Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Five Fingers of Prayer

As Christians or whatever religious denominations, we all have different way of praising, adoring, thanking and asking God, this is in the form of prayer. While we often still think of prayer primarily as asking God for something, prayer, properly understood, is a conversation with God or with the saints. Just as we cannot hold a conversation with another person unless he can hear us, the very act of praying is an implicit recognition of the presence of God or the saints here with us. And in praying, we strengthen that recognition of the presence of God, which draws us closer to Him. That is why the Church recommends that we pray frequently and make prayer an important part of our everyday lives.
As part of that act of praying we can use the fingers in our hands in stating our needs to God.

1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."
2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.
3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.
4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.
5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others? As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself.
By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively. Should you find it hard to get to sleep tonight, just remember the homeless family who has no bed to lie in.

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