Call Now For Prayer

by Van Robison

switchboard operators Two traditions of television ministries are "Call now for prayer" or "Call now and pledge." Very often, when a "pledge" drive is being promoted by "Christian" television preachers or their networks, they will flash a view of several telephone operators sitting at desks, taking pledges or prayer calls. At times, they will show stacks and stacks of "letters" from letter writers, which they pray over, asking God to honor the requests and address the issues of concern. The customs and traditions of many television preachers are not Biblical and will not be found in the teachings of Jesus Christ or in the New Testament anywhere. There is nothing wrong with people praying for one another, and that is not the issue. The issue is that television ministries act like they are the catalyst and mediator between people and God. Chances are, what they are really after is your name and address so they can send you endless mail, wanting financial partners.

I know from personal experience, from years past. I once made a contribution to a well known television ministry some years ago, and thereafter we were flooded with endless telephone calls asking for more money. It is a bottomless pit, and the founder of that ministry is a multi-millionaire. I learned my lesson. Never again.

Jesus Christ never taught anything about "pledge" drives or becoming financial "partners" with those who preach the Gospel. In fact, Jesus taught His disciples to freely give (Matthew 10:8). He also never taught that anyone needs to call television ministries for prayer. What Jesus did teach is that when you pray, enter into your closet and pray to your Father which is in secret (Matthew 6:6). He also taught that when you pray, say "Our Father which are in heaven..." (Matthew 6:9), not "Our celebrity preachers which are on television, hollowed be your ministry". He did not mean that we are to pray rote prayers, such as "Hail Mary full of grace" and so forth, because He taught NOT to pray vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).

I learned a lesson long ago and that is that I don't need or want anyone telling me "how to pray", because Jesus Christ gave the perfect example, and all real relationship with the Father/Jesus Christ is of the individual heart. I have absolutely no interest in The Prayer of Jabez, or in fact any books written on "how to pray", by someone who thinks they can tell you how to communicate with God. No one needs to tell anyone how to talk to their mother or father in their own family, and no one needs to tell you how to communicate with your Creator. The heart speaks for itself. God is not deaf, and no one needs to send "prayer requests" to television ministries (as if they have a direct connection to God Almighty and your private prayers are useless and ineffective). It is pure junk, to tell people to pray a rote prayer or to pray what someone else has written. Any human heart will automatically cry out to Almighty God and praise and worship the Creator when they decide to do so, and they don't need a script. God looks to the contrite, humble and meek.

During a fund raising telethon, I actually heard the son of the founder of one of the large "Christian" television networks say, "We don't need your money, we just want you to be blessed", as if the key to being financially blessed is in sending them your money. How outlandish can "Christian" television personalities be? If they don't need your money, why then do they have endless fund raising telethons? It would behoove any Christian, church goer or "Christian" television viewer, to "prove all things" and in particular study the words of Jesus Christ, to know whether what is being said is the truth as taught by Christ. The customs and traditions of men, passed off as "Biblical" or "Christian" are often very misleading. The bottom line of much of churchianity and "Christian" television is money, power and control over all those who are gullible enough to submit their lives to highly persuasive personalities.