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Using Prayer Beads

Why use prayer beads? They are a means in a material world to remember one’s place in the spiritual world. In that spirit, prayer beads serve as a means to gives us tactile reminders and keep us grounded, slowing us down and making our prayer more thoughtful and deliberate.  Some of the things Christians use prayer beads for:

  • To remind them of the people in their family as they pray for them.
  • To remind us at the beginning of the day and as we proceed through it of our intentions: listening more carefully, telling the truth, being grateful for small things.
  • When falling asleep they can help us revisit our acts and spiritual connections of the day, breathing with each bead and allowing relaxation to come.
  • People battling an addiction or simply trying to create new patterns for living will use beads as a means of revisiting to help them visualize the future they are trying to create and their reasons for wanting to create it.
  • As a means of aiding meditation and contemplation, purposeful praying.

This last point can be especially effective when praying the Lord’s Prayer, allowing you to slow down and let each phrase contribute its meaning. For the bead in between you may want to use something similar to: ”Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart and all my soul. Help me to serve my family, and everyone else I meet today,”  (based on Matthew 22:34-40).

Traditional King James version of the Lord’s Prayer, with each bead representing one phrase:

  1. Our Father which art in heaven
  2. Hallowed be thy name.
  3. Thy kingdom come.
  4. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
  5. Give us this day our daily bread.
  6. And forgive us our debts,
  7. as we forgive our debtors.
  8. And lead us not into temptation,
  9. but deliver us from evil:
  10. For thine is the kingdom,
  11. and the power, and the glory, for ever.
  12. Amen.

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