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The Role of the Prayer Rope

The Prayer Rope is connected to the Jesus Prayer. It is a very practical tool that reminds us to pray and helps us know the number of Jesus Prayers said. One of the most effective ways to benefit from a rule of prayer is to say a set number of the Jesus Prayer regularly each day with the help of the Prayer Rope.

The Prayer Rope helps us to concentrate in prayer and to discipline our prayer life. His-torically it most commonly has 100 knots, but there are also ropes with 300, 50, 33, 250, 12 or 10. There is usually a knotted cross at one end with a few beads at certain intervals between the knots. At those intervals, one would make the sign of the cross on themselves. The pur-pose of the Prayer Rope is not to help us count, but instead to concentrate on the prayer.

When we carry the Prayer Rope in our hands, it serves as a reminder to pray unceas-ingly. The whole purpose of the Prayer Rope is to assist us in offering our prayers before God and His saints.

History of Prayer Rope

    The Prayer Rope first started from Saint Anthony the Great. He tied a rope with a sim-ple knot for every time he prayed, “Lord have Mercy,” but it’s said that the Devil would untie the knots. Based on a vision that he had, he then started tying the knots so that they would themselves would make the sign on the cross. After that, the devil could not untie the knots. Therefore, Prayer Ropes today still use knots that contain seven little crosses.

Where to Keep the Prayer Rope

    You can keep a Prayer Rope in your pock-et or some other discreet place where it can be easily used unnoticed when it is better to re-member to pray without attracting the attention of others. The Prayer Rope can also be kept near the bed, in a purse or bag, in a car, with a small cross or icon, or in another appropriate place as a reminder of prayer. You can also wear it on your neck, wrist, or finger.

How to Use a Prayer Rope

    After collecting your thoughts, take the cross on the Prayer Rope in your left hand, holding it lightly between the thumb and the index finger. Then, making the sign of the cross over yourself quietly, whisper the Jesus Prayer. As you are able to focus, you may not need to continue crossing yourself or saying The Prayer audibly. However, when concentra-tion is difficult, use the sign of the cross and whispering to help you keep your mind on The Prayer.

    It is helpful to stand, with head bowed, in a humble position. Some people may occasion-ally raise their hands in their petitions for mer-cy. But others find it more helpful to sit or kneel, with head bowed, to concentrate.

    The important thing is to be able to keep still and to concentrate on the words of The Prayer as you repeat it.
    The physical action of bowing or kneeling can be a part of your expression to humble yourself before God. You can do this for each knot you touch, or you can do it after a certain number of prayers.

    You can use the Jesus Prayer and Prayer Rope in the form of intercessory prayers. For example, if you have a list of people who need our prayers, pray the Jesus Prayer but add the name of the person in need. Use each knot for a different person. So, you would say: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on, Mathew.

    You can also use each knot to pray for our leaders. It is an effective tool to pray for them without fail. Pray for our Honorable Metropoli-tan and our Episcopas and our fathers in this way.

    You can also pray for your family this way and if you are a parent, you can pray for your children.

    Pray for those who need healing, one knot for one person who needs healing and then the next.

Where to Pray

    Everywhere you can pray with the Prayer Rope. Even while you are in church, you can use it. Suppose you are in a church where you do not know the language. You can repeat The Prayer silently with your Prayer Rope, touching each knot. This will help you to concentrate more in the service and experience the pres-ence of God.

    The Prayer Rope can be used when you lie down to sleep. And you can pray it quietly with the Prayer Rope until you fall asleep. Ending the day with the quiet prayer is an even better way to prepare for a prayerful beginning of the new day.

    Waking up with the Prayer Rope still in your arms or wrist or fingers or next to the pillow, will help you begin the new day with prayer.

    You can use the Prayer Rope during idle moments such as traveling.

    At any time of the day, whenever you re-member to do so, you can take a little Prayer Rope in your fingers, and the association of that action with The Prayer helps you to pray. The physical presence of the Prayer Rope in our fingers or on our wrist or neck helps us catch ourselves and return to our task of prayer more quickly.

    The Prayer Rope does not pray by itself, or it will not itself show any miracle as such. It is an essential, traditional aid in offering prayers, and especially for a daily rule of prayer. But the important thing is to concentrate on the words of The Prayer, and to offer heart-felt prayers to Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.

    If this little Prayer Rope helps you to say a prayer or reminds you to pray or helps you in some way to become more prayerful, it will have fulfilled its purpose. It will have tied you more closely and more intimately with Christ our God, and brought you closer to the King-dom of God, for “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

    The Jesus Prayer is small, but it is a perfect prayer for any time, any need, anybody and for everything. The Prayer Rope is just some knots. But the significance of the Prayer Rope is in the discipline it brings us and the reminder it gives us to pray, and this discipline and reminder will be remarkable in our lives. Both will help us to be closer with God, humble ourselves, and pray more!!!

    There will be bad days for everyone, but when that bad day comes, this prayer will help you to be strong in the Lord.

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