Learning to Pray
The focus for our Lenten devotions is prayer, so I am asking you to consider this question, “Who taught you how to pray?”
When I was growing up the act of praying happened all around me. It seemed that every parsonage we lived in had a separate study, so that’s where Daddy prayed. Momma kept her Bible and a copy of the Upper Room propped on the arm of the sofa, so that was her prayer spot. If my beloved Grand Mommy was visiting, you could hear her praying from her bedroom. She was a member of the Congregational Holiness Church and charismatic both in her worship and her praying. That woman prayed fervently and with an assurance that God was going to answer. My parents taught me and my sister, Melinda, to say the blessing over meals and to pray before going to sleep. They made it plain to us that God loved us and listened to our prayers. Prayer was simply a part of the daily rhythm of our home. Overtime, I continued to learn about the beauty, diversity and power of prayer. I learned from a myriad of people, in a variety of settings. I learned from lingering over the Scripture. I learned from nature. I learned from stillness and silence. I learned through the joy and sorrow of life experiences. The learning continues…
It is in teaching children about prayer that I have learned some of the most meaningful methods of prayer. One method that I often use is the Five Finger Prayer. It helps me to think beyond myself by opening my mind and heart to an awareness of the needs of others. Here’s how it goes:
- Looking at your thumb, pray for those closest to you like your family and friends.
- Looking at your index finger, pray for those that help to point you in a positive direction like teachers, coaches and preachers.
- Looking at your middle finger; which is the strongest, pray for those with power and in leadership on a local, state, national and global level.
- Looking at your ring finger; which is the weakest, pray for those who are sick, hurt, poor or suffering in some way.
- Looking at your little/pinky finger and having prayed for the other four groups, pray now for your own needs.
Yes, it is a simple method of prayer to follow, but also a helpful one. I invite you to give it a try.
Johns Creek UMC, please know that when I look at my thumb and pray for family, I pray for you.
Grace, Peace and Love,