My prayer beads are humble little things. They are about 8 years old and they are made from a length of waxed cotton and plain wooden beads, the quarter ones ever so slightly bigger than the rest so I have to pay attention to feel when they switch size. I made them from beads I found in bead shop and it cost me only a few pounds. The end of them used to have two beads on, but one fell off and the dog ate it.
I use them for saying a mantra, which ‘came to me’ in the morning and in the evening I use them to say my prayers, based on this Unitarian Universalist site which I have adapted to suit me.
I find them quite useful as otherwise I tend to drift from what I am focusing on, they keep me on track. I find making my prayers tactile is important and I have my prayer bag and my book to help with that too.
I sometimes look at them rather sadly, they are such plain little things. Then I spend ages looking at handmade ones on Etsy, with silver and beads and beautiful carved wooden tails. Then I realise that I would probably be afraid to use such a thing. And I certainly wouldn’t put them in my bag when I go away.
My faith isn’t glitzy anyway, it is a down to earth one, pretty much like me. I do want my practice to be more mystical, but that doesn’t need expensive things to make it happen and it won’t change the fact that a day to day faith has to be able to hold its own in the life I lead.