Megachurch asks followers to send cash in case they successfully pray a dead toddler back to life

A megachurch in the US has asked followers to pray for the resurrection of a young girl - and to send money, in case they're successful. 

In a post to Instagram earlier this week, mother Kalley Heiligenthal said they "believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power". 

"We need it for our little Olive Alayne, who stopped breathing yesterday and has been pronounced dead by doctors."

Olive was two years old when she died in unclear circumstances, US media reported. 

"Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for," Heiligenthal wrote.

The Heiligenthals are members of Californian megachurch Bethel, which claims to host 9000 worshippers at its regular services. On Tuesday, hundreds attended a prayer service it held "declaring resurrection and life", Slate reported.

"We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life," Heiligenthal wrote on Instagram.

But the church's bid for cash that's raised eyebrows. It started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of US$100,000, a spokesperson telling local news outlet KRCR News it was for "future expenses" for Olive - who is deceased. 

Bethel Pastor Bill Johnson, in a video posted to Facebook, said resurrection had a precedent - Jesus could do it.

Another spokesperson told a local paper "nothing is impossible, even things like resurrection". 

Heiligenthal continues to post on Instagram, most recently saying "day five is a really good day for resurrection". That post had more than 94,000 likes as of Saturday.

The crowdfunding bid has just passed the halfway mark to the US$100,000 goal.