Consider this:  bead = prayer.   The word bead derives from the Middle English word bēde meaning prayer, request, or supplication.

As we prepare for General Conference, prayer beads strands can be a wonderful tool to help us stay focused as we pray for our bishops, the delegates, the planners, the issues, and the decisions to be made.   The Upper Room encourages you to make a prayer bead strand using our commemorative medallion, designed especially for General Conference 2016.    Order enough for your Sunday school class, small group, or for the participants in a prayer vigil. It’s a meaningful prayer project.

The General Conference prayer team designed the bead strand with meaning.   The 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 will come in one of four colors to represent the elements: red = fire; blue = water; green = air; brown = earth.  The 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 find the least and the lost.

You may consider making prayer bead strands and sending them as a gift for General Conference delegates and other church leaders who will receive the beads at the Opening Worship Service for General Conference as a physical symbol of the prayer that surrounds and undergirds them.

Prayer bead kits are available from PrayerWorks Studio, owned by Kristen Vincent.  Kristen is a fellow United Methodist and author of the award-winning book, A Bead and a Prayer, published by Upper Room Books.

Be sure to watch the videos below to see Kristen give step-by-step instructions on how to make the General Conference prayer bead strands and how to use them. You can use the bead strands in your own prayer time, give them to others, or send them to us to be distributed at General Conference to all the delegates during opening worship.


How to Make Prayer Beads

Using Prayer Beads

Mail completed bead strands to be used as prayer gifts for General Conference delegates and bishops, to:

Kristen Vincent
889 Euclid Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

Please mail prayer bead strands by Saturday, April 30.

If you have questions, contact Sherry Elliott at

Kristen E. Vincent is the owner and principal artisan of Prayerworks Studio. She is also the award-winning author of A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads (Upper Room Books, 2013), and coauthor of Another Bead, Another Prayer: Devotions for Use with Protestant Prayer Beads (Upper Room Books, 2014). Kristen travels extensively to speak and lead retreats on prayer and prayer beads and has a Master of Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School. She is a graduate of The Upper Room’s two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation (Academy #34).