02 January 2013

Pray Like a Child? - or - The Five Fingers of Prayer

Last year I made a conscious effort to set aside time to pray.  Sure, I have always prayed, but it had never been very formal, but more of a conversation with God throughout the day, while driving, while walking, etc.  Those conversations are still going on as I see God in so many things throughout my day, but I do make time - first thing in the morning - to spend serious time in private, quiet prayer. 

When I first started, I noticed that my prayers were kind of disjointed.  Giving thanks for this; and asking for that.  Then I discovered this simple way to keep the dialogue open, and to remember who/what to pray for.  Of course, there are many, many ways to pray.  And your prayer time with God is private and personal.  So I am only posting this because it has helped me.

The Five Fingers of Prayer

Whether you pray with your hands in traditional prayer pose or not, picture them as such.

Thumbs:  Your thumbs are closest to you.  So pray for those that are closest to your heart.  Your family, your friends.

Index Finger:  This finger is also known as the "pointer" finger.  Pray for those who point you in the right direction -- in the path of light.  Pray for your priest, your teachers, maybe a person who has guided you to live a better life.  Pray for their ministries, their work, and that God give them strength to continue guiding us.

Middle finger:  Your middle finger is the tallest.  Associate this with someone in high office.  Pray for the leaders of our country and all countries worldwide.  Pray that God open their hearts and minds toward peace and compassion that they can lead their people in the right path toward peace, harmony and justice.

Ring Finger:  Have you tried holding up your ring finger by itself?  The ring finger is the weakest finger.  Pray for those that are weak.  The oppressed, those that are victims of war, domestic violence, cancer, sickness, weak in spirit.  Pray for those that are hurt and suffering; for the widows and orphans.  Add the names of those that have asked you to pray for them. 

Little Finger:  The little finger is the least of the fingers.  Finally, remember to pray for yourself and your needs last of all.

It's very simple, I know.  But it makes sense and it works for me.  Whatever works, right? 
I hope you find it helpful in your prayer life.  If not for you, then possibly to explain prayer to your child.

May our New Year be filled with blessings and a renewal of faith for all of us.


Jim said...

This is excellent! I teach kids in a church youth group, ages 7 to11, and I have to share this with them!

Pomegranate and Eye said...

Thanks Jim. It's just a nice framework to help remember...works for me. : )

LoveWellCrafted said...

Thanks for posting this. My prayers are usually all frazzled and all over the place. I will have to make an effort to focus and use my fingers :)