Wrapping Yourself in a Prayer

"Prayer shawls are generous gifts that I have the privilege of extending on behalf of our congregation. The shawls are tender expressions of our active prayers and love for those who receive them. They are truly sacramental, physical signs of God's grace which knits us together in love."   
--the Rev. Wren Blessing

Wrapping Yourself in a Prayer

Years ago when a dear friend of mine was sick with cancer, I realized that prayers don't always consist of words; for me, the soup I made for her became a prayer, imbued with love and longing, nurtured by the Spirit.  So when my dear aunt was suffering, I requested a prayer shawl, knowing that this was an embodied prayer, as well.  Each stitch had been crafted with intention and love.  I  knew that when my aunt wrapped herself in the shawl, she was covering herself in the blessing and prayers of the community of God.  My teenage daughter also asked for one for an ill friend of hers.  I hope that you too will find an opportunity to request this work of prayer for yourself or someone you love. --Kim Cockroft


What is Knitting into the Mystery?

Knitters at Grace are part of a long and quiet tradition that's both plainly practical and deeply spiritual. With needles clicking, we weave together not just garments to warm the body but also comfort and companionship to nurture the soul.

This tradition is part of a worldwide ecumenical movement of small groups of women who would gather to pray and knit for those in need.As we create shawls for people either burdened with illness and sorrow, celebrating a new event or just wanting some comfort, our handiwork is an expression of our love and concern, and of the loving care of the God who works through us.

Grace prayer shawls are all created individually by each knitter, in the colors and patterns that move them.  Each prayer shawl is named, then shown in photos with others to the person requesting; when a shawl is chosen it is blessed at Grace and washed, drying in the sun.  A special, personalized label is created for each one before being given to the recipient. 

Patty Molloy, co-lead of Spiritual Discernment Ministry at Grace, sits with a pile of shawls and discerns names for them. Patty has said that she finds that the names add a surprising dimension to the ministry. I like that and find it true! I have found that they so often connect us to “place,” our particular environment, and also that they bring back my childhood to me in delightful ways, connecting us to our natural world.  --Susan Lick

The Power of Prayer: a letter from Anne McArthur

When Jack was having his 3rd surgery in 9 months, he requested a shawl.  This was the scariest surgery, as it was a lung cancer diagnosis.  

Jack told me that he wanted it on his bed when he got to his room.  In Anne fashion, I was placing it in different places on the bed, at various angles and folds to be sure it would have an impact on him.  In the end I simply put it on top of the hospital bedding like a bedspread.  It looked beautiful, with its lovely gray and red motif.

During the hospital stay of 8 days it remained on the bed.  Jack was very comforted by it and would lovingly show the label to all of the staff.  He bragged about his wonderful church and loving friends. 


The staff seemed touched by it, as well.  We would discuss the power of prayer with them.  Most agreed that prayer has a powerful influence on healing.  I think these discussions helped to form a personal bond with the medical team, always a blessing.



How can you request a shawl?

Please consider if there is a need in your family or friend circle---a mother going through a difficult pregnancy, a sister under-going the rigors of chemotherapy, a grandfather who is isolated and alone, any going through the stress of this pandemic—and let Grace’s Knitting into the Mystery Ministry help in our small way.  Please contact Beulah Downing to request a shawl for yourself or your loved one.