Ministry of Warmth and Soft Touch…
Prayer Shawl Ministry has become known as a place where knitting and crocheting items intended for others is accompanied by prayer. The creation of shawls for those in need of healing is just the beginning. Blankets, Prayer Cloths, Chemo Caps, Scarves for College Students…these are just some of the expanding possibilities for using your skill for the building up of others in the web of humanity.
If you are interested in joining in prayer and creation of these gifts of love please plan to attend the renewed group of knitting and crocheting friends at St. Peter Lutheran Church 474 Vine St., Bethlehem, PA, on the third Monday of each month, 6:30-8:00 PM. This ministry is now a part of the Crafters’ Night.
Prayer Shawl Ministry Information Sheet
Who receives a Prayer Shawl? – The simple answer is “anyone who is in need of prayers said for them.” That being said, who is not in need of prayer? Read further for more answers to this question.
For what occurrences are Prayer Shawls given? – Immediately we think of the sick and those who have faced the death of a loved one. Those who live in long term care facilities can also appreciate knowing that others think of them and are praying for them. Persons who are preparing themselves for surgery can use a Prayer Shawl and the prayers they represent. But let’s not forget the happy occasions: baptisms, confirmations, graduations, going off to higher education, and weddings.
Are only shawls made? – No. It’s a matter of convenience to use the word “shawl” to cover shawls (rectangular, triangular, plain, fancy, crocheted, knitted, quilted, sewed), laprobes (plain, fancy, crocheted, knitted, quilted, sewed), stoles, baby blankets, scarves, etc.
Baptismal Blankets and Prayer Cloths
When babies are baptized, the baby receives a Prayer Blanket and the mom receives a “Prayer Cloth” with the instructions to use it when she is praying for her child. Both blanket and prayer cloth are made with the same yarn; both have had the same prayers prayed as they were being made. Both become a reminder of our gracious and loving God’s acceptance of us as a child of God. The cloth is something onto which mom can hold knowing that God is holding her and her child.
A question we sometimes hear is “when do I use it?” The answer “whenever you pray for your child” is rather nebulous. How about something a little more specific like:
- If mom has to go back to work and the child to daycare, mom can put the cloth in her pocket or purse or on her desk. Every time she thinks of her child she can touch the cloth and say a little prayer for the child at this first time of separation.
- When mom can’t hold a jumping, running child she can hold onto the cloth and praise her God for her child’s celebration of life.
- Birthdays and baptismal anniversaries are times to remember God’s activity in the life of her child.
- Physical, mental and emotional growth of the child are all gifts that can be celebrated with prayers of thanksgiving
- There are the scary, sad and broken hearted times that can be marked with prayer, at the same time holding onto the prayer cloth can be a physical reminder that God is “holding onto” both the child and the parents at this time.
- First day of school; pre-school, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, college
- First Communion, Confirmation, graduations, marriage (gee, I guess I’ve aged this child rather quickly.
- Anytime you want to pray for your child
There is no end to when a mom can pray for her child and how she can use the prayer cloth to help her praise God for his actions in her child’s life. Not to leave Dads out, if the fathers would like to have a prayer cloth we will do our best to provide one for them if they tell us they would like to have one.
The key ingredient here is prayer, not the prayer cloth. As the baptismal candle which is lit on the anniversary of the child’s baptism can be a symbol of God’s activity in making us his children, so the prayer cloth can also be a symbol of the continuing prayers said for the child.