This happens to me all the time. I’ll be in the middle of my prayers and suddenly a random thought crashes through the front gates of my mind like a runaway train and steals all my concentration as it leaves.
I have used prayer holding crosses with some good results in the past, but they didn’t get me deeply into where I wanted to be.
As I was reading “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, I remembered I once saw some Christian prayer beads, sometimes called Protestant prayer beads, that caught my attention. Since I’m Methodist and not Catholic, I have never used a rosary in prayer, but I like the idea of a tool that helps guide the way through prayer.
Let’s talk about Eat Pray Love, the movie, for a bit. I loved the book, but the movie was missing something for me. I think an inner monologue would have been helpful to connect to what Julia Roberts’ character was feeling. I loved that, in the book, I could crawl inside the head of Elizabeth Gilbert and make a cozy little home. I’m sure she would be creeped out a little by the thought of me living in her head.
As well she should be.
My mind is easily distracted, as you can see and I need all the help I can get to stay focused. After using these beads, I have realized how beneficial they can be to a busy mind.
Christian Prayer Bead Basics
The four large beads represent the cruciform, or cross.
They divide the smaller beads into groups of seven which represent “weeks”.
The next bead traveling toward the cross is a bead representing the resurrection of Christ followed by the “Invitatory Bead”.
The total number of beads is 33, which is to remind us the number of years Jesus Christ lived on earth, plus one bead to represent His resurrection.
There is no specific way to use the beads. I have been following the pattern of the beads and praying one prayer for each bead around, then giving thanks to God for my salvation and inviting Him into my heart to guide my day on the path He has chosen for me. Do what works for you. This is meant to bring you closer to God and not everybody has the same approach. It’s personal.
I have made prayer beads using small stones and pieces of shell:
I have used small shells from a trip to the beach:
I have even made pocket-sized versions:
Here are a collection of some of favorite prayer beads:
Try them for yourself or give as a gift. Visit my Etsy shop to see more styles and for a special price this Lenten season.