When I was trying to find it, I described it as prayer beads. However, I found out that most people don't use them to pray with . They are generally used to help people stop smoking or deal with anxious feelings. I did find one or two people who acknowledged it could be used for prayer but "it is not used for that anymore."
That last statement, "it is not used for that anymore," caused me to think about my prayer life. Do I pray like I used to or do I just pray to ward off anxiety, kind of routinely without really understanding what I am doing? Has my prayer life developed in a healthy fashion?
Prayer, at least the way that I understand it, is building a lasting relationship with God. It is a two-way relationship where I talk and listen and God talks and listens. I have these conversations several times throughout my day. I don't use flowery phrases or talk in Elizabethan English. I imagine God sitting next to me and I just tell Him what I'm experiencing. When God talks to me, I generally don't hear an audible voice but I hear Him inside my head speaking thru my thoughts. I also notice, as I go thru my day, my wife will say something to which I talked to God about or a friend will say something similar to what I talked to God about. Also, when I spend time in the Bible, what I am reading is super relevant to what I had just shared with God. Other times, I hear God speaking thru things I read on the internet, books that I am reading or in my student's papers. It's amazing, also, how many times my Pastor's sermon is spot on to what I have been talking to God about.
So, I don't want you thinking that I see God answering everywhere, a kind of God behind every burning bush idea. There are days when I don't hear God speaking. Jesus talked about that in Matt 12:39. He said that "wicked and adulterous people are always looking for a sign." I live for those times when God reminds me of His love. I also know that when I don't recognize God's working, I can trust Him. He has impeccable character and is faithful even when I am unfaithful.
So, I ask you. What is your prayer life like? How do you experience prayer?