Does this business have a prayer? asks AOL small business site:
If you deal in intangibles, you may sometimes find it difficult to prove to customers that you're delivering a solid return on their investment. For instance, if you're a consultant overseeing a sales team, it can be challenging to know -- at least right away -- if your advice is actually working. Or if you sell an energy-saving device, nobody's going to know how it's working until the utility bills start coming. But think how hard it is to prove a return on investment when you own a prayer business.
Joel Gross, 25, doesn't seem daunted by that -- nor by the fact that he is an agnostic. He now has a tiny stake in the $4.6 billion spent every year on Christian products and services, as reported by ChristianRetailing.com. Last August, he hung up his shingle on the Internet and created Prayer Helpers. The product Gross's company sells: prayers. If you're down and out and want someone to pray for you, you just send $9.99, and Prayer Helpers will pray for you.
Surprisingly, this business has competition in the pray-for-pay world, In the Company of Prayer and Information Age Prayer.
Didn't Martin Luther have something to say about paying for prayers?