Thank you for joining us for Week 1 of the Lenten Devotion Series. Check back on Sunday, February 28 for the Introductory Video with Vicar Jonathan for our next spiritual practice during Week 2 – Lectio Divina.
Five Finger Prayer Instructions
Do you ever have trouble thinking of something to say when you begin prayer? When that happens, this “Five Finger Prayer” will help you get started.
Our thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember.
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 in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.
The next finger is the tallest finger. Pray for leaders in business, police and fire departments, military personnel, and local, state and federal government.
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.
And lastly comes our little finger – the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. 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.
Please share your experience with the Breath Prayer in the comments below.
If you feel comfortable, share the prayer that you wrote, as well.
Check back tomorrow to hear from another member of SPR and learn one more type of prayer.
Breath Prayer Instructions
Select the name that you are most comfortable using to speak with God. Next, select a prayer request. Combine the two to create your prayer.
Breath in the first phrase/word (generally your invocation of God’s name) and breath out the second phrase/word (request or need).
You may need to compose several prayers before you find one which truly arises from your deepest desire. So look carefully at your prayer. Does it reflect the heart of your desire?
There’s no limit really to developing your breath prayer. It may be the same from day to day or it may change. Sometimes you may want to reverse the practice a bit by sitting in silence and letting the Spirit pray through you. Ask for God to reveal your name, and God’s desire for you. This can be a profound experience. You may wind up hearing something like, “Beloved, you are enough,” or “Mighty One, rest.” Wait on God and see how you may be renewed.
Sample Breath Prayers
Jesus, let me feel your love.
O Lord, show we your way.
Holy one, heal me.
Jesus Alleluia, have mercy.
Holy Wisdom, guide me.
Father/Mother (Abba/Amma), let me feel your presence.
For today’s practice, we the people of SPR will going on a prayer walk in our communities. Though we will be walking and praying separately in our respective neighborhoods, we are joined together in spirit as we open our hearts to the needs and concerns of the world around us. Even if you are unable to walk outside for whatever reason, you can still join us in prayer by mentally picturing and praying for the people and places in your community.
Watch Ed’s video below before you head out on your walk. Check below for additional detailed instructions.
Where do you see the opportunity for renewal in your community?
How might the Holy Spirit be renewing you, and/or using you to renew your community?
We invite you to share your experience of your prayer walk in the comment section!
Check back tomorrow to hear from another member of SPR and learn a new type of prayer.
Detailed Prayer Walk Instructions:
This is a spiritual discipline which connects your spirit with caring for the community. You will on a walk in your neighbor to open your heart to God’s presence there. You will silently pray for everyone you see and encounter. Pay attention to what needs, concerns, and issues are presented to you. Before you begin, you will choose a bible verse to center your prayer. Silently read this verse to yourself before you leave, and repeat it to yourself throughout your prayer walk. Here are a few possible verses you might choose from:
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (Matt 25:40)
The Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. (Rom 8:26) • The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. (Isaiah 9:2)
As for us, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever. (Mic 4:5) • Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth. (Psalm 86:11)
Let us walk in light of the Lord (Isaiah 2:5)
When they prayed, they were filled the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31) • We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7)
These are just suggestions and you can pick any verse that speaks to you. Try to pick a verse that is short enough for you to remember throughout your walk, or you could write it a piece of paper and carry it with you. As you leave for you walk, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your steps and show you what God wants you to see. Begin walking through your neighborhood, and as you pass by each house, silently pray for the people who live there. Pray for anyone in cars that pass by. Pray for anyone see working or at leisure. Pray for any businesses and institutions you see. Pray for any need that you notice. Pay attention to creation, and pray with thanksgiving for the beautiful you encounter. Here are some other examples you might pray for:
If you see a bench in the front yard, pray for those who will sit upon it.
If you see bicycles, pray for the safety of their riders.
Pray that the members of the household may know Christ and may come to know trust and rely on his guidance for their lives.
Pray for health and safety.
Pray for the raising of children and grandchildren
As you pray begin by being specific and concrete, but also allow your prayers to expand to more general and universal concerns. Walk for at least 5 – 10 minutes before you return home. When you arrive home, write down the things you remember praying or any observations you made.
Welcome to the first week of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church’s 2021 Lenten Devotion. If you have not already, watch the introductory videos, which you can find on this page – Begin Here.
This week we will hear from a several different church members as they lead us together through five different types of prayer. During these dark winter days, taking time to pray can help to reground us in our baptismal identity. We remember that immediately before Christ’s own 40 day journey into the wilderness, he was baptized by John in the river Jordan.
This Week’s Devotion From Lenten Years Past
Each week on Sunday, this section will include prayers and reflections written by SPR members from the 1995 Lenten Devotional Book. Here are prayers from 5 of our current members.
Lord, help me to be open to possibilities in my life which are beyond what I currently envision. Amen.
Open my eyes and ears, Dear Lord, so that I might see and hear you rather than be blinded and deafened by my limitations. Amen.
Lord, we get caught up in controlling things in our daily lives, and in so doing, we show you our twisted priorities. Help us keep our faith, relinquish control, and open ourselves to your grace. Amen.
Dear Jesus, Help me to look to you in times of emptiness, as well as times of happiness. Help me to realize that the pains of yesterday can lead to a brighter, happier tomorrow. Thank you for being my risen Savior. In your name I pray. Amen.
O Creative Love, thank you for the blessings you have given us. Give us the personal faith to keep our eyes on Jesus, to resist cynicism and selfishness, so that in sharing gifts, we ourselves can be blessed. Amen.