A few weeks ago, my Pastor’s wife and I headed ” the big city” to do some shopping. Our goal was to purchase groceries and board games for our upcoming Youth Night hosted by our church.
However, when one travels two and a half hours for a Costco, you can imagine I’m going to take advantage of that opportunity and do a little personal grocery shopping.
And so I prayed. I prayed for days before. I prayed not just for a safe trip, but for how I shop.
There are several reasons I do this:
1. Funds are limited. If you know us personally or have read this blog for any length of time, I’m sure you know that the economic downturn has impacted us hard. Not only has our income decreased, but it is now completely unreliable. I do not know what next month will look like. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it has taught me to completely rely on God. I need to purchase food for my family, but I don’t have the security of knowing what funds are coming in and when. This leads me to my next point:
2. I need His wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. ~James 1:5 (NKJV) This is one of my favorite promises in all of Scripture. I need His wisdom now more than ever. I need His wisdom in every area of my life – including what I put into my shopping cart.
3. I want to be a good steward of what He has blessed me with. I feel incredibly responsible to use the funds He has blessed us with in a way that honors Him. I have heard it said that we should not ask how much of our money we can give to God, but how much of His money do we need to live on so that we can bless others with the rest. This is a difficult area and one I can only do with His help. My flesh wants to hoard while His spirit prompts me to give. Making wise financial choices with my shopping frees up more funds for others.
4. I am incredibly thankful for His provision. I can’t just throw whatever I want into my shopping cart, but I have all that I need; and then some! Focusing on how much God has blessed me and all that I have cures me of any temptation to adopt a woe is me kind of attitude. When I am unhappy with the amount I have to spend, I remember to thank God that it isn’t less. When I am temped to pout about the things I must walk past in the grocery aisle, I praise Him that my family has never known hunger. There is nothing like thinking of those in poverty to make you feel rich beyond belief. How blessed we are! Even when we don’t think it is enough, we need to remember that we have more than enough.
5. I remember those who do know hunger. When I fret about our finances, I remember those who are in desperate need of food. When my kids grumble about rice and beans, I think of children who cry out in desperation to their parents because their tummies have never known the feeling of being full. I want to weep for their misery. I want to weep for the goodness the Lord has shown toward me. I am incredibly thankful I have never lived this life, and I earnestly pray for those who long to escape the chains of utter poverty.
While I try not to be anxious, I am intentional.
Like my precious aunt says, “Trust God and buy groceries.” Though He has proved faithful each and every month, I still cover the matter in prayer.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; ~Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being our Jehovah-Jireh, our provider of all things. Thank You for the promise to provide us with wisdom when we seek it. Thank you for helping us be good stewards of what You have blessed us with. Help us to remember in our comfort those who only know hunger. May you move us to give above and beyond and to pray fervently for those in great need. Help us to be thankful for what You have given us rather than continually longing for more. Thank You for forgiving me when I do. In the holy and precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
What do you think? What kinds of things do you pray about that others might find silly or unnecessary? How do you think that praying over those matters change either your perspective or your circumstances?
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