Praying Hands       submitted by Rhonda Kelly

1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for
those closest to you. They are the easiest ones to remember. To pray
for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

2. 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 for pointing others in the right direction.
Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders.
Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and
administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion.
They need God's guidance.

4. 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.
They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for

5. And lastly comes our little finger, the smallest finger of all. Which
is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the
Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." 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.

When you find it hard to get to sleep tonight; Just remember the homeless
family who has no bed to sleep in. When you find yourself stuck in
traffic; don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving
is an unheard of privilege.

When you have a bad day at work; Think of the man who has been out of work
for the last three months. When you despair over a relationship gone bad;
Think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be
loved in return.

When you grieve the passing of another weekend; Think of the woman in dire
straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for $15.00 to feed
her family. When your car breaks down, leaving you miles away from
assistance; Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take
that walk.

When you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; Think of the cancer
patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine. When you find
yourself at a loss and pondering; what is life all about, what is my
purpose? Be thankful, there are those who didn't live long enough to get
the opportunity.

When you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness,
ignorance, smallness or insecurities; Remember, things could be worse.
You could be them!



Cracked Pots

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a
pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in
it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full
portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house,
the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went
on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of
water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its
accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor
cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it
was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to
the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I
want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load
because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back
to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this
work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his
compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to
notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the
sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this
cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because
had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer
for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only
on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's
because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it.
I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back
from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to
pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you
being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. In God's
great economy, nothing goes to waste.