It was early in my career and I was leading my first meeting. I was trying to describe how the computer system was going to work, but no one in the room seemed to understand. By the end of the meeting, we were no further along than when we’d started. My manager stayed behind after everyone else left and provided this piece of advice, “you need to speak in pictures.”
The 5 Finger Prayer: Visually Recall Your Prayer List
According to some studies, 65% of us are visual learners, meaning we learn better from pictures, graphics, illustrations, and charts. If you are in this group of visual learners, or even in the 5% of kinesthetic learners who need touch and movement, then you may like this prayer framework even better than the ACTS method.
The 5 Finger Prayer was developed by Pope Francis, long before he was elected to be the Pope. He published this prayer method as a way to make prayer more accessible and help people pray for those need prayer the most.
How to Pray the 5 Finger Prayer
Hold out your hand as you pray and say a prayer for each of your five fingers.
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1) Thumb – Pray for family and friends
Your thumb is the closest to your heart. So, start here by praying for those closest to you.
Pray for your family and friends.
2) Index Finger – Pray for those who teach and guide
The next finger is the index or pointer finger, the one used to give directions. Pray for people who lead, teach, and give guidance.
Pray for your teachers, doctors, counselors, ministers, coaches, police, firemen, and other people who influence and guide your life.
3) Middle Finger – Pray for leaders
This is your tallest finger and reminds us to pray for those in charge. Pray for the government and leaders around you.
Pray for your country and its leaders. Pray for your local state and city leaders. Pray for leaders at your office place – the executives who lead the company, as well as your reporting chain.
4) Ring Finger – Pray for those in need
Your ring finger (the fourth finger) is your weakest finger. This one reminds us to pray for the weak and needy.
Pray for the sick, the homeless, the poor, and all those who are hurting and in need.
5) Pinkie Finger – Pray for yourself
The last finger, the pinkie, is your smallest finger. This one is for you. Now that you have prayed for everyone else, spend time to pray for yourself. Consider your needs from the perspective of all the others you’ve just prayed for.
Pray for yourself last. Pray for your relationship with Christ to grow. Pray for your specific needs and concerns. Pray for God’s blessings in your life. Pray prayers of thanksgivings.
PRAY DEEP CHALLENGE: Try the 5 Finger Prayer today. Each time you pray, think of a different group of people to pray for with each finger. If you have children, this is a great prayer to do with them.
For more information on the 5 Finger Prayer, check out these resources:
Ways to Pray: Five Finger Prayer @ prayercentral.net
A Simple Prayer Method from a Simple Pontiff @ CatholicVote.org
Hi, thanks for sharing this! It’s a great idea and definitely one I’ll try with my son! x
Ellen Chauvin says
Kathryn, I love the simplicity of this. I am planning to teach my grandkids with this! Thank you
Dawn Boyer says
Prayer…. I love that this is your language. I am encouraged that I can come to your little home here and be reminded of the tools I have to break down walls that keep me from His purpose and blessing. I also absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the book suggestions you have on the sidebar.
my language – I’ve never thought of it that way, but will have to really ponder that idea… I’m so glad this is connecting and that you’ve found my little corner of the world! So glad to have you here!
I love this! Such a great way to remember all the different groups to pray for. It’s easy to pray for ‘your own’ and forget about the rest.