Praying with the Hands

I want to share you a reflection of a dear professor and friend: German Munoz, Ph.D.

Praying With the Hands

Ironically, while to love God is the greatest commandment, God will not listen to us if we have not followed his commandments, which include loving our neighbors as ourselves. Therefore, this Christmas not only should we approach God, but we should pray for each other as suggested by the Epistle of James (5:13-16).

However, sometimes we get so distracted and tired, that we do not know for whom to pray.

A simple method is to put the hands together, palm to palm, with the two thumbs closer to the body and the two little fingers farther away. Each set of fingers will remind us of people worthy of prayer:

  • The thumbs should remind us to pray first for those closer to our hearts, that is, those we love.
  •  The index fingers should remind us to pray next for those who hate us.
  • The middle fingers should remind us to pray for our leaders, including the Pope and the bishops, so that they make decisions which are wise and loving.
  • The ring fingers should remind us to pray for those who are alone, forgotten, and suffering, even in Purgatory.
  • The little fingers should remind us to pray for ourselves.

The Church is full of saints and of people of great spirituality who can teach us how to pray. Unlike some religions which emphasize many techniques and postures to pray or meditate, for Christians the key ingredient for good prayer, whether verbal, meditative or contemplative, is to be full of love for God and for others.

By German Munoz, Ph.D.


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