Prayer Beads for United Methodists

Prayer Beads for United Methodists

(Kristen Vincent) Take a short
verse from Scripture or a hymn. (narrator) Kristin
Vincent teaches people to pray with beads. (Kristen) They might start
with the cross and just say, ‘Gracious God.’ And then with each bead, they’re
lifting up a different way in which they want to praise God. And that’s when you begin
to hear God’s voice.” (narrator) The idea may surprise
some Protestants who associate prayer beads with other
religious traditions. That’s why the artist, and her
United Methodist pastor husband, have written books
about the practice. (Kristen) We’ve grown
up bead-less, basically. This is what I do fulltime
because the response has been so tremendous. And there is still so much work
to be done because the majority of the Protestant church doesn’t
even know that we have a prayer tool, that we have prayer beads. (narrator) The roots run deep
into the Old Testament, where God told the Israelites to
take comfort in something they could hold. (Kristen) God comes to them in
Numbers, Chapter 15, and says, ‘Take the fringe on your
garments and hold onto it, and remember that I am
the Lord your God.” And I think that that’s God’s
way of saying, ‘Take a common ordinary everyday object.’ And indeed throughout the
history of the early church Christians were taking pebbles
or rope or beads and using that to help them focus in prayer. (narrator) Vincent makes and
sells strands and kits in various colors and styles that
cover prayer intentions from breast cancer, to the
Earth and Creation. This is a tool that can help
people of all ages find focus. (Kristen) Prayer is
vague to all of us, but it’s particularly
vague to children. And so, the prayer beads offer
kind of a concrete tool to help them better understand
how to talk to God. And they’ll pick out different
colors, the color that represents their mom or their
dog or their best friend. And then when they get to that
bead, they will hold that and say, ‘This is for my mom’ and
they’ll pray for their mom. (narrator) Vincent volunteers
with soldiers, showing them how to use prayer beads to alleviate
symptoms of PTSD and heal their relationship with God. Churches may make prayer
strands for shut-ins, to take on mission trips,
or as a church fundraiser. (Kristen) We’ve heard of
churches where all of the staff members have prayer beads. At a certain time, they will
all stop wherever they are in their various places, and
take their prayer beads and pray for the congregation. (narrator) Prayer beads can
be ornate or as simple as beads strung by children
on pipe cleaners. Smaller strands called
chaplets are pocket-sized, for taking God on the go. (Kristen) Just holding them
in your hand is a way of understanding that God is as
close to you as the beads are in your hand. My hope overall is that
people will understand that God is with them at every
moment of every day, and that God always
loves them deeply. ♪ (music) ♪

5 thoughts on “Prayer Beads for United Methodists

  1. I’m an Episcopalian, and we’ve had the Anglican rosary (the same arrangement as many of these beads) for a few decades. A wonderful prayer tool.

  2. Matthew 6:7

    7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

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