The “Five Finger Prayer” is a simple, yet effective, way to pray.
We were separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). But because Jesus paid for our sin on the cross we now “have access by one Spirit to the Father,” (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:18). Those who receive Jesus as their Savior become “children of God” (John 1:12).
So even though God is “great and mighty in power” (Psalm 147:4), we are His children and He is always thinking of us, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand!” (Psalm 139:17-18)
He is always ready to bend His ear to hear our prayers and so we’re encouraged to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The Five Finger Prayer is a simple guide we can use when we pray.
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 “sweet duty.”
While praying for our loved ones is easy the Bible also tells us to pray for our enemies who, in a negative way, are also near us.
“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44) And again, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:9)
2) The next finger is the Pointing Finger
The pointing finger reminds us of those who instruct so 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. These men and women have great influence on society and we should pray that they display and teach godly principles in all they do.
3) The next finger is the Tallest Finger
Our tallest finger reminds us of those who are in charge. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. Pray for our church leaders, our Pope, priests, religious, and missionaries. They need God’s guidance.
When the king of Nineveh prayed to God he saved his nation from destruction (Jonah 3:6-10). We should pray that our decision makers repent and seek God’s will as they lead us.
4) The fourth finger is our Ring Finger
The ring finger 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.
The Bible tells us that all who believe in Christ are “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12) and that we are to “bear one another burdens”. We should “pray for one another,” James 5:16 tells us that, because “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Praying for others is a way of serving those around us and serving is what gives us purpose to life. “If you love Me,” Jesus said, “feed My sheep.” Praying for those in need is one way to feed Christ’s sheep.
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.
When praying for ourselves we should first confess our sins because sin breaks fellowship with God and we don’t want to be out of fellowship with Him. No matter how badly we’ve sin take heart and know that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Then we should give thanks for all the blessings we have been given, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pray your vows to the Most High” (Psalm 50:14)
And finally we lay out what is on our heart, the good and the bad, and we pray that God’s will be done in our life. The Father loves you very much and will always do what is best for you. Trust Him and He will lead you and cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)