Generally, I don’t believe in “one size fits all” because, in my pitiful experience, items so-described fit no one—unless you happen to be someone who likes a trendy burlap-sack look.
However, I was surprised the other day when I tried praying one-size-fits-all prayers for everyone and everything on my prayer list. As an experiment, I jotted down my Bible app’s verse-of-the-day next to the people and situations I wanted to pray for. Then I slipped the list into a Ziploc bag and took it to the pool so I could intercede while doing laps.
The verse was Isaiah 26:9: “All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.” *
Lap by lap, I prayed through my list, praying that verse into a couple dozen lives and situations that concerned me. Whether it was for friends, missionaries, family members, or people I was only acquainted with, the verse was easy to adapt to them and their needs. I also had some big-picture items on my list—like the Burkina Faso terrorist attack and the upcoming US elections. The verse seemed to lend itself especially well to those.
I experienced several benefits by praying this way.
- Instead of worrying my prayers, as I sometimes do, I felt like I was able to pray more in line with God’s view of the situations. Praying God’s truth into the situations replaced anxiety with hope.
- Because I was praying God’s Word, I knew I was praying in accord with His will.
- When I finished, I was in an attitude of worship. Because I’d prayed that verse 30 times, it was ingrained in me that God was the answer to every prayer I’d prayed. God Himself.
- And, I probably don’t even need to mention, that I’d practically memorized the verse by the time I was done with my laps.
Will I try one-size-fits-all praying again? You bet! If you decide to try it, or to adapt this idea somehow, won’t you post a comment to let us know how it went for you? If you don’t know about Bible apps, here are a couple of good ones that provide a new verse for every day: https://www.biblegateway.com/; https://www.youversion.com/
*Just in case you’re curious, or perhaps you’d like to give one-size-fits-all-praying a try right now, here is today’s verse from YouVersion: “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:35-36, NLT) Now is that a verse everyone needs, or what?