→External links: Added link to the store page of the Saint Anthony the Great blog site
image: Prayerrope. jpg|right|thumb|A typical 100 knot prayer rope.]]A '''prayer rope''' ( ''chotki'' in Russian, ''komboskini'' in Greek) is a loop made up of knots, usually made of wool but sometimes of wood, that is used to keep track of the number of prayers which have been said. It is usually used with the [[Jesus Prayer]]: "Lord [[Jesus Christ]], Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Historically it typically had 100 knots, although prayer ropes with 300, 50, or 33 knots or, less commonly, 250 or 12 can also be found in use today. There is typically a knotted [[cross]] at one end, and a few beads at certain intervals between the knots. "The purpose is to help us concentrate, not necessarily to count." [http://www.svots.edu/Faculty/Albert-Rossi/Articles/Saying-the-Jesus-Prayer.html]
Its invention is attributed to [[Saint|St.]] [[Pachomius the Great|Pachomius]] in the fourth century as an aid for illiterate [[monk]]s to accomplish a consistent number of prayers and [[prostration]]s. Monks were often expected to carry a prayer rope with them, to remind them to pray constantly in accordance with St. [[Apostle Paul|Paul]]'s injunction in [[I Thessalonians]] 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."
The prayer rope has many parallels among other religious groups. See [[w:Prayer_beads]] for details.
Today one can find prayer ropes made of satin and other modern materials aside from the traditional wool. There is also
its modern decendant, prayer beads strung together with a cross and tassel. [[Image:Red_prayer_beads.jpg|thumb|Prayer Beads]]
Despite its wide usage among the Orthodox Christians (e.g. the Greek and Russian Orthodox)
it is unknown in many parts of the world. Even among [[Roman Catholics]] it is often mistaken for a [[rosary]]. Out of ignorance some even wear them on their necks much to the dismay of those who know what it is.
Image:33_knot_prayer_rope.jpg|33 knot prayer rope
Image:50_knot_prayer_rope.jpg|50 knot prayer rope
*[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/comboschini.aspx Comboschini (The Prayer Rope): Meditations of a Monk of the Holy Mountain Athos]
*[http://www.saintjonah.org/services/stpachomius.htm The Prayer Rule of St. Pachomius]