October’s theme of “Let’s Get Together” doesn’t just mean parties — it means being there for your friends and family when you need them and coming together in a variety of ways.
When someone in your life gets some bad news, has a health problem, or is going through a valley, we all want to do something to help them out. Sometimes this means making a meal and taking some of the burden off their day-to-day. And sometimes this means giving them something that says, “I’m here. I care.”
Often, especially in the hard times, this is a gesture that speaks to the beliefs of the person to whom you are gifting.
Maybe they share your religious beliefs, maybe they don’t. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to share your love with them.
A prayer shawl, positive energy shawl, or mantra shawl is a great way to share your love and speak to them through the religion closest to their heart or yours.
The pattern does not matter. It can be nothing more than row after row of double crochets, a simple triangle shawl, or something more. What matters is the sentiment and the love in its stitches.
What is a prayer shawl?
Prayer shawls are a tradition typically found in the Christian faith. The idea is that you crochet or knit a soft shawl for the person while praying for that person.
You “fill up” the shawl with prayers of healing, hope, and love. Choose a few words that keep your prayers on point and repeat them, one word with each stitch, and imagine them going into the work.
Then, when you give this prayer-filled gift to your friend, they can use it to feel the power of prayer within it and help them through their hardest days. I often also give a card with the words in the shawl for them to read, so they know what I was praying.
I love to make prayer shawls for my Christian friends, and since I am already praying for them, it makes sense to include it in the creation of their gift.
But what about all the other world religions? What about your friends who don’t subscribe to any religion? What if you want to give them a gift, but you don’t know how to pray for them in a way that would be meaningful to them?
I don’t pretend to know everything about all world religions. I’m sure I am missing many, so this is just a start.
I have consulted with some of my friends as to how to best “pray” into a shawl for the major belief systems. Whether you fill up a shawl with words of your own religion or theirs, putting your heart into a gift will share the love.
Christian Prayers for Shawls
Christians often find hope and healing in the direct recitation of the scripture from the Bible.
You don’t need to get it just right or say the title of the book or verse, but just pray on the words and ask God to direct your prayer to the person in your heart.
Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for you are my praise.”
Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
John 16:33 “I️ have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,”
Philippians 4:13 “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Islamic Du’as for Shawls
A dua is a personal prayer, usually said for one’s self, but they can also be said for others who need prayers. If you can say the dua in Arabic, you should, but they can be said in another language if needed.
Whenever the early Muslims became sick, they sought the advice of the prophet Muhammad himself. It is related that when someone fell ill, the Prophet would recite one of these four du’as for them.
#1: It is recommended to touch the area of pain with the right hand while reciting this supplication:
Allahuma rabbi-nas adhhabal ba’sa, ashfi wa entashafi, la shifa’ illa shifa’uka shifa’ la yughadiru saqama.
“Oh Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness, cure the disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant us a cure that leaves no illness.”
#2 Repeat the following du’a seven times:
‘As’alu Allah al ‘azim rabbil ‘arshil azim an yashifika.
“I ask Allah, the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, to cure you.”
#3: Another du’a from the Sunnah:
Rabbana ‘atinaa fid dunyaa hasanat wafil aakhirati hasana taw wa qinaa azaaban naar.
“Oh Allah! Our Lord and Sustainer! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the Fire of Jahannam (Hell).”
#4: This du’a should be recited while the sick person places his or her right hand on the area of pain. The word “bismillah” should be repeated three times, and the entire supplication should be recited seven times:
A’oozu bi’izzatillaahi wa qudratihi min sharri maa ajidu wa uhaaziru.
“I seek protection in the might of Allah and His power from the evil of what I am experiencing and of what I fear.”
A quick note: Do not put scripture from the Quran or the name of God on a gift you are giving! Only sacred items display the actual words, so just don’t do it!
Hindu/Buddhist Mantras for Shawls
Mantras exist in both Hindu and Buddhist religions. “Mantra” is a Sanskrit word that is derived from two root words: “man” referring to mind, and “tra” referring to an instrument. Therefore a mantra is a mind-instrument that uses sound vibrations to channel the mind. You recite and repeat a mantra to channel your energy to the person in your heart.
Om, or Aum, is a deeply divine sound, an all-embracing sound of the universe. A single syllable that is the sound of harmony itself, and when we chant it, we invite that harmony within us. The sound of Om is considered the first sound of the universe, the life-breath of the Creator. So chanting Om as we breathe in and breathe out fills us with Creation’s energy.
Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.
It is meant to be a call (as well as a reminder for oneself) for Shanti, meaning peace in Sanskrit. “Peace within, peace without, and peace divine.”
Ra Ma Da Sa, Sa Say So Hung is the mantra for the sacred healing meditation.
“For healing at a distance, this is the mantra. It cuts across time and space so you can send healing energy to someone thousands of miles away as easily as you can send it to someone across the room.”
-Shakti Parwha Kaur
Prayers for Shawls for Wicca and Other Pagan Religions
For Wiccans and other Pagan religions, magic is a way to bring about change for the good. They use the movement of energies of nature to help turn negativity into positivity and make positive changes. Using prayer is one way to use these natural energies and put wishes for change – whether it be protection, love, health – out into the world.
Here is a general prayer of blessing for a friend.
Bless and embrace the heart of ____________
Surround them with your light, day and night.
Send prosperity and wealth,
Fill them with your gracious love,
And shield their body in perfect health.
Bathe them in you Light and Wisdom.
Relieve all burdens.
Protect them from danger.
And fill them with joy.
Bring loving people closer to them.
All good things, happiness and success.
Keep them from evil-hearted ones,
So they can be ever-blessed.
May you bless all my friends and always keep them with you.
May we find fortune and relief.
So it is now, so mote it be.”
Even just the phrases, “Blessings be,” or “As above, so below,” are very meaningful and powerful as prayers for your Wiccan/Pagan friends.
Words of Positive Energy
Religion does not have to be at the center of your prayer shawl.
You can simply fill it up with positive energy and “good vibes.” I often just repeat single words over and over into the work that are meaningful to anyone.
- Healing: Your body has the power to work in your favor.
- Hope: Everything will be alright in the end; if it isn’t alright, it isn’t the end.
- Strength: For the fight ahead.
- Calm: Take a breath in the eye of the storm to ready yourself for the next gust of wind.
- Love: There are so many people who love you.
- Energy: Energy governs the world — you are full of it, and strong enough to tap into that as needed. Fill up your tank.
Regardless of your religion or theirs, you can fill up a shawl or scarf with love for another person. Because the real goal of a prayer/energy shawl is to show someone who is dear to us that we care, that we are here for them, and that they are loved through the hardest times of life.
What are your favorites?
For the beliefs I missed (oh, so many), what words would you add to the list? Please post them in the comments!
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.