These are my prayer beads, introduced in the previous entry. Below are the names of the beads and/or what they represent. Some of these won't make much sense just yet. But... oh well. Stay tuned to learn more.
I've been meeting with the Trinity Grace worship team on Tuesday mornings for well over a year now. We spend the bulk of the time in prayer and worship, but it is also a time for us to learn and grow together in these disciplines. To this end the worship pastor, Alf, often teaches us what he has been learning himself.
For many months now we've been talking about ordering our prayer lives: what, why, how. The basic idea is that God has given each of us a little bit to steward. He longs to give us more but first we must show that S/he can trust us with a little. We should be praying and interceding on behalf of the people, places, and promises that God has entrusted to us already.
Alf recommended that we make a list and encouraged us to send it to him. I made my list a few months ago but still struggled to be disciplined about prayer. I don't think I was alone.
We were amused when Alf responded to this common struggle, showing us a tool he had recently implemented in his prayer life - a string of prayer beads that he had selected himself at a nearby bead store. I wasn't so much amused at the idea as much as his self-consciousness about it. It seemed like a great idea to me, something that would be very helpful in my own prayer life. He wrote three words on the board, emphasizing the importance of ordering our prayer lives, of doing whatever it takes to make that happen:
ORDER BEFORE DISCIPLINE
Finally I made it down to the bead store on 37th and 6th, spending over $40 on about 60 beads (bad freegan!) - each representing a person, place, promise, idea, or Bible verse that is important to me or my story. I've been using it to guide my prayer for about a week now and I'm finding it to be very helpful!
I wish to share with others what the beads represent, in hopes that it might help them order their own prayer lives and even get their own beads, should they find this tool to be as helpful as I do! Stay tuned for future posts, as I explain each bead or set of beads - the many great gifts that God has entrusted to me!