Recommended Reading By: Cheryl Brush

I just finished the book A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis and Revived his Prayer Life by Jared Brock. Brock covers a lot of ground—literally around the world—in his journey to improve his prayers. Along the way he sprinkles scriptures (In the morning I earnestly seek for God, Isaiah 26:9) and quotes (“Prayer is the test of everything... Prayer is the driving force of everything...If prayer is right, everything is right,” St. Theophan the Recluse.) It’s entertaining and thoughtful— a good summer read!

Brock included the Five-Finger Prayer in his book and gave unofficial credit to Pope Francis for its origin. The prayer uses the fingers on one hand to track who and what to pray for.

1. The thumb is the closest finger to you. Start with prayers for those closest to you. Praying for our dear ones is a “sweet obligation.”
2. The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others.
3. The next finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God’s guidance.
4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. It is our weakest finger and reminds us to pray for the sick or those plagued by problems.
5. Finally, the pinkie finger reminds us to pray for ourselves. When done praying for the other four groups, we can see our own needs in the proper perspective.