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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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The Praying Customer: Emma’s story

Emma’s* story is a beautiful example of how God works through his people to bless the folk they meet on their frontlines. It shows how he takes our small offerings of obedience and does more with them than we could imagine. And it’s an encouragement that each of us can bear good, kingdom fruit in our daily lives – even in times of immense pressure like the Covid pandemic.

Emma takes up the story in her own words:

‘Before “stay at home” was the new catchphrase of the moment, the fear had already started to spread. At the pharmacy where I work, we saw it coming. The daily enquiries for facemasks and hand sanitiser started as a trickle and soon became a tsunami. Toilet rolls and cleaning products were scooped up. Conversations with customers were edged with anxiety, full of what-ifs and preparations for battle with an unknown, unseen enemy.

‘Only a few months into this new frontline in my life, I found myself labelled a “key worker”. As the rest of the country stayed in, I walked to work through deserted streets, under a bright blue sky full of birdsong. I know God goes with me and so I prayed as I went past dog-walkers and joggers, doing the “dodge-out-of-the-way-sorry” move around people coming the other way. I prayed about the day ahead, for peace, protection and for opportunities to show God’s love to the people I met. I thought of God’s goodness and mercy following me, and was challenged to wear my gold cross necklace in case it spurred a conversation.

‘In the shop, I had many opportunities to send up a prayer for those who’d been waiting for a prescription, those who hadn’t spoken to anyone else all day, those who were frightened and vulnerable. I was reassured I was where God wanted me to be.

‘One day, early on, when I was on door duty waiting to let a customer out, I heard her say to a colleague at the counter: “and I’ve even tried praying!” So, as she passed me, I encouraged her by saying “keep praying. He will hear you.”

‘I recognised her as a regular customer and prayed for another chance to speak to her. It was a while before she came back, this time concerned about her sick cat, but it wasn’t the right time to ask about her praying.

‘Then, one afternoon, on my way home, I had a gentle nudge from God to walk a slightly different route than usual, and there she was! She recognised me and welcomed a conversation about praying and faith. I told her about my church’s online services, and she said she’d watch and would come to the pharmacy and tell me what she thought of it.

‘I didn’t see her for several weeks after that, but when I did, she had watched the service and had particularly found the children’s talk helpful and said she was still praying. I pray that those prayers will be her first steps in a journey towards faith in Christ.

‘Seeing how God worked through me on my frontline to speak to that woman has encouraged me to listen for his still, small voice guiding me in my daily life. And it inspired me to take the opportunities he provides to speak up for him – even in the middle of an ordinary work day.’


*Name changed

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Each of us will have moments or stories like these, but we easily forget or don’t see them. Yet they can be such a source of encouragement to us, and to others.

Why not take some time to tell us your own story of God at work in your everyday? We’d love to hear it – and, with your permission, share it to help others see how God might be working through them!

  • Can we edit your story and share it anonymously on our blog? (We’ll show it to you first!)