I personally don't get the point of a chotki. I have no reason to keep track of how much I say the Jesus Prayer. I simply say it when I need to say it and don't keep track of how many times I say it.
Exactly. I say it once, and I know God hears it.
For me today to say it many times only represents that I am faithless in God's ability to hear and understand. I think its vanity to think a 25 counter would be less holy than a 500 counter. Plus it's just funky. I've used them many many times. I even wore them to public school back in the day. I liked my 33 knot one, and when I "upgraded" to a 100 knot, I really thought I was special - as if the 100 knot made a difference.
All the time I didn't realize that God probably was sick of me doing it over and over again. Try repeating the same thing to your spouse 100 times in a row...
I believe faithlessness can hide behind many words.... In fact SO many words, you have to have a knot in order to keep track of just HOW MANY words you need to get out. If that is not the definition of a vain repetition, I don't know what is. Of course, others see it differently, as does the EO faith in general. I know... I know... it's so horrible to speak this way. Let's not blaspheme the prayer rope after all. Because each knot, each repeated prayer, brings us closer to God right?
Odd thing is, as I'm milking my Goats and gathering eggs from my chickens while thanking God in prayer, I feel much closer to him than I ever have. I don't say the Jesus prayer for each pull of the teat either. I don't have a rope with knots for repetitive prayer justified with crushing "churchianity" that overthrows the commands of God to not repeat in vain repetitions (25, 33, 99, 100, and 500 knot models just to keep track). It's actually very easy to feel a deep relationship with God, while embracing his creation he made for you.
I concluded these two things:
1) Some may feel more close to God bowing repeatedly towards icons while incense floats in the air... Candles gleaming off images... While they repeat over and over again the same prayer while touching a knot to keep count.
2) For me, I feel more close to God in a barn that smells some, while milking a goat, praying to God, while the sunlight glistens through the cracks between boards and reflects off the particles of straw in the air.
Our God came to us in the flesh. He chose Mary as his mother. He also came into this world surrounded either by #1 or #2 as I described (you decide). One can easily argue that the first Christian church was a barn/cave where animals were kept, droppings existed, and plenty of straw was available.