Praying With Your Fingers

Red hand print

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This is an easy way to help your kids remember their intentions as they pray.  Pope Francis used this memory aid with children while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and it has since caught on as “Pope Francis’ Prayer.” It’s also known as the “Five-Finger Prayer.” This version was edited by Father James Martin S.J.

  1. The thumb: 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—your family and your friends. To pray for the people we love is a “sweet obligation.”
  2. The next finger is the index finger. 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.
  3. The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders: the presidents, kings, governors, mayors, and all those who have authority. They need God’s guidance.
  4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, this is the weakest of all your fingers. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick, the poor, or those who face many problems. They need your prayers.
  5. Finally you have your smallest finger—the smallest of them all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are finished praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs, but in the right perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.


Laminated prayer card available via Paraclete Press.