Christian Prayer Beads, Anglican Prayer Beads, Protestant Prayer Beads, or Ecumenical Prayer Beads -- these are all names given to a Scriptural devotion that began in an Anglican church (hence the original name) in Texas, and then went on to gain followers in a wide range of Christian churches and on both sides of the Atlantic. This page is an introduction to a Bible-oriented ministry of prayer based upon the use of these beads and to the leading resource organization dealing with them.
Most of the religions of the world have used some physical method of counting prayers. Some Christians have used rosaries. The use of "Christian Prayer Beads" is a more recent development but one that has found its place across the nation during the past two decades, partly because these are not denominational, partly because of their very personal nature and, unlike the Catholic rosary, because the use of these Prayer Beads is strongly Scripture-oriented.
Episcopalians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Disciples, Presbyterians, and Non-denominational Christians are only some of those who have adopted them for their own use.
Here is an overview of the way Christian Prayer Beads are most often prayed. You may find yourself developing your own system.
With your set, an initial prayer is prayed on the cross or first bead, followed by four groupings of seven beads.
In between each of these groupings (called "weeks") a single (usually larger) bead is prayed with a different Bible verse. These single beads are called the "Cruciform" beads because they suggest the ends of the arms of a cross when the loop of beads is opened into a circle or diamond shape.
As you may suspect, the "fours" in this system represent the four Gospels and the four Evangelists--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John while the "sevens" represent the days of creation, the Biblical number for perfection, the seasons of the church year, and more. The total of all the beads is 33 for the number of years of Jesus' life on Earth.
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