What is a Prayer Shawl?

prayer shawl ministryTraditionally, prayer shawls were worn by men and women to church or places of worship as part of their prayerful rituals. In recent years, prayer shawls or healing shawls have taken on a new meaning.

The concept was started by two women, Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo from the Hartford Seminary. They began making shawls for women in need of healing. Whether the healing is medical or spiritual it does not matter. The shawls are intended to bring comfort.

The pattern you use does not matter. Any shawl or scarf pattern is suitable, it is the prayers you say before, during and after creating the shawl that turns it into a prayer shawl and a source of comfort to the person using it.

You begin by saying a healing prayer for the recipient. As you work on the shawl, you continue to bless the shawl with your prayers of good intent as you weave/knit/crochet the yarn. When you complete the work, you say another prayer for the person who is to receive it.

The shawl is given to a person in need and is intended to bring them comfort and solace in their time of need. Often these are given to people who are going through medical procedures, struggling with illness, the loss of a loved one, emotional turmoil or suffering. They are also given at milestones such as marriages, birth of a child, graduation, etc.

The idea is that the shawl is blessed with the love of God and will see the recipient through times of sorrow, to help someone stay committed to a new beginning in life or to celebrate a joyous occasion.


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This eagerly anticipated second volume of The Prayer Shawl Ministry book includes 10 shawl patterns to knit or crochet and a heartwarming follow-up on the three prayer shawl ministries introduced in the first book. Readers will identify with the dozens of letters to The Lion Brand Yarn Company from individuals sharing what the ministry means to them. This photo-rich book also includes prayers for...

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