It was a Google ad on a Christian board, and announced “Exquisit Prayer Mats”.
I thought at first that it was a misspelling, or a translation error from Arabic.
Nope. Turns out these are 100% Christian Prayer Mats. From the website:
Portable – The Prayer Mat rolls up into an integrated bag for easy transport.
Flexible – Integrated adjustable knee and face pad for multiple prayer positions.
Comfortable – Integrated carrying bag converts to foot pockets for maximum comfort while praying. A padded mat along with knee and face pad provide maximum comfort on any surface.
Durable – The entire line of Prayer Mats are made of high quality materials that will provide years of service. The exterior of the prayer mat can be clean with a damp cloth.
An unchurched friend came up to me while I was perusing the site, and we spent a while reading the pages and exclaiming over the different features (Friend: “You know what I could do with $99.95?” Moi: “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, bury the dead…” Friend: “That’s what I was thinking!”)
Then I found the instructions for use.
Moi: Reading from website Unpack Mat. Place bag on floor and un-snap top 3 snaps. Lay bag on its side and rollout mat in the desired direction.
Friend: …towards Mecca?
Then I got to the last part of the instructions:
G. Pull side of bag with snaps toward the top of roll and snap middle snap
H. Move hand to outside snaps and put slight pressure down and snap
There. You now all know how to operate snaps. Congratulations!
I did a quick Google, and it turns out that there are many types of prayer mats out there, including ones with scripture or maps of the world.
I just wonder, though, if the next step from getting a prayer mat is prostrations before the Cross, and from there it’s a slow, slippery slide to Catholicisim (Anglo- or Roman-) or even… *gasp* the Orthodox church! They do love themselves some prostrations…