Prayer-Eating is a Discipline commonly associated with the heretical Face of the Gods Dharma, although certain sects of Thrashing Dragons and Devil-Tigers have adopted the Discipline for they own purposes. As the Quincunx frown upon this Discipline and do not shun from declaring practicioners akuma if used recklessly, most users of the Discipline are found within the Bijali Courts and the Golden Courts.
Prayer-Eating operates on the principle that a god is connected to her worshipers. Through the development of this Discipline, the Kuei-jin learns to extend her spiritual influence into those who pay her homage. Among those Quincunx Cathayans permitted to review such blasphemous reachings, largely bodhisattvas and Elder mandarin-magicians, there's a long-running debate on the source of the Discipline's power. Some scholars maintain this hubris-born art harnesses power that's mostly divine prerogative. They argue that akuma derived this Discipline from the study and spiritual vivisection of the hsien, and the ability to derive golden Chi from Prayer-Eating seems to support this. Others say the Discipline is in no way divine or special, and instead, simply manifests a soul-touching effect like Obligation, only it's centered on beings willingly making a connection with the vampire through the channel of "worship." The fact that the study of this proscribed art is entirely academic makes discussion ponderous, and more rooted in the ideologies of the Wan Kuei discussing it than the actual spiritual realities of the art. These origins remain largely unexplored by the Discipline's traditional practitioners, who learn it as an established craft, not an academic pursuit.
Included below are the official powers described in the Heresies of the Way.
- Hear Prayer: By relaxing and meditating, the Kuei-jin can listen to prayers directed at him
- Prayer Appraisal: By establishing eye contact, the Kuei-jin can see the inmost prayers and desires of devoted worshippers who sincerely believe in the Kuei-jin's divinity.
- Fulfill Prayer: The Kuei-jin can manipulate joss to make small prayers come true. This forms the base for many cults of the Face of the Gods followers.
- Prayer-Eating: The Kuei-jin can transform prayers directed at him into a nourishing, honey-like substance that replenishes his chi.
- Unbreakable Soul-Bonds: The Kuei-jin can infuse a willing, true believer with undying loyalty, making it impossible for the worshipper to betray his god.
- Heresies of the Way p.77