The ELCA’s Gulf Coast Synod will be giving prayer beads to those that attend their synod assembly this year. As Lutherans you do not hear about prayer beads too often (unless you’ve read about the ELCA churches which use prayer beads for their goddess rosary services. See here and here)
(link to the synod post here)
Prayer beads are often associated with other religions, like Islam, and with the Catholic church. Some people would tell you using prayer beads for your Christian prayer life is fine, a tool which can help you pray beyond your own needs. Others would caution that prayer beads are not a practice found in the Bible. They would also say that Scripture warns us to not thoughtlessly repeat prayers over and over, which the prayer beads are used for. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:7 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
Got Questions Ministries says this about prayer beads, “Prayers are not to be merely recited or repeated mindlessly as though they are automatic formulas. Many who use prayer beads today claim that the rosary helps them take the focus off themselves and onto Christ, but the question is really one of the efficacy of repeating the same phrases over and over in a mantra-like manner.
Prayer is an incredible privilege for the Christian, as we are invited by the Creator of the universe to come ‘boldly’ into His presence (Hebrews 4:16) and communicate with Him. Prayer is the means by which we praise Him, adore Him, give thanks to Him, submit to Him, and bring before Him petitions for ourselves and intercessions for others. It’s hard to see how that intimate communion with Him is enhanced by repeating simple prayers over and over again via prayer beads.” (see here)
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Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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