Growing up in the church, I’ve heard many, many different public prayers.

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Small group prayers are the best. They’re personal, genuine, and heart-felt. What’s better than requesting prayer, then having someone pray for you right there on the spot?!?  My most intense times of prayer, when I’ve felt closest to God, have been in the context of healthy community.

But there’s one thing I’ve noticed. And I don’t think I’m the only one who’s heard this. In fact, I think it’s the most commonly used prayer phrase. And when it’s used, it stands out like that one final nail that you still haven’t hammered in on the pergola in your backyard.  All you hear is this phrase.   It usually comes after a brief, awkward, I-don’t-know-what-to-say-now pause.  Maybe you’ve heard it.  It goes like this:

…and that situation…

“Lord, please be with Sally and Vick this week, and help them out…and that situation.”

“God, you know better than I do all of the difficulties John is facing in life…and that situation.”

“Lord, you love Gary, and I ask you help him out with his house…and that situation.”

“And that situation” becomes the way to close the deal. Hang up the phone with God. It sounds irreverent to say, “Later, God…” and so the question is, “How do I tell God, and the small group, that I’m done with that request?”

Enter “and that situation.”

It’s a fantastic catch-all, really. Because when you say it, everyone in the room goes, “Ohhh…that situation. Yeah, that’s bad. That situation.”

Here are 5 other times when “and that situation” fits beautifully.

5 Times for the “And That Situation”

1. When you’ve not listened closely enough to the request to remember the details, just drop a “and that situation.”

No reason to listen closely anymore when people share their prayer requests.  You’ve got a perfect fall-back, catch-all, I-love-each-and-every-person-in-my-group phrase.  Repeat after me: And. That. Situation.

2. When your group isn’t close enough to share the details of life, and you honestly don’t know the details of “that situation.”

Don’t press in to know people. That’s too difficult and too “honest.”  Let it ride.  “And that situation.”

3. When you have no idea what else to say, slip in a “and that situation.”

If it doesn’t naturally fit, it’s okay.  God will fist-bump you for hanging up the phone with class.

4. When you don’t know the person you’re praying for very well.

“Would they be comfortable with me repeating details before God?  Would God even want me to do that?”  Don’t make things too awkward.  Don’t try to get to know them later on so that next time you pray you won’t question things.  “And that situation” that thing and move right on.

5. When you don’t have the words to adequately express your heart, push things back on God.

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us, right? I bet his “groans” sound something like a holy “and that situation.” (see Romans 8:26)


Have you ever heard little phrases creep in to your prayers?

Have you ever heard “and that situation?”