Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest ones to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”
The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom for pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.
The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. Pray also for people in media and other prominent people. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.
The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain, including those who need salvation; they need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.
And lastly comes our little finger, the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.
When you find it hard to get to sleep tonight, just remember the homeless family who has no beds to lie in.
When you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard-of privilege.
When you have a bad day at work, think of the man who has been out of work for the last three months.
When you despair over a relationship gone bad, think of the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return.
When you grieve the passing of another weekend, think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for barely enough to feed her family.
When your car breaks down (or the battery goes dead in an airport parking lot during a rainstorm) leaving you miles away from assistance, think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.
When you notice a new gray hair in the mirror, think of the cancer patient in Chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.
When you find yourself at a loss and pondering, “What is life all about, what is my purpose?” be thankful; there are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity to wonder.
When you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!