The Unorthodox Prayer Rope
Virtually every religion on earth has some kind of bead tradition. Christianity is no different.
The Orthodox tradition of Christian faith has long been part of the Christian bead tradition. The prayer rope is part of that tradition.
Some years ago I developed an interest in Orthodox prayer ropes. Because of a long personal history with the Boy Scouts and four years as a “Top-Side” sailor in the Navy, knots have been of some interest to me and after buying an Orthodox Prayer Rope I started looking into learning to tie the rope.
Orthodox prayer ropes use a special knot. It is said that once tied, even the devil can’t untie it. It is probably because it is incredibly difficult to tie it is equally difficult to untie. Despite many hours of trying, I was successful in tying the know only once.
Still interested in ropes, I started searching for a knot I could tie. I discovered the “Crown Knot.” While still complicated, it is much easier than the traditional Orthodox knot.
These ropes are called “Unorthodox Prayer Rope” because of the differences between my ropes and the traditional Orthodox rope. One difference, of course, is the knot. Additionally, traditional Orthodox ropes are made from wool. Your rope is made from nylon paracord. Additionally, traditional Orthodox ropes have a cross that is also made from the wool cord and traditional knots. These ropes feature an olive wood cross. Orthodox prayer ropes are made in 33, 50 or 100 knot lengths. Unorthodox ropes are all 50 knot lengths.
There is no wrong way to use beads or prayer ropes. The traditional use of an Orthodox Prayer rope is one way. It is most often used as a counter in repeating “The Jesus Prayer” which says, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” The person praying begins with the largest knot (where the cross is tied in) inviting God to join you in prayer. Then beginning with the first knot pray the Jesus Prayer with each knot around the circle.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, find your own method that works for you. The real key is to move you closer to God in prayer. Ropes and beads are tools to help you in that effort.