The Joy of Giving Prayer Shawls

By Tameko Barnette – 19 Comments

If you crochet, at some point, I’m sure you’ve heard of prayer shawls. The first time I ever heard of them was at the Unity Church I attended years ago.

Instantly, I was in love with this particular crochet creation. I realized right away that it wasn’t about religion; it was about spending time with an activity I love to share something nice with someone else. It was all about giving.

I encourage you to look up any type of shawl pattern you fancy and give it a try. Prayer shawls can be given for a variety of purposes – new baby, wedding, comfort, get well soon, peace, and much more.

The tradition with prayer shawls is to pray before starting the project and during the project. Now, if you do not pray, that’s okay.

You can write or type a nice positive quote or spiritual text and pin it to the prayer shawl when complete for the recipient. The possibilities are endless.

Here are a few ways you can experience the joy of giving prayer shawls:

1. Homeless shelters – there are so many people who need our love and comfort now more than ever. Giving a prayer shawl or several prayer shawls would not only keep them warm during cold nights, but let them know they are loved and cared for.

2. Children’s hospitals or Children’s programs – you can give prayer shawls to children as well. Especially, those chlidren who are sick or abused. Your comfort and support would be greatly appreciated.

3. Anytime gift – you can give prayer shawls at any time to anyone.

I’d also like to suggest starting your own prayer shawl ministry or group, where each person work on a prayer shawl and give all of them when complete to your favorite charity or family in the neighborhood.


Have you experienced the joy of giving a prayer shawl?

P.S. Here are some shawl patterns that we have on Crochet Spot if you need a pattern!
Crochet Pattern: Shamrock Shawlette
Crochet Pattern: Autumn Shawl
Crochet Pattern: Mi Amor Shawl
Crochet Pattern: The Yuet Shawl
Crochet Pattern: Striping Shells Shawl

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  1. Ika Masume says:

    Yall should make a free prayer shawl pattern for us! I’ve been wanting a good free pattern for one. Thanks!

  2. Melissa says:

    Yes, I made one awhile ago & I’m working on one right now. They are a blessing & I love working on this one.

    • Louisa says:

      where can I find the [pattern

      • Patt says:

        Prayer Shawls are made to be soft, and warm and comforting for the wearer. We have started a prayer shawl group in my home.. Patterns are basic.. single and double crochet..
        chain 60 then 1 row of single crochet, then 2 rows of double crochet then one of single… til piece measures 60 inches long… You can put on and edge or add fringe… The most important thing is praying to your God for the person who is to recieve it… for peace , comfort and health and welfare…
        Keep it simple… if you corchet alot you can make variations of the single and double crochet rows… a very pretty one is sc,(dc,sc across) then next row same pattern but crochet in back loop across the next row in both loops.. continue with row 2,3 thoughout piece then end with corchet in both loops…
        GOD BLESS

    • Louisa says:

      [lease tell us where to find [attern

  3. april says:

    I would love to do this. Do you have any patterns you could pass along?

  4. Maria says:

    I have made two different prayer shawls in the past, one for a dear friend of mine who was going to have surgery and another for a pastor’s wife whose husband was killed.

  5. Margaret says:

    I made a prayer shawl for a friend who lost her college aged son, it was very well received and meanful to her. Ii would like to see pattern for one as well.

  6. Mary says:

    There are many free patterns for Prayer Shawls available all over the web. Any shawl pattern can be used but, for the most part, they focus on groups of 3s for the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit). I’ve made several ~ for our Church Prayer Shawl Ministry, for sick friends, for my parents for Christmas & most recently, I made 2 for a young couple who lost a baby girl at 8 days old. They are now expecting another baby & we are all thrilled!

    I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes but as I have made many of these, I would be happy to help or answer any questions if anyone has any. Feel free to email me at [email protected] and put “prayer shawl” in the subject line.

    God bless you all!!!

  7. Cynthia Emery says:

    There are several free patterns on Lion Brand Yarn for lovely prayer shawls, as well as Red Heart Yarn and Caron. Lion also has a section of tags to print with possible suggested prayers and/or best wishes.

  8. Judy says:

    Made prayer shawl for our minister’s wife who was having some health issues,& for her mother who was very ill. They were so pleased to receive them. Judy

  9. Patricia says:

    Prayer shawls can be crocheted, knitted, quilted or fabric sewn together to make a shawl.

    I coordinate the prayer shawl ministry at our church and I can tell you first hand how much these shawls are appreciated, worn and in may cases handed down to other family members. We are a small church and do not have enough contributors but somehow we manage to meet the requests.

    We provide the shawls to new mothers, seriously ill, or just temporarily incapacitated folks. It brings a joy to them to know they are being thought of.

    Consider starting your prayer shawl ministry; it doesn’t have to be connected with a church or denomination. My two cents!!

  10. Geneva says:

    I am part of a prayer shawl group at my church. It is a blessing to be a part of such a positive group. Enjoy the fellowship and lots of beautiful shawls and blankets have been given away.
    We even purchase blankets and put crochet edging aroung them. They are very pretty too.

  11. Shelly says:

    I made a couple of prayer shawls for my boyfriend’s neices when his mother passed away. The girls were particularly close to “mommom” and were distraught when she passed. Mommom was a fellow crocheter so when they cleaned out her attic they found a bunch of her yarn and passed it to me. So with that yarn, I made the shawls and called them “hugs from mommom”. I’m told the girls still use them when they need to be close to mommom.

  12. carol says:

    What a lovely idea! Prayer shawls… and if you do crochet and knit a LOT, and have run out of friends to give things too, (LOL) it’s a great use of your time and dedication… I would suggest a nice water repellant yarn for shawls for the homeless… they don’t always want to stay in a shelter and sometimes get caught out in the rain… sad but true.. and all the positive thoughts that get worked into the threads, leak out and embrace the wearer… at least that’s what I’d like to believe…

  13. Heidi says:

    My father died. For 15 years he had been caretaker for my mother who had Parkinson’s. Now I had to care for her. We had never gotten along and now she was a horrible, nasty old woman with dementia. Mom knit and I crochet so I got us matching prayer shawl books to work on. Although I have never been the praying sort, I tried to work a prayer into each stitch like the book said….at first, they were “Dear Lord, please make this horrible woman leave me alone today! “. But there are an awful lot of stitches in a shawl and by the end I had discovered a true power to prayer: I could no longer hate this person I had prayed for. It changed my entire attitude and feeling towards my mother. So… I took the shawl to mom. She barked ” I don’t like the color!” and I gave it to charity. I made 6 more shawls for mom before she passed last month. The residents at the nursing home appreciate them even if mom couldn’t and I actually learned to love my mom!

  14. Lynne says:

    My church has a prayer shawl ministry. Our group is very small, but in the last 18 months we’ve given away over 40 shawls and lapghans (lap robes). One went to a teenage girl whose mother had unexpectedly died. Several were given to nursing home residents who have no family left.

    Knitting the shawls is such a blessing to me. Due to health issues, I can no longer serve the church as I once did.

  15. TA says:

    It’s nice people want to extend kindness in this way. However, please understand that if the giver hasn’t shown kindness or concern in any other way then gives the prayer shawl, it makes for a bad experience. I often wonder how many people knit these to make themselves feel better as opposed to helping the recipient.

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