At first look, the Five Finger Prayer seems like it’s for kids, however, it’s also for adults (see our printable pdf below). The prayer is a good start to learn how to pray and it’s adaptable.
Pope Francis created the Five Finger Prayer to provide a starting point for prayers. Using the fingers makes it easy to learn and remember!
In the sections below, we’ll share details about the prayer and provide an example Five Finger Prayer. We’ve created a printable pdf and included a section with a review – the pros and cons of the prayer.
Remember, a prayer is personal so expect to make this prayer your own. There are prayer points, but the words should come from you.
What Is The Five Finger Prayer (Review)
The Five Finger Prayer was developed by Pope Francis long ago when he was the Archbishop in Argentina. He developed it to fill a need for a simple, yet effective way to communicate prayer.
The prayer points he established in the Five Finger Prayer highlight the importance of family, friends and teachers, government, the weak, and ourselves.
Commonly taught at Catholic churches, the prayer can be applied to all denominations of Christianity and it includes prayer points that people from all backgrounds can understand.
There is no guide for language, so the prayer leaves itself open to creativity and personalization.
As children we often learn to count by using our fingers. Using the Five Finger Prayer, the fingers are also useful in helping us to remember prayer points (also learn the ACTS Prayer Method).
For this reason, the prayer method is ideal for children who are learning to pray, but adults (especially those who are new to faith) can use the prayer to help develop good prayer habits.
The thumb helps begin the prayer and it also happens to be the closest finger to our body. The thumb represents those who are closest to us, specifically our family.
Praying for family is common sense. Those who are closest to us are constantly on our mind and we know more about their daily lives. Praying for them should be a habit and most people find this step of the Five Finger Prayer easy.
Our second finger is the index finger. We use our index finger each day to point and communicate with those around us.
The index finger reminds us to pray for those who instruct us (teachers), those who look after us (doctors), and those who inspire us (bosses, coaches, and mentors).
Though these individuals may not be as close as family, they have an influence over our lives and they should be prayed for. We can also pray for our children’s teachers, coaches, and mentors.
The third finger is our middle finger and it’s also the largest finger we have. This finger represents our governments, local, national, and international.
Government can often be a frustrating group to pray for, however, praying for leaders (no matter if they are good or bad) is important.
This portion of the prayer can focus on the world as a whole. It could include prayer for peace, for human rights, and for justice. Feel free to pray for local issues or more broadly about international conflict and resolution.
Did you know that our ring finger is considered our weakest finger? Sandwiched between the powerful middle finger and the agile pinkie finger, our ring finger reminds us to pray for the weak and those in need.
All to often we forget about those who are struggling. We tend to focus on our own struggles which may be difficult, but there are many people who don’t have a home. Many other people are struggling with addiction or debt.
Pray for the weak and those who lack support. Prayers for the weak may even inspire you to become involved in your church outreach activities such as food donations (also learn How To Become A Prayer Warrior)
The last finger on our hand is the pinkie finger. It is the smallest on our hand but it is strong. The pinkie finger represents you!
Pray for your situation and your walk with God. Pray about your struggles and ask for guidance. Don’t forget to thank God for all His blessings.
Praying for yourself last is a good habit. Selfishly, we tend to think of ourselves first and by following the Five Finger Prayer, we practice patience by waiting to talk about ourselves last.
Example Five Finger Prayer
If you follow the process with your fingers the prayer becomes very easy to learn. There are no words to memorize, instead, remember the subjects that each finger represents and formulate your own sentences of the prayer. Let’s take a look at the example below:
Thank You for this beautiful day and for Your blessings. I come before You pray about my family, those close to me, our government, the weak, and my future.
First and foremost, thank you for my family and their good health. I pray that you be with my sisters and my parents and continue to work in their lives. They are healthy, and for this I am grateful.
I also request that you watch over my coaches and teachers. Keep them focused on their duties to lead others and bless them with the wisdom to build others.
They have impacted my life in a positive way and it’s my hope they can help others improve their live and grow closer to You.
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God, I’d also like to pray for our local government. Our leaders disagree and it has affected the community. Give our community leadership wisdom to work together and find common ground.
Keep them humble to serve the community rather than serve themselves. The desire for power has led many people away from you.
I’d also like to pray for the homeless in our community. Homelessness, and the mental illness that is often associated with it, has strained our community.
We have implemented various programs to help people get back on their feet. Allow these people to overcome their challenges and become self-sufficient. With Your guidance they can remain on the right path.
Lastly, I pray for myself. Life is going well. I am busy, healthy, and growing in Your ways. Continue to build my mind and soul. Allow me to impact others, just as my parents and mentors have impacted me.
Forgive me for my sings and the struggles I face every day. Help me recognize my shortcomings so I can change my behavior.
In Your name,
Pros And Cons Of The Five Finger Prayer
- Simple and easy to follow for all ages
- Easily adaptable to more complex messages
- Useful for all Catholic and Christian denominations
- Good learning activity for children
- Holistic – touches on various facets of life and people
- Concise, although it doesn’t have to be
- Lacks the individual creativity of prayer (although it can be adapted)
- Best suited for children not adults
- Lack of direction for praising God, thanking God, and confession which are extremely important in prayer
Free PDF For The Five Finger Prayer (Printable)
The Five Finger Prayer isn’t just for kids. It’s a started prayer that can put new believers on the right track and it provides prayer points that can guide you through your prayer.
Pope Frances created the Five Finger Prayer as an Archbishop in Argentina. He wanted to share a simple, yet effective prayer. Although it provides starting points, the prayer can be personalized to each individual and it can be adapted.
Prayer is a personal talk with God, thus, the Five Finger Prayer should have your own style. A few of the positives of the Five Finger Prayer are 1) simple, 2) easy to learn, 3) good learning activity, and 4) concise.
However, the prayer is not perfect. Its simplicity takes away from the beauty of a prayer and individual creativity. It also misses the important points of prayer for prasing God, thanking Him, and confession.
Keep these things in mind when you learn the prayer and when you teach it to others. Take the Five Finger Prayer and make it your own!