PRAYER BEADS … can help us find our way to God. They serve as a visual tool on many levels. On one hand, they can remind us to pray. I have heard many people attest to this fact.
In the middle of a busy day or at bedtime, they will look down, see their prayer beads, and be reminded to pray. They will bring to mind God’s presence, which calls them into an encounter. Such a visual cue has distinct importance for someone in the midst of crisis or doubt. In that moment of darkness, the beads can serve as a powerful reminder that God is present, encouraging that person to “fear not.”
Along with the visual cue, we cannot deny the tangible effect of the beads. We can touch them, hold on to them. We can close our eyes and feel the shape and texture of the beads. We can follow the path of the beads as they guide us up and away from the cross, around the circle, and finally to rest back at the cross.
This benefit should not be quickly dismissed. It offers a valuable way to focus our minds if our thoughts are scattered or we are praying in a noisy environment. Should our minds start to wander during prayer, the feel of the beads can bring us back to the moment at hand: connection with God. In those moments of darkness, when we wonder about God’s presence, the beads serve as a concrete sign of God with us.
– Kristen E. Vincent
A Bead and a Prayer
From pages 32-33 of A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads by Kristen E. Vincent. Copyright © 2013 by Kristen E. Vincent. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What other ways do you experience concrete signs of God with us? Share your thoughts.
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
2 Timothy 2:10, NRSV
This Week: pray for someone who feels abandoned. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Jerome (September 30).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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