Have you ever wondered how to best use a prayer rope bracelet? The Jesus Prayer and Me, written by Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinas PHD and illustrated by Joanne Dallas, MFA (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America 2006) describes the history of prayer ropes and gives a beautiful narrative of how children (or adults) can pray the Jesus prayer throughout any day with a prayer rope.
As the knots that make up the prayer rope form a perfect circle, prayer can and should be woven throughout our daily cycle of activities. The Jesus prayer is the simple Orthodox way to keep the Holy Spirit close to our minds and hearts. The Jesus Prayer and Me uses clear and sweet text with gentle watercolor illustrations to show children incorporating the Jesus prayer into their everyday activities. One girl is washing her face and thinks of how Jesus is smiling back at her as she smiles into the mirror and prays. Another child prays for daddy as he travels for his job and the illustrations show an image of a guardian angel accompanying daddy. The Holy Trinity is seen joining the family in spirit at dinner as they give thanks for their food. These simple vignettes remind us that God is everywhere present which helps a child feel secure in God’s intimate love for them in their own daily life.
Children can experience the presence of God in their daily life in ways we adults have forgotten, and this book reminds us adults a little of what our daily lives could be like if we practiced internal prayer more. The Jesus Prayer and Me is a wonderful resource for parents or Sunday School teachers. Paired with a child sized prayer rope, this book would make a lovely Pascha present for a godchild.