‘Home Wi-Fi networks can seriously interfere with prayer’, warns the Church of England as they release guidance suggesting that you set your devices to airplane mode before asking for the Lord’s blessing. Studies have shown that Wi-Fi signals in both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands can seriously degrade and, in some cases, entirely block prayer.
Rev. James Barron, Chief Technology Officer for the Church of England, said: What we have seen is that broad spectrum interference from Wi-Fi is having a detrimental effect on our ability to converse with our Lord. The effect is not too surprising, it has been well understood for at least two decades that prayer does not work at all when standing close to an operating microwave oven, the principle with Wi-Fi is exactly the same.’
The Church says it has been investigating for some time the phenomena of incorrectly-answered prayers, such as an incident in 2014 where a Cardiff woman’s prayers to help his sister recover from cancer were incorrectly answered by a miraculous delivery of sixteen cans of kidney beans.
Another incident occurred in early 2015 when a boy in Sheffield’s prayers to help find his lost dog were completely unanswered and his dog never found. “I felt so terrible, wondering why God never answered me,’ he said, ‘but now I know it’s my own stupid fault for leaving my iPad turned on.’
Prayer in a church with a traditional lead roof, designed to shield the congregation from external radio interference, is said to be more reliable as the signal-to-noise ratio of a large congregation praying at one time can override most of the interference from the devices they may be carrying with them, although churches are still asking people to turn off their phones just in case.
Of course the problem works both ways, and some who reside near to churches are complaining of regular signal drops and disconnections of their home internet during Sunday morning services. ‘I called BT Infinity to find out why they couldn’t fix my Wi-Fi’, one angry resident complained, ‘only to be told that it’s an “Act of God.”