Premier introduces idiotic ‘prayer panels’ to its newfangled website

Premier introduces idiotic ‘prayer panels’ to its newfangled website January 25, 2020

WHEN cutting-edge technology is harnessed to promote the supernatural, and encourage folk to believe that prayer is more than mere wishful thinking, one can only roll one’s eyes at the stupidity of it all.

Which is precisely what I did when I discovered that Premier – one of the many Christian sites I visit daily to cull material for the Freethinker – has had a makeover, and now features a “prayer panel” at the end of each of its news items.

For example, last Sunday it carried a piece about Prince Harry’s departure from the Royal Family. It reported that:

American Bishop Michael Curry who delivered a memorable sermon on the ‘power of love’ at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 has reached out to the couple after they announced they will no longer be working members of the Royal Family as of spring this year.

Beneath the report was this:

Today, it ruefully reported that:

Only 14 per cent of the UK responds to social media hashtag appeals to pray. According to a poll commissioned by Premier Christian News, only one in seven say they have ever prayed as a result of a #prayfor online campaign.

I couldn’t suppress a chuckle when I saw the panel beneath, not least because “wisdom” is misspelled:

Another report today about racism on the Church of England has two people praying.  But one report which says that the C of E is holding to the line that “church teaching on marriage means sex should only be for a man and a woman within a marriage and not a civil partnership” has attracted a whopping great 58 prayerful people. The panel says:

Father, We pray for our church leaders, please help them to read your word and pray over issues they do not know how to resolve. Thank you for your word and your Holy Spirit that gives us discernment. Please help us to go to you for guidance. Amen. 

Christianity Today has more about these moronic panels:

Premier Christian News, a new website from Premier Christian Communications (which operates a group of Christian media channels), features faith-related news stories made unique because each concludes with a short prayer of response. The prayers operate as prompts – and a tracking mechanism – for prayer in a nation where Christians are less frequently falling on their knees to speak with God.

Unique it may very well be, but given that, in the whole history of humankind, no-one – not even dead-for-15-minutes pastor Christopher Wickland – has ever shown that prayer works, the whole “prayer panel” thing boils down to a silly stunt with which only the most stupid of Christians will engage.

Note that the CT report says that three in five British adults (57 percent) now say they never pray, up from 49 percent in 2017.

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  • Jim Jones

    Actually, these are great. Now they can see (with numbers) how useless prayer is.

    “If prayer worked, it would be illegal.”

  • Broga

    Shouldn’t they be praying for the poor and powerless? Not for a man who inherited £9 million from his mum, was given shed loads of money from his dad, had zillions spent on his “cottage”, (“Frogmore Cottage) costs masses from security provided, without consultation, by the tax payers and has married a very high earning wife? He also has connections with the wealthy from free loaders in the Royal Family and only has to ask and they will provide e.g. the Queen.

    Has the Archbishop of Canterbury any comments on this? The question is rhetorical. The Bishop knows when to keep his head down.

  • Brian Shanahan

    Prayer: For when you want the kudos of having helped others, but are too lazy to do something meaningful to help.

  • epeeist

    has attracted a whopping great 58 prayerful people.

    Somewhat of an aside but still on the subject of numbers and religion.

    I note that as of 2015 average attendance at Church of Wales services has fallen to less than 1% of the population and that only 29,000 or so under-18s attend services, a drop of 5% between 2014 and 2015 (Source).

    It really is looking as though it is “Will the last person out switch off the lights”.

  • Barry Duke

    Oh come on, Broga. The Royal Family has been an enormous asset to the United Kingdom, and after Brexit maybe the only asset. Let me reel of 20 good things the Royals. 1… um … I think I heard the doorbell. Must go. Bye.

  • Old Harry

    Prayer: When Only The Very Least is Good Enough.

  • Old Harry

    Lipstick on a Pig.

  • Old Harry

    Only if it stays the United ‘Magic’ Kingdom.

  • Ann Kah

    “Click to pray” reminds me of Tibetan monks twirling prayer wheels. Tell me, is “automatic solar-paneled praying angel” a thing yet?

  • Brian Curtis

    You know, you could easily set up a little automated script to click that button dozens, or even hundreds of times a second, all day long, racking up hundreds of prayers. Oh, but of course that wouldn’t “count” somehow. As when a hospital offered a robot that could pray for patients; people seemed offended that this type of mechanical delivery of ritual would somehow be ‘less authentic’ than the kinds they already use and therefore wouldn’t invoke the magic in quite the proper way.

  • Brian Curtis

    “Prayer is a very powerful force; it completely removes the guilt and shame of not doing anything to help.”

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Ha ha ha ! I will run this little program on my ALL POWERFUL APPLE ][ emulator!!!
    15 PRINT A$
    20 GOTO 10

    Need to assign the prayer to a variable each time to refresh the evil power of the invocation!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    gee ‮zihw‬.. what word triggered nanybot this time.. was it SATAN, or EVIL, or maybe that totally dirty word APPLE?
    Nope according to the censorship sinking tool I used to repost .. it was ‮STOIDI‬.

  • Jennny

    And it’s a lot less now. A church near me has just closed, It’s unusual, a non-conformist chapel with a spire which needs £3million spent on repairs. The 12-20 members have moved round the corner to use the sanctuary of a welsh-speaking chapel, Some are touting this as some wonderful sort of unity. In fact the handful of elderly welsh worshippers will nod briefly as they leave their service, at the handful of elderly english worshippers arriving for theirs. One sighed to me and said she still hopes they can go back to their own church with its dangerous spire one day. And another won’t be going at all this week – honestly, she said this to me – because the visiting preacher this week always brings a guitar. Then we have local methodists in dyng causes threatening to leave over the acceptance of same s*x marriage in their denomination. The lights are flickering very very dimly indeed.

  • Jennny

    Another anecdote: Someone asked on our local FB page if our village is pleasant as she was thinking of buying a house here. Folk said yes, it’s a good place for schools, shops, transport etc. An intelligent reired teacher I know, pillar of the parish church added, ‘And here, church and chapel get along well,’
    Did she not see she was admitting they have traditionally hated each other’s guts for many many decades? They deserve to die.

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    there is one good thing about the royal family it is a good source for jokes and ridicule

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    This reminds me of something I read years ago when video recorders became very popular. The faithful Italian catholics would record the pope when he was on tv to watch later. the article pointed out that the blessing only worked if you watched it live it didn’t work when recorded.

  • digital bookworm


  • Broga

    Probably a Jehova’s Witness. Sometimes you just get lucky.

  • crackerMF

    Note that the CT report says that three in five British adults (57 percent) now say they never pray, up from 49 percent in 2017.

    at the current 4% drop per year, in 10 years the british will be pretty much prayer free.

  • Arthur F. Meincke

    Nothing Fails Like Prayer! Hokus Pokus!

  • Arthur F. Meincke

    I saw the prayer wheels in Tibet. Some were outside large stores. People would
    spin the wheel before they entered the store. The Wheel of Fortune.