What Is The Orthodox Prayer Rope For?
The Orthodox Prayer Rope comes in many different forms. The most known are the prayer bracelet and prayer necklace versions. The bracelets have 33 knots and one divider bead and the necklaces have 100, 150, or 300 knots, with or without divider beads.
If you are unfamiliar with these items you must have asked yourself, what are they for? Just for wearing? Well No, they are actually a tool to focus during prayer. I will try to explain it in the next paragraph.
When you pray, you have to focus your mind on the prayer, for some this comes naturally. But in the world we live today, there are so many distractions around us that it can become hard to clear your mind and focus. Don’t believe me? Then try it now! Clear your mind and try to think of one thing for twenty seconds… Hard isn’t it, your mind is all over the place. And then I haven’t added stress, daily problems, and mood into the equation.
This is where the prayer rope comes into the picture. By running the knots of the rope through your fingers you focus your mind on the prayer. One knot is one prayer, you keep praying knot for knot until you reach the divider bead. Now it is time for a prostration and you start again. It keeps it simple, the rope is there to count the prayers and keep you focussed, so your mind can relax and focus only on the prayer. It will take some time while your mind adjusts to the knots, at first you will be aware of running the knots through your fingers, but over time it will fade away and you will be able to focus without the counting, your hands will automatically move through the knots.
Next to prayer some even use it just to clear and relax their minds. Going through the knots they clear their minds and this way make room for new ideas. Or even just as comfort during stressful situations, the knots become a way of coping and de-stressing the situation.
So, where do these ropes come from? The Orthodox Prayer Rope has been with us for a very long time, it dates back to around year 260AC, when it was invented by Saint Anthony the Great. Before that monks used to carry stones with them for counting the repetitive prayers. Over the years these Orthodox Prayer Rope evolved into the prayer bracelets and necklaces we know today. This happened when Chuch going people kept forgetting their prayer ropes, somebody then came up with the idea to wear them around the wrist or neck and so they evolved.
Prayer Ropes are still made in the same way as in ancient times. The special knots that consist of 7 interlocking crosses are still the base of every Prayer Rope. Authentic versions are made in Orthodox Monasteries. The monks make them while reciting a prayer for every knot they tie and thus purifying the prayer ropes in the process. This is the reason why authentic prayer ropes are so popular and sought after.
Also, the wonderful story of Saint Anthony the Great, who invented the Prayer Rope is something that people treasure. Feel free to follow the link above and read the complete 3-part story on Saint Anthony in our blog.
We have made it our mission to bring these Orthodox Prayer Ropes to people all over the world. All the Orthodox Prayer Ropes that we offer are handmade in Orthodox monasteries. We are sure that you will find a religious bracelet or religious necklace to your liking.