Within our own parish community, the ministry has grown significantly over the past 5 years, to over 28 ministry members who have made and presented over 200 prayer quilts to our parish for tying. The idea behind these quilts is simple, yet powerful.
A quilt is assembled, with love, for a specific person in need of prayer, with that person’s knowledge and consent. A heavy thread is used to take stitches through the quilt layers, and the ends are left free to be tied with a square knot. The quilt is then presented to our parish family.
As each knot is tied, a silent prayer is offered for that person in special need. Perhaps that need is for healing in an individual with cancer. Perhaps it is to comfort a child facing surgery. Perhaps it is for strength, for an individual who has sustained a loss, and feels utterly lost. The reasons for requesting a prayer quilt can be many.
A person receiving the quilt may or may not feel comfortable in sharing his or her circumstances with the parish. If need be, a prayer quilt can even be requested for an “anonymous recipient”. After we have prayed and tied the knots, the quilt is then given to that person as a physical reminder to them that our prayers are with them, and more importantly, that God is with them.
What makes each quilt so special is not the pattern, color or workmanship, but the fact that prayer is symbolically tied into each one. These comforters are a statement of faith, and a testimony to our belief in God and in the power of prayer.
Each chapter of the Prayers and Squares Prayer Quilt Ministry has agreed to abide by the following three guiding principles:
1. “It’s not about the quilt; it’s all about the prayers.” This is first and foremost a ministry of prayer. The goal is to encourage and involve as many people as possible to participate in the prayer effort, not merely to make and give away quilts.
2. Before tying a prayer quilt for an individual, that person must have agreed to accept the gift of prayer in the form of a quilt. We will also be asking how we might best direct our prayers for that person (i.e., what would they like us to pray for.)
3. No payment can ever be accepted for a prayer quilt. It cannot be sold; it is a gift. Neither the person who receives the quilt, nor the person who requests a quilt for another should be obligated to Prayers and Squares in any way.
Quilts can be made for our parish members and/or their loved ones. As this ministry goes forward, we are hopeful that others will come join us in this effort. You do not have to be master quilters. None of us are, and some of us are beginners. There are even jobs that have nothing to do with quilting. We always need help in setting up the narthex for a quilt tying, laminating prayer cards to include with each quilt or sorting through/organizing donated materials.