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Prayer Beads


Registered Member
New pop malt member Sian says she makes prayer beads. Are they the same thing as rosaries?
What is the concept of use for both if they are different?

I will wait to post further on my thoughts on this if anyone answers this.


Registered Member
Thank you for asking this dear mascot! There is really a lot to be said because praying with beads is a practice that has been around for centuries and exists in other religions besides Christianity. My brochure says this:

(SimplyPray is the name of my Etsy store)

About Prayer Beads from SimplyPray… What is prayer?
What is prayer? It’s something that should be as natural and simple as breathing. It is, simply put, speaking our heart to our Father God who loves to have us come to Him.

We most often pray alone, but we also pray in groups; and we ask others to pray on our behalf. We use words even though God already knows our hearts and our needs at all times. And words have their uses, focusing our attention, often changing the state of our hearts and helping us clarify our thoughts. If we don’t have words that seem just right, often we repeat what others have written and especially we pray the words that Jesus gave the disciples for us. I believe that our Loving Father accepts and cherishes every honest and seeking heart that comes to Him with whatever words they put together.

Prayer beads are a devotional tool and offer a pattern to follow for formal prayer. They are not magic. But they are used and appreciated by many and so I offer them to you. Often holding them helps focus the mind, keeping thoughts from wandering, and achieving a sense of solemnity. Even just seeing them laid by can be a reminder to pray.

Using beads during prayer is something that is really very ancient, having a rich history reaching back in time even past the Middle Ages. It is thought that the Hindus were the first to use them but many others followed and with many different beliefs and prayers. The elders of the Eastern and Greek Orthodox churches developed a prayer rope with knots to keep track of the repetitions of the Jesus Prayer; called a chotki or komboskini, they had fifty, thirty-three or one hundred knots. Bead versions developed from those. The Jesus Prayer is a short sentence, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner” (or something similar) is easy to remember and repeat. The church elders took to heart the admonishment of the apostle Paul, who advised us to pray without ceasing and found this prayer could become so ingrained and habitual that the believer’s heart could indeed pray all the time on its own. The words remind us to preserve a humble heart and keep us aware of God’s constant presence. The rhythmic repetition is comforting and quieting, readying us for deeper prayer.

I make the chotki usually as sets of one hundred beads with a cross or crucifix attached. Long ago, when I became a Christian, a kind friend gave me a set of prayer beads that he had gotten, I think, in California when he was with the Jesus People. It was a string of one hundred seed-like aqua colored beads that had a stamped leather cross attached. He told me they were ‘Jesus Beads’ and I’ve called them that ever since. Of all the bead configurations, I think this is my favorite and I have a special affection for The Jesus Prayer.

The Catholic Church has many forms of prayer bead devotions. The oldest may be the medieval Pater Noster, made for counting one hundred and fifty repetitions of the Lord’s Prayer. The Marian Rosary may be the most well-known form of prayer beads today and has five sets of ten beads, called decades. Smaller versions having only one decade are called chaplets and are often dedicated to a particular saint.

In the 1980s a group of Episcopalians developed Anglican prayer beads, now also known simply as Protestant prayer beads. These have four groups of seven beads, called ‘week’ beads, an invitatory bead and four cruciform beads which add up to thirty-three total, one for each year of the Savior’s life on earth. A cross or other inspirational pendant is attached. Many sets of Protestant beads include an extra between the invitatory and first cruciform and call it the Resurrection bead; it reminds us that our Savior is alive today. Smaller sets, also called chaplets, are made containing only one group of week beads to be prayed four times.

Protestant beads have suggested prayers for their use but allow for a lot of freedom; users are often encouraged to write their own. I’ve included some that you might follow to start with.

More recently, in 1995, an Evangelical Lutheran Bishop developed a set of beads for meditation that takes the form of a bracelet. I’m anxious to learn more about these.

The purpose of SimplyPray is to encourage people to pray and be aware of God’s infinite love. I invite special requests for beads made to your own design or in your preferred colors. I use semi-precious gemstone beads, as well as fine Czech glass and crystal; also sterling silver, brass, bronze and other quality metals. All strands are made with heavy stainless steel beading cable and stainless steel crimp beads for durability.

Copyright Schneider, 2017

Source material and further reading:

The Jesus Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green, 2009, ISBN 978-1-55725-659-1

Another Bead, Another Prayer: Devotions to Use With Protestant Prayer Beads by Kristen E. Vincent and Max O. Vincent, 2014,

ISBN 978-0-8358-1374-7

Bead One, Pray Too by Kimberly Winston, 2008, ISBN978-0-8192-2276-3

Praying With Beads: Daily Prayers for the Christian Year by Nan L. Doerr and Virginia S. Owens, 2007,

ISBN 978-0-8028-2727-2


Registered Member
@Sian Thank you for answering this. I mean know disrespect to your beliefs on this subject but need to ask why does anyone believe they need these beads? Matthew 6:7 says
Matthew 6:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

You said that you need to say specific things over and over which is repetition.

There is no place in the Bible that says anything that you need beads of any kind to pray and talk to Jesus. No person in the Bible male or female.
I say this out of friendship please heed this bead idea. All religions always try to get you to believe the one that you are in is teaching correct.

Jesus knows your needs and your heart. He like humans wants someone to talk with and that's why he wants you to say what is in your heart.
That is why is our friend. Just regular conversation between 2 friends. I hope that this won't be in the way of our friendship.


Registered Member
@Sian I don't know how much of the bible that you read or study. I used to watch TBN (Trinity Broadcast Network) all the time. At least in the early 2000's I'm sure I knew at least 75% of who taught on that channel. I'm not going to name them but I even remember celebrities that were guests.
But you do realize that they only allow certain teachings like Pentacostal and Cavalry for example. Sian you said in a certain post..That every one is being specific about everything and that is why they argue. But you do see that teachings do vary on the TBN channel.. Almost all are Christian and maybe just one was Catholic on Saturday that I didn't watch.

I'm going to conclude this post with the listing of every preacher that I saw on this channel and not talking about prayer beads.
Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, John Haggie, Rod Parsley, Jesse Duplantis, Paul and Jan Crouch the owners of TBN, Pat Robertson, Joyce Meyers, Benny Hinn, Charles Stanley, Tim LaHaye, Ed Hindson, Thomas Ice, Jack van Impe, Casy and Wendy Treat, James D. Kennedy, Robert Schuller, Jack Hayes, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, MC Hammer aka Stanley Burrell, Dennis Leonard, Jim Reeves, and the list goes on and on. This is a small list.
I can tell you that mostly Catholics like to use these prayer beads for repetition prayers.

For these same Catholics call the priest father when there is no one but God the Father in heaven.

Siam ..Mascot and I are not trying to make you feel discouraged. But the Bible teaches us to exhort one another. This simple means to those that believe in God help them in the truth by using the Word of God in the Bible. Yes, I am your friend too. I also believe that Matthew 6:7 is correct.
I agree with Macot just to speak to God with your heart and God will hear every prayer you pray. Sian God can even hear a baby crying. That could be a prayer to him. Even though the baby dpesn't understand the Lord will answer it if he knows that it needs it. Believe in the bible first and not what other person or religion teaches us.


Registered Member
Music and Mascot, I know we talked more about this privately but your beliefs about prayer beads were shred by a close Christian friend here in Colorado and I have taken to heart what all of you have said and been praying hard about it. And it is my conclusion that yes, God does not prefer that we pray with beads. He has told me that they become a crutch and a barrier to people praying to Him from the heart and speaking to him like the loving Father he is.. I will be suspending my Etsy shop until I can find something better to sell there. Maybe cross necklaces...

I really thank you for your concern, your thoughts have been a great help and God has used you in my life..

NOW my problem is... what am I going to do with all these beads... :rolleyes:


Registered Member
@Sian We're very happy to help and that you know you can make crosses with beads. Jesus carried a wood cross. I don't think that Jesus would mind that these are plastic beads. The cross is just a reminder that he died for you. These crosses are not to be worshipped or prayed with.
My aunt worked with beads and she would make necklaces , bracelets and garland type beads for what the occasion would be. She would go to Walmart and by a bag of the beads that had letters on them and personalize the necklace and bracelets.
Anyway good luck with whatever you would like to do with them.

One more thought for them..is there anywhere that you can donate some of these beads to maybe a childrens hospital? Just a thought.