Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when millions of Americans (who the day before gave thanks for their many blessings) race to stores, wait in lines and spend money to acquire more. This is not a post to make you feel guilty about taking advantage of Black Friday “deals and steals” but just a few words to suggest ways to make Black Friday not only a shopping extravaganza but also a prayer experience.
Do you have your Black Friday shopping list? Let me suggest adding to it—not more stuff to buy but a few things to pray. You might write or print this list on the flip side of your shopping list. Or staple the two lists together. Or cut and paste these prayer prompts as reminders in your smart phone, to notify you every so often during the day.
1. Give thanks that you have money to spend and loved ones to buy for.
2. Pray for other shoppers (instead of mowing them down in the parking lot to get a better shot at the limited supplies inside).
3. Pray for the store clerks and others who are working–perhaps under stressful circumstances–to meet the needs of Black Friday shoppers. Do so even as you approach them, pass them, are served by them or walk away from them.
4. Pray for wisdom and patience to spend wisely and be a good steward of the financial resources with which God has entrusted you. If you have a budget, pray to stay within it.
5. Give thanks for “things I can do without” as you pass them by.
6. Pray for those who cannot participate in Black Friday because they lack the resources even to put food on their table or gas in their car.
7. Give thanks for “things I can enjoy without acquiring or possessing them” (e.g., a sunrise, library books, etc.).
8. Pray for those throughout the world whose needs are just as acute on Black Friday as on the other days of the year. Pray for a way to remember their suffering and do or spend something to relieve it.
9. Pray to be delivered from greed, impatience and unkindness from others and toward others.
10. Pray for an opportunity to bless someone—a fellow shopper, a frazzled clerk, another driver—at least once today.