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Posts Tagged ‘Our Father’

Last weekend I met up with some old friends. I see this group of Christian girls twice a year, as we’ve done for more than 15 years. We pray for one another through the year and meet for encouragement, to study the bible and eat fabulous food.

This Saturday we’d agreed to read Richard Coekin’s new book ‘Our Father – Enjoying God in Prayer’. What a tonic.

Richard Coekin describes himself in this book as an activist who struggles to pray. I could relate to this very well. I’m a massive extrovert who finds the discipline of prayer a daily battle. But Coekin’s book doesn’t send the activist on a guilt trip. As we discussed it on Saturday, we agreed that we’d not felt beaten over the head about our lack of prayer, but that prayer was in fact possible. And not just in special ‘quiet times’ but throughout the day. We each felt that we could pray more – that it wasn’t as hard as we thought.

One helpful feature of the book is a rather cheesy story at the end of each chapter. The stories fit together as a whole, telling a tale of the prayer lives of different characters. I particularly liked the way one girl’s prayers were written out including lots of ‘ers’. My prayers are far from coherent, so this seemed very realistic.

The book unpacks each of the sections of the Lord’s Prayer and just helps you to think how you could pray that more thoroughly. Since this weekend I’ve been praying this way not only myself, but also with the kids (who are 8, 6 and 4) after their bible time.

With the kids I’ve offered options, so that they feel like they have some choice in the way they pray. The current options are the Lord’s Prayer (unpacked for the big two, but straight for the Engineer) or the five finger prayer. If you’ve not heard of it, the five finger prayer is where we pray

  1. Thumb – for those closest to us (family, friends)
  2. Forefinger – for those who point us to Christ (church leaders, Sunday school teachers)
  3. Middle finger – for those in authority (government, teachers)
  4. Ring finger – for those who are weak (the ill and sad)
  5. Little finger – little me

Actually, we’ve slightly adapted this five finger prayer to pray about the Lord, who’s first, as well as those close to us, as we pray the thumb prayer.

This has been a good week for prayer in the Vicarage. How do you pray with your kids?

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