Mr. Walters was a cantankerous, greedy grocery store owner in a small town along the Oregon coast. One Friday morning in April 1962 a poorly dressed woman walked into his store, her face drawn with signs of distress and concern.
Mary approached the store owner in a most humble manner and asked if he would allow her to charge a few groceries. She explained that her husband was badly injured in a work accident and she had no job. They had five children at home, and they needed to be fed. He laughed at her and asked that she leave the store immediately. “Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.” He told her he couldn’t give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing close by was a frequent customer John Kinner. He overheard the conversation and walked up to Mr. Walters and told him that he would ‘stand good’ for whatever she needed for her family. Reluctantly Mr. Walters asked, “Do you have a grocery list”? Mary meekly answered, “Yes sir I do.”
Then he said, “Okay put your grocery list on our balance scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.” (He knew a piece of paper wouldn’t even budge his store scales.)
Mary hesitated a moment, reached into her purse, took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head bowed. Mr. Walters and John watched in awe as the scales lowered as far as it could go. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned to the John and in a very disgruntled voice exclaimed, “I can’t believe it!” John smiled as Mr. Walters started putting groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale wouldn’t balance so he kept piling the groceries on until the scales could hold no more.
He was thoroughly disgusted and grabbed the piece of paper from the scales. He looked at it with sheer amazement. It wasn’t a grocery list, it was a prayer!
The prayer was simple and humble, written from Mary’s heart. It read,
“Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.”
Mr. Walters bagged all the groceries for her without saying a word…he was in shock at what had just happened. Mary thanked him and left the store. John Kinner smiled and gave Mr. Walters $50 to pay for Mary’s groceries and as he started towards the door he turned around and said, ” Sure is amazing just how much a prayer weighs!” Then he walked out.
It took a few moments for Mr. Walters to realize what had just happened, and with a truly remorseful heart, closed his eyes and whispered, “God, I know it’s been a long time since I talked to you, but thank you for sending Mary into my store today” he continued with tears welling up in his eyes “this is what Mama was reminding of before she died; that You know our needs and if we rely on You, all our needs will be met”. He had one more thing to add ” And Father, remember when I asked Jesus into my heart to forgive my sins when I was 12– then Mama died and I was angry with You? I understand now…could I please have Jesus back?”
Jesus said “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing , ye shall receive .” Matthew 21:22
Never underestimate the power of prayers offered to the Father in faith believing, for “…your Father knows what ye have need of before you ask” Matthew 6:8
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