The Five Finger Prayer
The five finger prayer is a method to help people remember categories of people to pray for. It is a memory device used as an aid to prayer.
For this you simply need your hand. For each finger there is a different category of person that you can pray for together. You could have you children draw around their hand and then write on each finger who they want to pray for.
Thumb: Those closest to your heart – family and friends
Pointer finger: Those giving direction – teachers, doctors…etc
Index finger: Those in leader – Government, business, church.
Ring finger: Those who are weak – sick, poor.
Pinky finger: Yourself.
We have collected some of the best Five Finger Prayers to use in request to God. May these prayers for safety bring you comfort and peace of mind. May these prayers for strength encourage your spirit and strengthen your faith.
Easy way of praying
- Your thumb is nearest 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer
Using the fingers on your hand, start with the thumb and pray these intentions in this order:
- The thumb is closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones is a “Sweet Obligation.”
The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.
The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God’s guidance.
The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.
And finally we have our smallest finger, the smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.
Five Finger Prayer for Kids
You can pray this prayer together with your kids in class or have them pray it at home in their personal prayer time or with their families.
First, I want you to put your hands together in front of you as if you are praying. Keep your eyes open so that you can see your hands. You will notice that the closest finger to you is the thumb. Since it is the closest to you, the thumb reminds you to pray for those that are closest to you. Pray for your parents and your brothers or sisters.
The next finger is called your index finger. It is used for pointing. Let this finger remind you to pray for those that point you in the right direction. Pray for your teachers at school, your Sunday School teacher, and your pastor.
The next finger is the tallest finger. This finger reminds us to pray for our leaders. Pray for the president and other leaders in our government and those who are leaders in our town.
The fourth finger is the called the ring finger. Did you know that this is the weakest of all the fingers? Just ask any one who plays the piano and they will tell you that is true. Let this finger remind you to pray for those who are sick.
The next finger is the smallest finger. The Bible says, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” Let the little finger remind you to pray for yourself.
So the next time you are talking to God, and you can’t think of anything to say, let the “Five Finger Prayer” help you.
Short version five-finger prayer
Go through the fingers on your hand and pray this way:
- Thumb (the finger that is closest to you). Pray for those closest to you.
- Index finger (the one we usually point with). Pray for those that direct (doctors, pastors, teachers).
- Middle finger (which is usually the longest or highest): Pray for those that are “higher-ups” (leaders, government officials, president).
- Ring finger. Pray for the weakest among us and those in need.
- Pinky finger (last finger). Pray for yourself last.
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