5 Reasons Why I Pray Before I Shop

August 13, 2014 by


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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26 Responses to 5 Reasons Why I Pray Before I Shop

  1. Joyce

    We live on a small SSI check now and it is indeed a test of our faith and patience to try and stretch our money and not get into fear nor lack of faith. We went to Aldi’s yesterday and was shocked at how much prices rose in just three weeks. Butter had literally doubled and when we looked at our cart for the price we paid…..wow! My Hubby and I just looked at each other. Yet we know God’s word is true and He will not fail us regardless of the fact that we are living in the last moments of time to the coming of the Lord.

    We are seeing the promise of Malachi work in our lives like never before. Sometimes I wonder how we can pay the tithes we do, but then I am reminded that we cannot NOT afford to pay them. He who owns the cattle of a thousand hills can sell one for us if needed…smile I try to remember that…..THIS IS JUST A TEST! He is ever faithful.

  2. Beth Hess

    This is such an important reminder that God wants to be involved in every detail of our lives. It’s easy to take “little” things like shopping and decide it’s something we can and should do on our own. But I’m so grateful that God WANTS to be with us in each decision. The bulk of the little things is what, indeed, shapes our lives. Thanks for joining up at Three Word Wednesday @SimplyBeth. This was a lovely addition, and I hope to see you there again.

    • Heather

      Thank you so much, Beth! Sometimes we feel that we don’t want to bother God with the small things, but like you said, the bulk of those things shapes our lives. Thanks for hosting and for stopping by.

  3. cathie estabrook

    thank you heather for helping me see that when i ask God if i need this, in the store, or not, i go by what i hear. i also thank God for everything; walking from one point to another, everything that goes into my mouth including my prescriptions and vitamins, sleep, and even relieving myself. i have felt that i don’t care what people think of me, but i even thank God for pain and say that i know it could, and should be, worse if i am being punished. you are amazing heather, and i thank God for knowing you. God bless

    • Heather

      I thank God for you, too, Cathie! I am so thankful for your faith. I, too, thank God for everything. When I am unhappy with my circumstances, I thank Him that it isn’t worse. It helps me to remember to pray for those who are really struggling. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

      • Rick

        Oh if we could always remember to thank God no matter what. You are both so right. Even in our pain it could always be worse and we would deserve it. Thank you for that amazing reminder of his true faith is to be fleshed out, or should I say fresh squelched!

  4. Lisa notes...

    I so appreciate your distinguishing between being anxious and being intentional. I am a planner by nature, and sometimes I think that can be mistaken for worry, but being intentional can mean being a wise steward as well. (Not that I don’t also do my share of worrying, unfortunately.) Praying before we do anything is always the best idea so this post is right on target.

    This also hit home with me. “There is nothing like thinking of those in poverty to make you feel rich beyond belief.” I see a lot of poor families each week, and it has made me take a fresh look at my own abundance, and see things I need to give away. God has blessed me so I’ll bless others, not just so I’ll hoard it all to myself. Thanks for all this, Heather!

    • Heather

      Yes, Lisa, there is a fine line between worry and planning, isn’t there? I find that while I am concerned for our finances, on the other hand I almost feel guilty, at times, for the abundance I have when others are living in utter poverty. So much to seek God for in prayer – the little things and the large. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

  5. Wise Hearted

    Heather great points on praying before shopping. We too live on a limited budget and I am usually amazed at how far God can stretch a dollar. I hate it when I waste money, it such a tool God uses to teach us to trust Him with everything. Glad I stopped by from Lisa post. Good read.

    • Heather

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. You are so right – God does use money as a tool to each us trust in Him. I like that point of view.

  6. Rick

    Any time we feel led to pray is a good time indeed. I never thought about praying for the piece in the middle of His provision. Yes for my job and yes before a meal, but have missed out on that opportunity. Reminds me of a little journey I took awhile back in regards to mealtime prayer. My wife and I have the opportunity to have dinner with a group of friends who either are from another denomination of faith or do not attend church at all. When we have it at our home, I am the designated pray-er. They all honor this at their homes as well and allow me the same courtesy. So I went on a search for a prayer that would have a deeper message in it because of the opportunity of having their undivided attention. Do you know how hard it is to find a mealtime prayer that not only thanks God for the meal before us but also honors Him for who he is and just how blessed we are for his amazing sacrifice on the cross so we may be reconciled and have a fully engaged relationship with the God of the universe, to know His love for us at a level that causes us to want to love others and share this good news? I ended up back at the place I started! No memorized prayer that tries to cover all bases. Just giving thanks for the blessed meal before us!
    We have, however, moved into everyone holding hands in a circle while we pray, so I’m liking the reverence and it has lent itself to adding to that thanks as we go along. Praise God for His blessed providence and all the pieces in between!

  7. elizabethfstewart

    I used to always pray before shopping when funds were tighter and God always helped me. I need to remember to do this now! I’m here from still saturday.

  8. Simply Beth

    I really like this post and the reminder that God cares about every part of our life and wants to be involved. From the little to the big . . . He wants us to include Him in it all. So glad you shared this with Three Word Wednesday. I hope you join us again tomorrow, Heather. Blessings.

  9. Courtney

    Yes! Someone else who prays before shopping! lol. I do the same thing, and it always amazes me how faithfully the Lord works it all out. I can literally have a ton of groceries in my cart and will be thinking to myself when I get up to the register, “Oh no, this is going to be more than I want…”, and when it’s all said and done, we make it within our budget or below.

    And as far as being intentional is concerned, I know what you mean. I try to stagger from week to week the higher priced items I need to buy so that I don’t buy them all in one week and that helps keep our food bill down for each week.

    • Heather

      I’m so glad to hear that I am not alone. It’s is incredible how faithful He is, isn’t it? Staggering from week to week is a great idea!

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