After a few weeks of prayers that were a little more intensive in the project department, I wanted to focus on a way of praying that was more “portable.” I was kind of floundering but then, while sitting in prayer pose in a yoga class, I was reminded of the hand prayer. I’m pretty sure that I’d once dismissed this as being outdated and old-fashioned but when I revisited it, I realized it’s actually a good building block. I did rework some of the language to make it work for a 7 year old but you’ll know how to adapt it for your own children. The basics of the hand prayer are that each finger reminds us to pray for a different person/thing. My daughter really got into this part. So much for it being outdated. Young children just don’t care if it’s new or not.
Thumb: Reminds us to pray for the people who are closest to us, like family and friends. (It helps if you hold your hands in the classic prayer position to demonstrate this.)
Pointer finger: Reminds us to pray for the people who “point the way,” that is teachers, etc. (7 years appears to be a big age for puns so this made her giggle.)
Index finger: The tallest finger, this one reminds us to pray for our leaders.
Ring finger: This is the weakest finger. We demonstrated this by trying to snap with it. It reminds us to pray for those who are weak right now—the hurt, sick or sad.
Pinky finger: Reminds us to pray for ourselves because it’s the last finger and the smallest one; others needs should be first in our hearts. (That’s a worthwhile thought to ponder, isn’t it?)
For this first time praying this way, we traced our hands on paper and wrote the names in on the fingers. The visual seemed like it was helpful. That being said, you could really teach (and continue to use!) this prayer anywhere.
Some of her prayers actually were personal for her and/or the people she named so they’re blocked out but you can see that praying for “leaders” was a hard idea. We talked about what that meant, then settled on just saying leaders without anything more specific. Older kids will have more of an idea of specific world, city or school leaders they’d like to pray for.
I barely got this in before the end of the week but I’m happy we tried it. I’m going to make it a goal to use it several more times this upcoming week so that it becomes more of a go-to way to pray.