More and more often I tend to have my beads somewhere on my body. Generally they are hidden in a pocket. I have tried them in various places and found them uncomfortable, itchy, or the wrong length to wrap around my wrist. I also want them to be brought to my attention often, as I will explain below. So they get tucked in a pocket, which is a shame because I think they might make a good/easy/convenient conversation starter that could lead into matters of faith. But my goal isn’t perfection faithfulness is.
What I have found is that beads in my pocket serve me as a reminder that I intend to be a godly person, insofar as I am able.
But what does this look like in practical terms?
When I am walking around and someone cuts me off, speeds on my street, or whatever, I am now just as likely to hold a prayer bead and offer a prayer as I am to swear and curse the person out (mostly in my mind of course). For me, at least, 50-50 odds are a major improvement:) In this way I become a gentler person and pray more for the my neighbours, both of which are long-term goals of mine.
I also find that when I am walking and a situation comes to mind, a work thing, a family matter, how the government has irritated me today…whatever, if my hand happens upon my beads I feel called to prayer. It doesn’t happen every time and I spend an embarrassing amount of time brooding, but when my hand touches the beads I pray for the situation and the people involved, I pray for my kids and wife and politicians, I pray for my church, my community, and the planet. My point is: prayer, in my life, happens far more when I have the beads in my pocket than when I don’t.
There is nothing magical about the beads, but I do find that setting out with an intention (to live a godly prayerful life) is bolstered and helped by the concrete earthy tangible reminder of the beads. They could be anything, I just find the beads work for me. For you it could be a small cross, a pendant, a bracelet, just so long as it is something that comes to mind from time to time, able to break into the thought-flow of your day and call you back to the intention you set out with to begin.
If you are up for it, find an item you can use this way, and for the next 21 days set the intention in the morning to be reminded of your godliness whenever the item is drawn to your attention. If it helps continue the practice, if not, move on to something else you think might help you grow.