How Much Does


A Prayer Weigh

     Louise Redden, a poorly-dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store.  She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.  She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work; they had seven children, and they needed food.  John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

     Thinking of the needs of her family, Mrs. Redden pleaded, “Please, sir!  I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.”

     Mr. Longhouse told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

     Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told Mr. Longhouse that he would stand good for whatever Mrs. Redden needed for her family.

     Reluctantly, Mr. Longhouse, in a gruff voice, asked, “Do you have a grocery list?”

     “Yes, sir,” Mrs. Redden quickly responded.

     “Okay,” he said, “put your grocery list on the scales, and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.”

     Mrs. Redden hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse, took out a piece of paper and pencil, and scribbled something on the paper.  She then carefully laid the piece of paper on the scale with her head still bowed. Mr. Longhouse and the customer stared in speechless amazement as the scales went down and stayed down.

     Still staring at the scales, the grocer man turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe it.”  The customer smiled, and the grocer man started putting groceries on the other side of the scales.  The scale did not balance, so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.  The grocer man stood there in utter disgust.

     Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.  It was not a grocery list; it was a written prayer, which said: “Dear Lord, you know my needs, and I am leaving this in Your hands.”

     Mr. Longhouse bagged the groceries he had gathered and placed on the scales and gave the overflowing bags to Mrs. Redden.  As he stood in stunned silence, Mrs. Redden thanked him and left the store.  The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to Mr. Longhouse, as he said, “It was worth every penny of it.”

     It was sometime later that Mr. Longhouse discovered the scales were unexplainably broken.  Only God knows how much a prayer weighs!

     “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].”  Mark 11:23, 24.