While there are many differences among the various religions of the world, there are some aspects of similarity among them as well. This can be commonly seen in the prevalence of prayer beads worn or employed in the worship of various religions. Prayer beads are incorporated in the worship of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. Why are prayer beads so common and what is there significance? The reasons for this are well worth looking at…

First, one needs to clearly understand what prayer beads are. While there are slight differences between the prayer beads of various religions, the common thread is that that are designed similar to a necklace. Such a necklace will contain various beads designed to help people keep track of their prayers. There is no ‘right or wrong’ number of prayers or invocations to make when investing time in a prayer session. However, there can be a sense of accomplishment that can be achieved by making a certain number of prayers in a session. This is where the prayer beads can prove helpful. In many ways, prayer beads can be considered symbolic in a variety of ways. But, to a great degree, they can be a symbol of the devotion and commitment on the part of the practitioner.

This will tie into the most impactful component to prayer beads. Specifically, this would be the prayer beads ability to eliminate the need to concentrate on how many prayers that have been performed. It also eliminates the need to remember where you left off in your prayer session. Yes, prayer sessions are made easier since the practitioner simply needs to count prayers off the beads as they are completed. Some may consider this impact minor but it really is not. Counting off on the beads can make the entire prayer session a lot more relaxed which aids in the performance of longer sessions.

The use of the beads also allows one to effectively meditate on the mantras in a prayer session. This is because the repetitive nature of praying with the beads aids in concentrating on the mantras. Often, similar prayers and patterns are utilized when using prayer beads. This aids in getting the most out of the session since it adds a sense of cohesion to the event. One thing people seem to forget when it comes to religious practice that people are, well, people. As such, the need for an ancillary item designed to effectively promote an effective and rewarding prayer session. While somewhat automated in designed, praying with prayer beads should not be considered robotic. There still needs to be a powerful emotional connection to the prayers and the prayer beads allow this. Why is this so? The use of the prayer beads allows one to become drawn deeper into the process. This, in turn, enhances the overall experience to a great degree.

With the beads, there really is no need for a special or specific type of bead in order for the process to work effectively. Some beads are made of wood, some are produced from metal, and then there are those that are crafted from plastic. Again, it does not matter much what the prayer beads are made from. What is most important is that they are durable enough to last and can be used effectively in a serious prayer session. Prayers beads are certainly not decorations and function should be of the prime concern of using them. Then again, a little decorative value does not hurt. That is why some prayer beads have been designed with a high level of artistry and craftsmanship.

Ultimately, it is quality of craftsmanship that will aid in getting the most out of prayer beads. Really, you will always want to purchase durable beads. Durability will be undermined if you purchase beads made on ‘the cheap.’ So, if you are going to invest in prayer beads, always be sure to purchase ones manufactured with a high level of quality.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Smelcer is the owner of online stores selling Buddhist items such as mala beads and prayer beads.