2/2/05

Do you pray? Like, really pray?

This week's bulletin at my parish included a good mnemonic exercise for praying (well, more of the petition aspect of praying, but you can insert "gratitude" into each item as well, to complete it). It's called the Five Finger Prayer:

Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayer by praying for those closest to you. Pray for your family and your friends.

The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct, and heal. This includes priests, deacons, religious Sisters, teachers, doctors, nurses, judges, attorneys and all counselors. 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 our religious leaders—our Pope, our Bishops and Pastors. Also pray for our President, all government leaders and all leaders in business and industry. These people shape our church and our nation and they guide public opinion. They all need God’s guidance.

The fourth finger is our weakest finger as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for all those who are weak, sick, in pain or in trouble. They need our prayers day and night.

And lastly comes our little finger, the smallest finger of all—which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other groups, your own needs will be put into prosper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Interestingly, other sites that had the prayer, even Catholic sites, didn't mention the religious leaders in it. Makes me wonder if Holy Name inserted that, or if that's simply how it was wherever the priest found his version of it.