The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 4

Praying the Rosary

Begin with the cross 

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. On the third day He rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From there He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints and forgiveness of sin, and the resurrection of the body. Amen.

Bead following the Cross

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day or daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

3 beginning beads

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy

OR

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Luke 1: 42

 

Last single bead

(before the decades begin)

Pray “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14

 1st bead of each decade

Read the day’s scripture passage (given in next chapter) or meditate on the event recounted in that passage

10 beads of each decade grouping

Pray “Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, pray for us sinners (or name a designated person).”

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The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 3

The Protestant Rosary Adaptation

Like the Catholic rosary, I begin with the Apostles’ Creed as I hold the cross and continue through the Lord’s prayer and the Hail Marys to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that Mary sits with Jesus in heaven.

I continue with the decades for each day as the Catholics do; however, instead of saying the Hail Marys for each bead, I say “Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, pray for my friend (or other designated person).

I usually pray a decade for each person in my family, repeating the ten prayers for each member of the family: my son, his wife, and each offspring. So I pray 4 decades for each meditation for my older son’s family with two children and five decades for my young son Andy’s family since he has 3 children.

As I progress through the meditations, I include my sister’s family, special friends’ families, colleagues, and others I know who are in special need of prayer.

In emergencies I pray the whole rosary for one person. Once I have prayed the rosary for an emergency, I have been able to let go of the worry and anxiety that would otherwise consume me. I often say these prayers to myself as I walk daily. The prayers have become a way of calming myself when I am under extreme stress.

 

The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 2

                       The Catholic Rosary

Some knowledge of the Catholic rosary will help one to understand my adapted method. The rosary is a strand of 62 beads and one cross.

photo-feb-03-8-55-42-am

Catholics begin with the Apostle’s Creed or other statement of faith as they begin with the cross of the rosary.

They proceed to the first bead on which they say the Lord’s Prayer. The next three beads are “Hail Marys” directed to the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” (taken from Luke 1:42 in Elizabeth’s greeting of Mary before Jesus’ birth)

The Gloria is used for the next single bead: “Glory be to God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and to His son Jesus Christ our Lord. As it was in the beginning, now forever shall be world withiut end. Amen.”

On different days of the week, different scriptures (provided in subsequent chapters) are used as meditations for each decade-10 beads:

Sundays and Wednesdays: The Resurrection, The Ascension, Pentecost, The Assumption, The Coronation

Saturdays and Mondays: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth, The Presentation in the Temple, Jesus Lost in Jerusalem

Tuesdays and Fridays: The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning of Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, The Crucifixion

Thursdays (implemented by Pope John Paul II): The Baptism, The Wedding at Cana of Galilee, The Kingdom of God, The Transfiguration, The Eucharist

One advantage of this prayer is that each week the pray-er goes through the main events of Jesus’ life mentally. This is a constant reminder of all Jesus has done for us. 

At this point one begins praying each decade. On the first bead, a brief scripture passage is recited or read specific to that day’s meditations. Then the Hail Marys are recited 10 times.

Progress to the next and subsequent beads and meditations and repeat the Hail Marys.

The rosary prayers have a calming effect, probably because the repetition soothes the mind and soul, giving focus away from the world and the troubles in it.

The Protestant Rosary: Introduction

“God’s in His heaven; all’s right with the world.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

God IS in His heaven but all is not right with the world, nor has it ever been really though this is one of the quotes I say to remind myself of God’s power and loving care. Mankind’s sinful nature has driven a wedge between us and our God.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10

Daily violence plagues the airways both in the U. S. and in the world: hateful language is the norm of late rather than the exception, racism is rearing its ugly head throughout the U.S., terrorism is rampant throughout the world. Though I was young during the Civil Rights movement, I do remember the violence on TV in the 1960’s: Assassinations, scandal, lawsuits, the Cold War, the Women’s liberation movement, the Vietnam War. Today we have Twitter, Facebook, CNN and other media to blast us with every event of violence that plagues us.

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Prayer is the only answer for change in this world. Jesus came to save all people, so we as Christians must pray for healing for our country and world.

Many people complain that they cannot stay focused to remain in prayer for more than a few minutes. I have found a systematic way past that problem with the use of rosary beads and scripture which functions as meditation (listening) with God.

The Protestant Rosary

I will share my prayer approach of 14 years on this blog chapter-by-chapter over the next few weeks. I pray it will help those who read it in your prayer life, and through it, God will change your life as He has changed mine.

Chapter 1                  Personal Testimony

 1Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;

Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive


To the voice of my supplications.

Psalm 130:1-2

My use of the Catholic rosary prayers began in a particularly dark, frightening time of my life. I felt so desperate and fearful that I prayed for God’s strength to get through each daily incident.

God initially answered my cries with a TV movie I happened to watch one evening about a mother who had given up her daughter for adoption and regretted it. The woman prayed the rosary for years for her daughter. In a somewhat miraculous way, she found her grown daughter and was reunited with her. This reminded me of how nothing is impossible with God. I began counting on that promise!

I researched the rosary prayers online, bought books and began to pray daily. I found a rosary online and purchased it. It became a tangible link to God for me in my most desperate moments. As I struggled with the emotional pain of my situation, I felt that only another woman could understand my anguish. Therefore, praying to Mary was a great comfort to me.

I learned about praying the stations of the cross and visited the Catholic church in my community to pray there as well.

My prayers weren’t a magic fix, but God worked on me as I prayed and he worked on the situations too.

As things improved, I adapted the Catholic rosary to my Protestant faith. My approach is outlined in Chapter 3. After all, Protestants believe we do not need a mediator such as a priest or Mother Mary to speak with God. We have Christ Jesus! I share this prayer approach because the Protestant rosary prayers have changed my life!

Worry Not!

I have a bird feeder outside my bedroom window. It accommodates 4 birds at a time and in the cold weather we had in winter  (20 degrees in the mornings), the birds enjoyed feasting. Cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, sparrows, and many other types I don’t recognize have battled for position to gorge themselves.

As  I watched the birds, I felt thankful that I could feed them and witness their activity. It reminded me of a scripture in Luke that cautions us about worry.

23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Luke 12:23-25New King James Version (NKJV)

What a privilege it is to help take care of God’s creation! My care for them is much like God’s care for me. I provide for their needs and He has provided for mine just as scripture says. I hope watching my activity brings Him as much joy as watching the birds brings me.

 

My Battle with Blood Sugar

The battle with blood sugar has just gotten easier! After my bloodwork 4 months ago that diagnosed prediabetic levels, I began to cut back on my sugar with the use of the My Fitness Pal App (allows 54 grams of sugar daily for my weight and calorie intake). I gave up lattes at Starbucks – 33 grams of sugar! Yikes! I gave up smoothies. I gave up all cookies, cake, and candy.  I began eating a lot more protein. After a few weeks, I began sleeping better, less waking in the night.

Then a friend sent me two articles that changed everything by Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/33-percent-of-healthy-weight-adults-have-prediabetes-do-you.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/diet-soda-may-actually-cause-diabetes.html

Dr. Cook points out that many healthy weight adults are prediabetic and many don’t even know.

“Some of the signs or symptoms of prediabetes include:

Excessive thirst

Severe exhaustion

Wounds that take a long time to heal

Ongoing or frequent infections, particularly those that take a long time to heal

Frequent urination

Higher than normal blood sugar levels but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes, or between 5.7 and 6.4 (you’ll want to get your doctor to conduct a test to determine whether you have high blood sugar levels if you have the above symptoms or others that you’re concerned about).

How to Naturally Address Prediabetes and Diabetes

Whole books could be written on the many ways to prevent or address prediabetes and diabetes, but here are a handful of strategies to get you started:
Significantly reduce your sugar consumption.

Exercise regularly (3 to 5 times per week).

Watch your antibiotic use.

Avoid diet soda like the plague. Recent research published in the medical journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that artificial sweeteners destroy a person’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which is exactly the reason why many people drink diet soda over sugar-laced beverages. Synthetic sweeteners like aspartame could actually be contributing to the development of diabetes.

Eat a plant-based diet. Simply increase the number of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds and legumes in your diet to reduce your risk of diabetes and increase your quality of life.

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking (New World Library, 2016).”

So, after considering this information and knowing my blood sugar levels were at prediabetic levels, I thought, “What have I got to lose?” I cut diet coke from my diet. Now I only use Stevia which is a natural alternative to sweeten my tea. No carbonated beverages (too high in sugar). I drastically reduced my sugar consumption.

artificial-sweeteners

After several days, I hardly had any arthritis pain which before had been so overwhelming. I even woke up less often in the night because of a full bladder. I realized that just like Dr. Cook said, my body had not been processing sugar as it should. Without the artificial sweeteners and sugar, my body is functioning so much better. Now when I splurge on sugar at a birthday or holiday, I end up with much more arthritis pain.

This has been a great deterrent to binging on sugar as I am prone to. I still have a hard time accepting that the artificial sweeteners we think will reduce weight gain and calories actually could cause us to become diabetic. I challenge anyone reading this, especially those with arthritis or other pain issues,  to quit using artificial sweeteners and see if you can’t tell a big difference in the way your feel.