Praying Scripture with Prayer Beads
Once my prayer practice had begun to normalize again, I discovered a daily devotion book based on the Moravian Daily texts. You can get one here: http://www.mountcarmelministries.com/daily-texts-devotionals/
Each day, I chose one of the verses to pray with my beads.
Because some of us need more visual cues to help us remember what verse we are working on, when I presented this workshop at a yoga retreat, I found some small adult coloring book-style verse cards that participants could choose from. You can purchase them on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/514813523/coloring-scripture-cards-set-of-8?utm_source=OpenGraph&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share
You might work on a particular verse for a day, or a week or a season, or pray several verses in one day (you can find an accessible way to do that in this book: Praying with Beads If you don’t want to go searching for your own verse, I also curate a weekly focus verse at my Taking Worship Home website: http://tri-saintsworship.weebly.com
What follows is how I use the mini set of beads to pray scripture. It is similar to the breath prayer, and may actually be sandwiched in between two cycles of breathing with the beads. You will notice that it begins and ends the same way.
STEP THREE: Praying with Scripture
- First, I take the time to arrive. Most of the time, I find that my body arrives in a place before my mind or my heart. If you would like to use essential oils on your lava or wool bead, now would be the perfect time to apply them (it only takes one drop, and some oils absorb better than others).
- I sit in a comfortable position that enables me to take a deep breath. I hold the beads in both hands and take the time to notice them. What do they look like? Feel like? Smell like? Sound like? Once you have arrived and feel fully present, move to the next stage.
- I begin this stage by holding the section of beads that includes the cross and lava bead in my hand. This is a time to remember who I am addressing, or connecting to, in my prayer. I take the time to hold the cross and think about God as Son. What is it like to know that God is your brother? That he lived on this earth, and felt pain, cold, hungry, thirsty, tired? That he fully knows my human experience because he experienced it for himself?
- Next, I hold the small wooden bead above the cross and think about the Holy Spirit. How is the Holy Spirit showing up in the things of every day? What is it like to know that God is as near to me as my next breath?
- Third, I hold the lava bead and think about God as Father. What is it like to know that God is my loving parent, who made all things, and still sustains my life?
- Next, I hold the three remaining smaller beads together, and ask God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be fully present, and to help me to be fully present, as I take the time to breathe.
- The next part is the praying scripture part. With the verse in front of me, I hold one of the large beads in my fingers and say the verse slowly out loud. I proceed to the next bead and do the same, not worrying about how many times I have said it, or how many times that I have left, but trusting that I will come full circle when the time is right.
- When I arrive back at the smaller beads, I take some time to rest and breathe. God rested on the seventh day of creation, and calls us to rest and renew and rejuvenate, as well. I usually continue to breathe at this place until I feel done, though you might choose to do the circuit of large beads two times, four times, seven times, etc., especially if you want to sandwich the scripture practice in between breathing practices.
- I conclude by holding the section that I started with, praying the Lord’s Prayer, and concluding with “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.” You are welcome to pray in any way that is appropriate to your tradition.
I pray that this practice of praying with scripture is renewing for you. Peace be with you!