.

I couldn’t possibly have faith in this prayer rug as Jesus isn’t dripping blood from his crown of thorns, but I read the accompanying letter anyway, that tells me about the many who have received blessings through the church, that they are loaning me this prayer rug and that I must return it within 24 hours and that this timing is very important. If I don’t return the rug the next morning then my neglect will break the flow of power. The prayer needs I’m to check off have also a place where I can check mark, “Enclosed is my seed gift to God’s work of $_________”.

I look at the envelope again and see that on the front it reads, “Yours first!” I would be more interested to be the recipient of the envelope that read, “Yours second!” and examine the prayer rug for signs of wear. If any one gets that envelope that reads, “Yours second!” I would love to have a scan of it. ‘K?

The ministry is “Prayer by letters, Saint Matthew’s Churches, P.O. Box 22065, Tulsa, OK”. Their website is here and apparently they’ve had some problems with people accusing them of being…well…scammers. And they must, y’know, be honest folk since they deal with the issue forthrightly on their website.

Saint Matthew’s Churches receives tithes and offerings based on the Scriptures, and uses church donations to buy postage and printing of gospel sermons, books, magazines, and other literature that we give away free of charge. Saint Matthew’s Churches does not sell anything. In its mail sermons, it preaches that God answers prayer, which cannot be construed as a mail scam or mail fraud.

However, the published sermons and sacred literature sent free of charge by Saint Matthew’s Churches crosses the paths of atheists; communists; drug dealers; criminals; the lunatic fringes of society; those who hate the United States, God and Christianity and those who hate us because we are gospel missionaries. They accuse all churches which mail sermons of mail scams and mail fraud.

Now, I would have thought that they would want their prayer rugs to cross the paths of criminals, drug dealers, the lunatic fringes of society (like atheists and communists) and those who hate the United States and God and Christianity, because what an opportunity it would be to minister to us poor sinners. But us sinners apparently just cause them problems then they want nothing to do with us.

Golda Meir, the third Prime Minister of Israel, once said, “We will not roll over and die just to make our enemies happy.” The same is true of Saint Matthew’s Churches and all other churches which are wrongfully accused of mail scams and mail fraud.

Thousands of people are blessed by the church’s mail sermons. Saint Matthew’s Churches understands that not everyone wants to receive our literature. Some who receive one of the gospel books or sermon letters that we send free of charge – and we emphasize “free of charge” – hate gospel literature; from their hatred comes false accusations of mail fraud and mail scams. Honest people just throw the literature into the trash if they do not want to receive it; the literature costs them nothing. St Matthew’s Churches pay all of the costs for printing the literature as well as the postage to mail it. However, some are compelled by their hatred to try and harm the church with false accusations of mail fraud or mail scams.

There are many hurting people who believe in biblical teachings and prayer, and who are grateful to receive St Matthew’s Churches church books and sermon letters free of charge. They don’t believe the false accusations of mail fraud or mail scams. These people write back to Saint Matthew’s Churches requesting prayer; they know that God answers prayer. Because Saint Matthew’s Churches is based upon Christian teachings, St Matthew’s Churches form a friendship with those who are interested in receiving free of charge more of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His saving grace, and His Second Coming. Hundreds of thousands have joined the church and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

They may, as they insist, be honest and have a perpetual motion machine sitting in their back yard to boot, but their prayer rug isn’t anointed with the inky blood of Jesus, so I simply can’t have faith.

Besides, since I have kept the prayer rug in my possession two nights, I have broken the flow of power. There is someone else, supposedly, who will not receive the blessings of this prayer rug because of me. Because I’ve kept it in my sinful hands. I even scanned the thing.

It is not a very attractive rug. If you scroll on past it I’m offering a free internet prayer rug in which Jesus’ eyes are already open (for the instant gratification crowd).

Here is my “Pearls of Wisdom Free Internet Prayer Rug”.

Be careful what you wish for. But I think impeachment of Bush is always a good choice. If you are inclined to take the prayer rug and scribble “Impeach Bush” on it then I would consider it to not be theft but an example of multiplying loaves and fishes.

Comments 5

  1. The optical illusion only really works for me with Jesus’ left eye. In fact, if I play around with the contrast and color levels I can imagine a fairly clear left-eye iris and pupil, but oddly enough increasing the contrast and making the iris/pupil clearer diminishes (for me) the illusion of the eye opening, which seems to require a low contrast fuzziness.
    It’s a pretty clever scam, actually, given that its victims are likely to be the people capable of seeing the Blessed Virgin in flaking paint on a wall. The prayer rug is a lot easier to work with as an income source, because you can only charge admission to the faithful to see the flaking paint for the short time between her miraculous appearance and the rest of the paint flaking off.

  2. I’ve seen the Jesus opens eyes illusion elsewhere. In this case it doesn’t work any better than what you describe, in person and with the sheet the proper size. Just isn’t very effective.

    But effective enough for some. I read the “ministry” raked in $26 million in 1999 and that the Trinity Foundation believes it’s up to $50 million a year now. The website for the “ministry” has photographs that make it appear they have a real church but in fact they rent churches in which to do the photo shoots. Ewing, the founder, is from Kaufman, Texas.

    Some history:
    http://www.loper.org/~george/trends/2003/Apr/815.html

    Anyway, 50 million a year is no small change. In this respect, the prayer rug is indeed remarkable.

    Here’s an interesting thread on it…interesting because of the number of people who write in on the thread who were victims to the scam or who took it seriously enough at first to consider looking it up on the internet to see if it was a scam. As if it’s not obvious? But to 50 million dollars worth of people it’s not. Mind-boggling.
    http://www.matthewgifford.com/2005/02/10/st_matthews_churches_mail_scam/

  3. You can’t expect it in the mail. It’s a free internet prayer rug. Should I have posted instructions that one should download and print rather than kneel upon their monitor?

  4. Here is the thing, It’s not the material of a paper rug that answers your prayers. Rather this is a bogust church or not, God works in mysterious ways and there most definitly can be redemption for many with these mailings. I think it’s great. I dare someone to take one of these letters, and walk in faith to proclaiming this truth: You are not the judge. The judger is our most High God. The faith of knowing that God will take care of all your needs, and knowing that God will bless this church abundantly for all it’s deeds and will rather good or evil. What I mean by that is the church will recieve what it deserves. If they intend good, they will recieve good. If they intend for bad, they will recieve bad. Either way, it’s up to God, not to none of us. So, have faith. God Bless!

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