With us being confined to our homes over this time of quarantine and lockdown, finding a private space to pray may become challenging. In times such as these, you may like to consider using a prayer shawl.
Using a prayer shawl to create a ‘tent’ or ‘secluded space’ around yourself, invites you into a private sanctuary with God. In essence, it offers an invitation to “shut out” the world around you. Some believe that this is what is meant in Matthew 6:6 when Jesus says: “When you pray, go into a room by yourself. After you have shut the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret. Then your Father Who sees in secret will reward you.” New Life Version (NLV). Another translation says: “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” The Message (MSG)
A prayer shawl is intended to be a reminder of God’s present love, which is as near to you as your own body is to your spirit. Wear the shawl however you like. Drape it lightly across your shoulders. Cover yourself with it as you rest. Keep it on your favorite chair. At times you may cling to a prayer shawl because you are clinging to God. At other times you will touch it only occasionally. Prayer shawls are tangible symbols of love. They are warm hugs of empathy and support; a private place of escape in which to rest, relax and renew; something to hold on to when all else seems to be slipping away.
A PRAYER TO SAY WITH A PRAYER SHAWL
May this shawl be for me a sign of your loving, healing presence.
May it warm me when I am weary;
May it surround me with encouragement when I am discouraged.
May it assure me of your care and comfort.
May it remind me that You love me and that I am surrounded by Your love.
Photo: Nicole Dickson