Many have asked about the prayer bead strands (pictured) designed for General Conference and given to all the delegates for use in evening worship and during personal prayer time. The General Conference prayer team designed the bead strand with meaning. Each strand includes three olive wood beads from the Holy Land and eight picture jasper beads to honor the Pacific Northwest, known for its earthy character and vast outdoors. The seed beads are one of four colors used to represent the elements: red = fire; blue = water; green = air; brown = earth. The 2016 custom medallion is made from wood and features the cross and flame and a mountain sheep. The mountain sheep reminds us of our Christian call to “therefore go” and find the least and the lost.
Kristen Vincent, a United Methodist from the North Georgia Conference, coordinated the prayer bead ministry. Groups from across the connection ordered the bead kits, created the strands, prayed with them, and sent their completed sets to Kristen. Over 2,000 strands were shared at General Conference.
Kristen writes this about prayer beads: “Prayer beads are a tool for prayer. Just as a hammer and nails help us construct a house, so prayer beads help us construct a life of connection with God. The beads are not the end; they are the means to an end, which is communion with God. Many people struggle with prayer. Their minds wander; they get bored; they wonder if they are being heard; they struggle with what to say. Prayer beads can help them develop rich lives of prayer, deepening their connection with God.”*
Additional prayer bead strands are being created to distributed at jurisdictional conferences in July, where new episcopal leaders will be elected. If you would like to participate in this prayer ministry, the bead kits can be ordered here: http://prayerworksstudio.com/prayer-beads/gc2016-prayer-strand-supply-kits/
*From A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads by Kristen E. Vincent. © 2013 by Kristen E. Vincent. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.
Thought for the day: What tools do you use to help you pray?