I don't know about you, but when I'm praying, my mind wanders, especially when prayers are led in a coporate setting. This idea is intended to try to root the wandering mind by bringing a physicality to our prayers. For generations, Christians have established practices which hold the body in one position to focus the mind. This is why people kneel to pray; why school children put their hands together and close their eyes.

This set of guided prayers was written for a service on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent The service was intended to be very simple, with lots of room to pray and included long periods of silence. I simply read out the words on the sheet (without the titles) pausing briefly at the end of each line and leaving a much longer pause at the end of each section. This gives space for people to bring their own prayers to God, with the different sections allowing people to pray into specific areas.

The idea could be easily adapted for use in all-age services, with sections added in or taken away to suit your situation. Think about what other hand positions you adopt through the day and work out what they could help you pray about. Why limit this to just your hands? Putting the whole body into different poses could work just as well. Once you've got the idea of different hand positions prompting different areas of prayer, it could be used as a tool or pattern for personal prayer - how about holding your hands clasped to your heart for confession; or open and held up to give thanks and praise to God? The possibilities are as broad as the way you can use your hands!