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Prayer Shawl


“For it was you who formed my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.”
Psalm 139:13-14

It was one of those days when something just really hit me as being so awesome and inspirational. I enjoy (too much) looking in the craft section of our local store – to get ideas – and see what’s new and available and costs, etc. Today I was looking for something for embossing cards – looking for a green yarn for flower stems, and I came across a book called,

The Prayer Shawl Ministry – Reaching Those in Need. What an inspirational and encouraging book this is – though I don’t necessarily agree with all the “spiritual” things in the book, the idea of it is just so neat. I did not get the book, but looked it up in our library system, and the book was lost. When I got home here tonight, I did some searches on it, and found some other neat websites and ideas for it. The first website I came across is, Prayer Shawl Ministry and they give ideas of uses for giving a shawl:

[For those] [u]ndergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss, during bereavement, prayer or meditation, commitment or marriage ceremonies, birthing, nursing a baby; as a bridal shower gift; leading ritual; first menses or croning rites of passage, during an illness and recovery; ministering to others or just socializing…There are endless possibilities! To make a shawl personal, the giver or the recipient may want to adorn the shawl with beads, shells, feathers and charms. A blessing or ritual maybe offered when the gift is presented.

This Prayer Shawl Ministry has on their website instructions & guidance as far as doing this, which includes when you decide to make on and begin, first start out praying for the person you are making this for. They give a suggestion for doing these even in groups, and passing shawls around the circle, so you can then pray for that person’s shawl you are working on. This site also gives a common knit and crochet pattern for making this, which appears quite easy. Many of the shawls are completed with tassles on the ends and there are suggestions for adding beads or charms to personalize it even more. As my readers know, I like making Mother’s Bracelets, shawls can be made in colors according to birthstones. Or, imagine even having a neutral colored shawl and having children’s birthstones woven throughout or on the tassles. Like with birthstones having a different color for each month, the Prayer Shawl Ministry website also has ideas for birthday shawls according to birthstone color and their meanings and also the possibility of enclosing scented sachetswith the shawl. 

Another neat website, which is a little less “new agey” is the Waiting Room Ministry which also has The Prayer Shawl Ministry. I love what they share as far as their suggestions for praying while making the shawl:

1. Begin by focusing on Jesus Christ. Thank God for His love and goodness toward the person you are praying for while making the shawl. Thank Jesus for His plan for good to happen in this persons life. Thank and praise the Lord for Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and the Holy Spirit’s presence as you knit or crochet. Visualize Jesus sitting with you as you make the shawl. See the person being held in His arms and feel the love they share.

2. Thank the Lord for the person. Have good thoughts about the person and focus on the potential for healing, for a quality life and believe that the person will be restored, healthy, and complete in God’s time. Lift whatever needs the person has to the Lord in prayer.

3. Intercede for the person. Sometimes words are not enough and I sit with the Lord and simply hold the person before the Lord. Ask the Lord to guide you as you pray and knit or crochet. Pray for blessing on the person. Pray for strength and courage in the person’s life and in the lives of loved ones. Pray for comfort and healing and for the doctors, nurses, and all who take care of the person. Pray for whatever need the person has in life. Let the Lord lead you and pray whatever Jesus lays on your heart.

4. Pray for the person to draw closer to Jesus and if the person is not a believer, pray for salvation. In your mind’s eye see this person turning to Jesus and walking into the arms of God. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead the person to Jesus Christ and for the person to be open to the Lord. Pray for this one’s heart to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.

5. Keep praying – you can pray for one area that needs prayer over and over as you feel led. Sometimes you may feel led to pray for one area of life, such as healing of memories, or for blessing on the relationships in the family. Persevere in prayer and remember that God’s purposes for the person are usually accomplished in the person’s mind and heart as well as with the physical body. Pray that nothing can stop the working of the Lord on the mind and heart or on the healing of the body.

6. Be encouraged! God does not call you to pray in vain. Pray! Believe and praise the Lord till the answer comes. Even if you do not see or feel any changes in the life of the person, pray on! The Lord Jesus Christ will work in real and unexpected ways.

7. When you complete the prayer shawl, pray over it. Make a prayer link with the yarn from the shawl and keep the link to pray over often. Anoint the prayer shawl with a prayer of blessing for the person before it is given to them.

8. Trust the Lord to continue to work through the shawl when it leaves your hands. Visualize the shawl being given to the person and see Jesus wrap the person with the shawl. See the love and healing power in the prayers that are woven into the shawl. Now let go and let the Lord do the work in the person’s life.

I also like what the Lion Brand Yarn website said about the Prayer Shawl, along with their free pattern and great color chart for how their colors look:

What is a Prayer Shawl? Throughout the ages, shawls have come to symbolize shelter, peace and spiritual sustenance. Since the inception of the Prayer Shawl Ministry in 1998, the members of this ecumenical organization have lovingly donated their time and talents by creating hand-knitted and crocheted shawls for those in need. What started as a grass-roots movement has quickly grown into an international cause, with countless numbers of shawls being given to grateful recipients around the globe.The Ministry’s message of caring is simple, universal and enduring. And we have seen time and again that the creation and presentation of a prayer shawl, like all acts of generosity, enriches the giver as well as the recipient.

I found many other links searching on Google for Prayer Shawls that you might find inspiring. If any of you gals have made one of these for someone, I’d love to hear how you did it and the story with it. I just thought this was something so neat, and something to share with my daughters to do – even together as a family project to do for someone as an encouragement. I will share with you later what we decide to do.

 

P.S. – The “basic pattern” that is repeated on several websites including the Lion Brand website, is a very simple and great beginner’s pattern for knitting which even many young children can quickly learn. Also on the Lion Brand website is a free Learn to Knit tutorial which you can print out.

ADDITIONAL PATTERNS:

Author:

Beloved KEPT Child of Jesus stumbling by faith ~ Married 30 years ~ Blessed Mama of 10 beside me & 2 at Jesus' feet ~ "Retired" homeschool mama of 22 years ~ Writer * Blogger * Reviewer ~

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