Prayer in the Information Age…..
Now I am not a religions man. Far from it in fact. So I can claim no theological expertise. Regardless of my lacking Biblical fund of knowledge, I can’t help but think that Information Age Prayer, a new subscription prayer service, would be offensive to those who believe in the Judeo-Christian deity. IAP, which was founded in 2009, claims to harnass the power of technology to strengthen their subscribers’ connection with God, and to do away with the stress of worrying about forgetting to say a daily prayer (do Christians really worry about this?).
According to the company website,
“Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a text-to-speech entity (a computer) to incant your prayers each day. We use state of the art text-to-speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen. If the prayer is for someone else, then that name is displayed on screen instead. Your privacy is protected, all prayers are not audible outside of the Information Age Prayer location. While it is certain that God hears the prayers, we cannot guarantee that other supernatural beings do not overhear or otherwise obtain knowledge of them.”
“The omniscient God knows exactly who has subscribed and who each prayer is from when their name is displayed on screen and their prayer voiced.”
God is, according to the creators of IAP, omniscient but apparantly requires visual aids in order to know who to give credit for the prayer. But being omniscient, this God should know what a person needs help with before they even know that they need help for it. God, in fact, is the reason that person needs help in the first place. So it would seem that the content of the prayer should be irrelevant and that the physical act of performing it is what matters, leaving me to wonder how any Christian, Jew, or Muslim would think that this service is anything more that an attempt to make money off of credulous morons.
For $4.95 a month, for instance, you can pay to have a computerized voice decrease a loved one’s time spent in purgatory with a daily Prayer for the Deceased, or for a bargain at $19.95 a month you can choose the lengthy Catholic Morning Prayer. There are also options for those of Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and unaffiliated persuasions as well. I could find none that called for the smiting of enemies however.
The company makes no claims of efficacy, but honestly I don’t think it will matter. I’ve met enough people that tout Pascal’s Wager as a reason to believe to know that this company will do just fine.