A few months ago I shared the fact that I often use Anglican prayer beads on a regular basis as part of my Spiritual disciplines. If you’re curious, that particular post is here.
For my birthday my Mom bought me the book, Praying with Beads: Daily Prayers for the Christian Year. If you have any interest at all in starting this ancient spiritual practice I can’t recommend this book enough. If you have never considered using prayer beads then this book is a great place to start.
If you’ve never heard of prayer beads, here’s a quick recap taken from the book:
Among Christians the practice of praying with beads or stones probably originated with the Desert Fathers in the third century… In the Western Church, the Irish community of St. Colomba began, around the ninth century, to use knotted strings or beads to count their prayers. Indeed, the modern English word “bead” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “bede”, meaning “prayer.”
In other words, this practice has been around a long time. For as much as I dig new and shiny, there is something about traditions and practices that have survived the centuries. They have some staying power for a reason.
Another question might be, “Do I need this book?” Actually, no. There are many places on the ‘Net to find prayers to use with Anglican prayer beads. However, what I particularly find meaningful about this book are these two things,
- This collection of prayers relies heavily on Scripture. Nearly every section of prayer is directly from the Bible
- The prayers follow the Christian year. There are prayers for Advent, Epiphany, Lent, etc…
The book is not only categorized by the Christian year, but it also contains dates so you can jump right in when you get it. For example, “Week of the Sunday closest to September 7.” Each page contains prayers with a Morning, Noon, and Evening Variation. The Introduction to the book is also fantastic. It gives a more in-depth reading of why we use prayer beads and some ideas for incorporating the practice into your own quiet time.
I can be a very theoretical individual but there is something refreshing about a book which doesn’t provide you with a lot of fluff. Instead, it’s very much, “Here is a collection of prayers to use with prayer beads.” It’s sort of like running… “How do you run?” You just run. Slowly at first, but you run. This book provides a framework to use prayer beads as an aid to connect with God. You just pray. Perhaps slowly at first, but you pray.
Til next time,