- Provides Constant reminder to pray
- Perfect size to always carry with you
- Continual connection to faith
It is said that the the method of tying the prayer rope has its origins from the Father of Orthodox Monasticism, Saint Anthony the Great. He started by tying a leather rope with a simple knot for every time he prayed Kyrie Eleison "Lord Have Mercy", but the Devil would come and untie the knots to throw off his count.
He then devised a way inspired by a vision he had of the Theotokos of tying the knots so that the knots themselves would constantly make the Sign of the Cross.
This is why prayer ropes today are still tied using knots that each contain seven little Crosses being tied over and over. The Devil could not untie it because the Devil is vanquished by the Sign of the Cross.
Beads are often placed in equal intervals on Orthodox prayer ropes.
Along with adding to the piece's beauty. their true intent is to assist the faithful in keeping count of the number of prayers they recite.
A thirty-three knot circumference is now the most common because thirty-three symbolizes the age of Jesus Christ at his Resurrection.
Historically, the prayer rope would typically have 100 knots, although prayer ropes with 150, 60, 50, 33, 64 or 41 knots can also be found in use today. There are even small, 10-knot prayer ropes intended to be worn on the finger. Hermits in their cells may have prayer ropes with as many as 300 or 500 knots in them.
Longer prayer ropes assist the faithful in reciting more prayer ropes in succession without reaching the beginning again. This is why pieces consisting of; 150, 200, 300, 500, and even 1000 knots are created. For longer, uninterrupted connection with our Lord.
Though prayer ropes are often tied by monastics, non-monastics are permitted to tie them also. In proper practice, the person tying a prayer rope should be of true faith and pious life and should be praying the Jesus Prayer the whole time. Our prayer ropes are solely created by monastics in Mt.Athos and island of Tenos.
When praying, the user normally holds the prayer rope in the left hand, leaving the right hand free to make the Sign of the Cross.