The Baltimore Sun recently ran a piece that detailed how a Chevy Chase woman paid $720,000 between 2015 and 2017 for Hindu priests in India to pray to shield her from federal investigation of her $20M Ponzi scheme. A scheme that drained the elderly of their life savings, including $816,805 from one family.
In a way, it’s reminiscent of the story from biblical times (1 Kings 18), when Elijah challenged the followers of Baal to call on their god to ignite from heaven a sacrificed bull. When they failed after a day of shouting and dancing and bloodletting, Elijah called on the God of Israel to do the same. And, of course, God rained down a withering fire that consumed everything.
I think the take-home is twofold on this one:
- Don’t defraud others (obvi)
- Don’t expect Baal (or whoever) to rescue you from justice when you defraud others
Said the operator of the Puja.net website through which the $720k prayer money was funneled: “We don’t necessarily pray with a guaranteed outcome.”
And one final lesson: Don’t pay big bucks for what you can have for free. True prayer – like kittens and credit reports – is free for the taking.
There may be costs to following Jesus, but praying isn’t one of them.
Related: 500 Years After Luther, Why Do We Still Try to Buy Favor with God?