For the last few years, I have used prayer beads, the Anglican Rosary (as some call it) to aid in my prayer life. This simple daily practice of use a string of 33 beads (one for each year of the life of Christ) strung in a symbolic pattern of a cross (cruciform beads) with 4 sets of seven beads (weeks) combines the elements of lectio divina, centering prayer, and the Jesus Prayer (breath prayer).
I make my own prayer beads. I use prayer guides from the books, Praying with Beads, by Nan Lewis Doerr and Virginia Stem Owens and, The Anglican Rosary Prayer Book. However, recently I have started writing my own prayer guides. I will begin posting them on this blog in the days to come. I hope they will help others in their contemplative spiritual journey.
Cross: Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs
bestowing life. Troparion Orthodox liturgy
Initiatory bead: Lord God, divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit
I (we) give thanks for your sacrifice and for the hope that comes from your resurrection.
I (we) know this is a gift, a gift of grace to be treasured, valued, and allowed to bring transformation into my (our) life(s) that is desperately needed.
Hear my (our) prayer Lord of thanksgiving, praise, and trust in the resurrection and all it can mean to us.
Help me (us) when the world distracts us from its promise and power to quickly turn our focus and faith back on the path of the promises You, my (our) Lord give. Amen.
Cruciform beads: Oh, that my words were written down, inscribed on a scroll with an iron instrument and lead, forever engraved on stone. But I know that my redeemer is alive and afterward he’ll rise upon the dust. After my skin has been torn apart this way– then from my flesh I’ll see God, (Job 19:23-26 CEB)
Weeks beads: May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Pet. 1:3 CEB)
Dismissary bead: Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
Cross: Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed.
(If someone is looking for prayer beads to buy, I would highly recommend prayer beads made by Sister Brigit-Carol http://www.solitariesofdekoven.org/Prayer_beads.html)