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Discovering Lutheran Prayer Beads

I was raised in the Lutheran church. Like many young people, I moved away from institutional religion when I transitioned to college. Although I stopped going to church regularly, my spiritual life continued to unfold. My journey eventually carried me to the shores of Buddhism, where I spent many years studying and practicing. This was where I first discovered the use of prayer beads (malas) for spiritual practice.

I wanted to share the beauty of using beads with my Christian friends and, particularly, with my mother. While I sometimes made traditional prayer beads for non-Buddhist friends, I longed for something more meaningful, more tailored to Christianity. That search led me to learning about the Pearls of Life (Frälsarkransen).

It has been more than a decade since I first started making Pearls of Life. The first set I made is now buried with my mother. Many other sets reside with Lutherans and non-Lutherans who feel called to the mystery.


Returning to the rural Lutheran church where I spent my early childhood years, I reconnected with Christianity through the lens of my wider spiritual experience. If the potential of being "in Christ Jesus" speaks to you, as it did to Paul, perhaps you will find these prayer beads and associated practices a loving support.

Jennifer Wheeler

Gilbert, SC, USA

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