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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Dalziel

Smart Shopping! (26-01-2021)

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Have you ever been ‘Smart Shopping’? In these present times we are being encouraged by some of the supermarkets to shop smart. This is where instead of selecting your items and putting them in your trolley as you go around the store and then going to a till to have an assistant scan each of your items in order for you to pay for them, you scan each item yourself using a handheld scanner, put them in your bags as you go along and then go to a machine at the end to pay for what you have in your bags. I knew the benefits of using the hand held scanners, I would be the only person to touch my purchases, but I had resisted using them. However, recently I decided to give it a go, as my younger brother convinced me that it was a good idea, and so off to the shops I went.

Firstly I couldn’t work out how the scanner worked, so I had to go back to the lady who had given it to me to ask for her to show me again. Then, and this was my real issue, I was terrified the whole way round that I would forget to scan something before putting it in my bag and so would unwittingly steal it from the shop. Lastly when I got to the end I couldn’t get the machine to work correctly and had to ask yet another person for help. As I walked around the store there seemed to be plenty of other people, each with their own scanner, having no difficulties at all. They seemed to know exactly what they were doing and it all came so easily to them. Well I have persevered, and it has got better. I have become more relaxed as I have become familiar with what I am doing.

Praying can sometimes feel like this. Sometimes it seems that all around us are people who know exactly what they are doing, who seem to pray effortlessly, while we struggle. Sometimes we don’t know what to say, or how to say it, or even just where to begin. The good news is that it gets easier the more we do it. There are plenty of people and books around to help when we get stuck. I have mentioned before that I regularly use prayers by David Adam. Jesus himself gave us a prayer for us to use. We all know that praying is a good thing to do, so don’t be discouraged when it seems difficult; ask for help, use other people’s prayers, use songs that are prayers or just sit in silence before God as he already knows what we want to ask him.

Prayer (David Adam)

Lift us Lord,

From darkness to light

From sickness to health

From distress to calm.

Lift us Lord,

From sadness to joy

From fear to faith

From loneliness to love.

Lift us Lord,

In mind and in spirit

In word and in deed

In body and in soul.



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