December 6, 2021

This Is The Shopper’s Prayer


Here’s a verse in Psalms I call The Shopper’s Prayer because when I’m shopping, I need this verse: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things” (Psalm 119:37).

How easy it is to see something attractive and want to buy it. “You see it, you want it.” Of course, the marketers have spent a lot of money to create that desire in us.

But if I want something more than I want God, that becomes idolatry. “Idolatry occurs when one holds any value, idea, or activity higher than God or morality,” say Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Rabbi Vogel[1]. That means God is the one who should have the final say in how I spend my money, or else I’m making an idol out of “things.”

I find it very practical to pray before I shop.  For one thing, I often ask the Lord to help me find what I need with a minimum of time and effort. To me, it’s such a waste of time to go from store to store to store looking for that just-right item.

Another reason to pray before you shop is that it’s a test of whether or not you really need the article. You’ll find it hard to pray for something you don’t really need.  After all, God promises to meet our needs, not our wants, right?

U.S. consumers hold a record outstanding credit-card and other types of debt, according to the Federal Reserve.[2]

A financial planner once said, “If more people would pay as they go, they might catch up paying for where they’ve already been.” The Bible says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (Romans 13:8). Yes, Lord, turn my eyes away from worthless things.

[1] Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Rabbi Stewart Vogel, The Ten Commandments (New York, NY: Cliff Street Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 1998), 59.

[2] Federal Bank of New York, “Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,” August, 2021,