About the Five Finger Prayer
Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer is a way to remember who to pray for. The prayer is below, but a printable PDF with a diagram and instructions is also provided in this article.
Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer
Each finger reminds us of people we should remember in prayer:
The thumb is the 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.’
So start with the thumb, think of all of those who are dear to you. This is often family and friends. Think of their special needs at this time and pray for them by name.
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.
Think about those who give you guidance and teach you to follow Jesus. These could be parents, grandparents, teachers, priests, etc. Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen them in their own lives and help them understand how to help you. Pray for them by name.
The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God’s guidance.
Think about our political and cultural leaders. Pray that they might lead our country and society in a direction which brings us closer to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire them to do what is right. Think of the issues in the news and pray that our leaders have the wisdom to make good decisions in these matters.
The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even that 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.
Pray for those on the margins – the poor, the sick, the young, the aged, the unwanted, the ignored, the discarded. Seek inspiration to know how to help the weakest in our society. Ask for the strength and courage to serve others.
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.
Pray for yourself last. This is a reminder to put the needs of others first and to remember that everyone has challenges in life. Seek the wisdom to know that God is with you in all that you do and to put your hopes and cares in His hands.
A rope prayer for the US is another way to pray for others and ourselves.
This page has some other suggestions for new ways to pray.
This is a prayer specifically for children.