Prayer is a conversation with God, not a formula. Yet sometimes we might need to use a “method” to freshen up our prayer time. We can pray the Psalms or other Scriptures (such as The Lord’s Prayer), or use the ACTS method (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). I recently came across this “Five-Finger Prayer” to use as a guide when praying for others:
• When you fold your hands, the thumb is nearest you. So begin by praying for those closest to you—your loved ones (Phil. 1:3–5).
• The index finger is the pointer. Pray for those who teach—Bible teachers and preachers, and those who teach children (1 Thess. 5:25).
• The next finger is the tallest. It reminds you to pray for those in authority over you—national and local leaders, and your supervisor at work (1 Tim. 2:1–2).
• The fourth finger is usually the weakest. Pray for those who are in trouble or who are suffering (James 5:13–16).
• Then comes your little finger. It reminds you of your smallness in relation to God’s greatness. Ask Him to supply your needs (Phil. 4:6, 19).
Whatever method you use, just talk with your Father. He wants to hear what’s on your heart.
Father, give me the wisdom to know how to pray for others.
It’s not the words we pray that matter; it’s the condition of our heart.
In today’s reading we see how believers can enrich their fellowship with God through intercession and praise. Prayer is a vital lifeline of conversation with the living God who made us and provided for our redemption. In James 5:13–18 we read how we are urged to use prayer in all the seasons of our lives. When we are blessed, we can offer an expression of thanksgiving and praise. When we or others are physically ill, we can offer intercession for healing. In times of temptation and struggle, prayers for victory are a priority. Elijah is an example of someone who had the same needs and weaknesses that we do; yet his prayers to God resulted in the rain stopping for three and a half years and then starting again.
What can you have a conversation with God about today?