Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prayer Rug from St. Matthew's Churches

Last week we received a prayer rug in the mail from St. Matthew's Churches.[1] It is a mail-based evangelical church based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This means that they access the majority of their 'members' through the postal system, though they do have two physical churches (one in New York and one in Texas).[2] They use public records to target the poor and elderly, who they deem more susceptible to their tactics.

The mailing includes a prayer rug (which looks more Hindu than Christian) along with testimonials (with lots of annoying red underlining) which claim incredible miracles and monetary blessings that came about by using the prayer rug. St. Matthew's Churches compares the prayer rug to the sacramental bread and the baptismal water, claiming that the prayer rug simply functions as a symbol that encourages people to pray and worship God. (However, there is no mention of prayer rugs anywhere in the Bible.) The mailing encourages you to return the prayer rug to the church after you've used it so that it can be mailed to someone else who is in need. However, once you've done this, St. Matthew's Churches then sends you a relentless barrage of letters demanding money in return for answers to your prayers.[3] They'll also send you other symbolic tokens such as blessed handkerchiefs, holy anointing oil, holy communion wafers, and a "Church Blessed Prosperity Cross".[4] According to the Trinity Foundation, an evangelical watchdog group, St. Matthew's Churches receives $26,000 daily this way.[5] Where does that money go? They don't say, but in 1993 the founder of St. Matthew's Churches, James Eugene Ewing, bought a $2.2 million home in Beverly Hills.[6]

If you receive one of these prayer rugs in the mail, I invite you to throw it in the trash. I do not ridicule the beliefs of others, but I do not believe that St. Matthew's Churches are concerned with preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe they are simply a moneymaking scheme that takes advantage of the poor and the elderly.[7] So instead of praying on the gaudy "rug" they send you, or mailing them money, I invite you to investigate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church). Donations to our Church go towards building places of worship (in 2009 we had 28,424 congregations worldwide [8]), as well as caring for the poor and needy around us. You can learn more by visiting here and here. In fact, this is a great time to investigate the LDS Church since this weekend (April 2nd and 3rd, 2011) we will be holding our semi-annual General Conference, where the Prophets and Apostles of the Church will speak. You can listen to it here, where it will be available in dozens of languages. That link also gives you access to past broadcasts of our General Conferences. All are invited to listen to them and learn of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


[1] You can visit their websites here, here, here, and here, if you so choose. I recommend that you don't.

[2] These, however, have only been operating since 2004. The 'church' itself is over 50 years old. See

[3] See

[4] These are based on misinterpretations of Acts 19:11–12, James 5:14–15, Luke 22:19, and Deuteronomy 8:18, respectively.

[5] See See also

[6] See Matthew's Churches. 1 Timothy 6:10 says "For the love of money is the root of all evil…" See also Proverbs 14:31 and 22:22.

[7] In fact, they have been or are being investigated by the IRS, the Better Business Bureau, the South Carolina Fraud Alert Task Force, and the Attorney General of the State of Arkansas. See Matthew's Churches.

[8] See


  1. Good to know, just got my prayer rug today.

    Thank you for the heads up. G

  2. Thank you, I got it yesterday.

  3. mine today
    *rolls eyes* My cta loved it in thier litter box

  4. talking bad about others so you can get them for your self; You dont need any church to pray to god. God is everywhere. Do charity by helping people in need.

  5. As I stated before, I respect the beliefs of others. But I do not think that St. Matthew's Churches have anything to do with belief or Christianity. They are a racket, plain and simple. And they prey on the very people in need that you admonish us to help. So warning people away from St. Matthew's Churches is helping people in need—I'm steering them away from immoral people who are trying to swindle them out of what little money they have.

    One more thing I should clear up. Just because God is everywhere and loves everyone doesn't mean He's indifferent. There are behaviors He expects us to abide by (like going to church, praying, helping others, etc.) and other behaviors He expects us to eschew (like stealing, killing, adultery, etc.). But one essential thing to know about God is that He is in charge, not you. So if you're doing something you think is okay but He says is wrong, it's wrong. What you think is irrelevant. He is the ultimate authority, so you must align your behavior with His will. That means if He has organized a Church (which he has; see here), then He expects you to join it and attend it. Your personal distaste for other organized religions doesn't matter; He still expects you to be part of the one He organized. So even though you don't need a church to pray to God, you do need His Church to be saved by Him.

  6. Read carefully through these mailings. God is trying to talk to you and heal ur worries. U don't have to give back to that organization but you shud seek ur church immediately. These letters typically arrive in a time of need or despair in the lives of people. His IS everywhere- He uses different methods to attempt to be ur strength. Not everyone is a church goer.. Therefore, this shud catch ur eye. This whole prayer by mail remains a mystery.. Instead of questioning and doubting and placing so much emphasis on weather u are getting ripped off or not... Listen, Obey, Trust and have faith in the Lord Hesus Christ who knows all and desperately wants to help

  7. As I mention in the post, I whole-heartedly support belief in and obedience to Jesus Christ. But the people who run St. Matthew's Churches and send out the mailers are charlatans who use peoples' belief in Jesus Christ to scam them out of money. Even worse, they prey upon the poor and the elderly–precisely the people Jesus Christ said we should be helping. So, I repeat: don't send money to the wicked, anonymous people who sent you the prayer rug. Go to church instead.