Beads on a String: Praying for the United Bible Societies
In different faith traditions all over the world, different kinds of beads, stringed together in a loop, have been used in prayer and other religious ceremonies to help the faithful to concentrate on their prayers.
The Philippine Bible Society took this concept and gave it a small twist, as it joined in the celebration of the World Day of Prayer last May 9, 2014.
Participants were given materials for beadwork, particularly beads that represented the four regions in which the United Bible Societies is present – metal beads for the Americas, wooden beads for Asia Pacific, carved, tribal beads for Africa, and glass beads for Europe and the Middle East. Also included in each kit was a cross to represent God’s Work, and a blue bead representing PBS.
“The idea is to create our own prayer beads to remind us to pray for the areas where Bible Society work is present, particularly the countries that have been assigned to each participant,” Communications Manager Hazel S. Alviz explained, referring to the list of UBS-member countries and the prayer requests that came with the beadwork materials. She added that participants should pray for their assigned countries while fashioning whatever trinket they fancy – some stringed their beads into a necklace, a bracelet, a bookmark, a cell phone or bag tag, among others.
PBS General Secretary Dr. Nora Lucero also gave a brief background on the World Day of Prayer celebrations. She said that on May 9, 1946, the Bible Societies of 13 countries came together to coordinate their efforts in proclaiming God’s Word to a world that has been ravaged by war. The same Bible Societies, and those that became part of UBS afterwards, have gathered on that date year after year to pray for each other as they continue to advance the Bible Cause.
Following the morning worship service, PBS staff, joined by several members of the Inter-Church Consultative and Advisory Group (ICCAG) and volunteers, distributed more than 3,000 copies of the New Testament and other scripture materials in Baseco Compound in Manila.