Prayer ropes (metallic threads)
Most often they are made of black wool or silky lace (soutache). The black colour symbolises repentance. Still, in the present prayer ropes can be of various colours. The smallest ones have 33 knots. There are also prayer ropes with 50 or 100 knots. Monastics sometimes use prayer ropes with 300, 500, or 1000 knots.
Tradition has it that somewhere around in the fourth century AD an angel of the Lord revealed the skill of knitting prayer ropes to a monk in the desert, after he had fervently prayed. Namely, demons had tempted him unknitting the simple knots he had that far made, and he could not fulfil thoroughly his prayer rule. The angel taught him to knit complex prayer knots in a way that each of them consisted of seven cruciform small inner knots, which the demon could not unknit.
We use the prayer rope to say the Jesus prayer, consisting of the following words: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. At each knot of the prayer rope we say one prayer. The aim of the prayer is to unite man with God and fill man’s heart with the light of Divine grace.
Material- Silver metallic thread.