Grace Avenue Prayer Shawl Ministry

In Our Stories by Kim Eiffert

Grace Avenue Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawls are handmade shawls that are created with intentional prayer for the recipients throughout the process and given a final blessing upon completion.

Grace Avenue’s Prayer Shawl Ministry is growing and thriving and it all began by two women answering the call to wrap others in God’s love and mercy when they are most in need.

When Beverly Smith and Linda Vanek came to Grace Avenue, both had previous experience with a Prayer Shawl Ministry.  They did not know that their paths would cross in Frisco, Texas and together they would not only create a new ministry at Grace Avenue, but would also form a close and lasting friendship.

Prayer Shawls are handmade (usually crocheted or knitted) shawls that are created with intentional prayer for the recipients throughout the process and given a final blessing upon completion. Shawls are given to anyone in need of prayer and guidance.

Linda had been the recipient of a Prayer Shawl at a time when she was struggling with health issues. In her words, “I was very ill when the leader of my church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry brought me a pastel colored shawl. I wasn’t able to have many visitors so the shawl became my connection to God and to the people who, I knew, were praying for me. It became a literal lifeline of God’s love, peace, comfort and healing. I vowed to use my long dormant crocheting skills to help others feel the same love that I felt.”

Beverly had been active in a similar ministry at a previous church. When she came to Grace Avenue, there was not a Prayer Shawl Ministry, but she did immediately join Sisters of Scripture, a women’s Bible study. As this group shared prayer needs and concerns, Beverly offered to bring a Prayer Shawl for a member suffering with a potentially disabling health condition. Beverly presented the shawl and the group prayed over their friend. Afterward the recipient suggested Beverly start a Prayer Shawl Ministry at Grace Avenue.

While Beverly was eager to be a part of this type of ministry, health concerns would keep her from being the sole leader and facilitator. That is when she was introduced to Linda. The two women met and collaborated on how to start the group and the best ways to grow it as a true ministry and a friendship was formed.

As Beverly describes it, “Working with Linda has brought me a close friend. We’ve managed to share life stories, life events, yarn events, and continue to support each other as we learn more about each other and our families. I can say that I love Linda as a friend, a neighbor, and a partner in the Prayer Shawl Ministry.”

Their first meetings took place with a handful of participants. During those early meetings, they chose a bible verse to guide their ministry, wrote a prayer to use when blessing the shawls and dreamed of how the ministry would grow.

Since their formation in 2015, their meetings have grown to include many more participants and have moved to a larger meeting space. They have added quite a variety to their list of handmade items based on the skills and interests of the new members. They are currently making fleece lap blankets, chemo caps, crocheted, knitted and quilted pocket prayer cloths, baptismal blankets, and the list is growing. They have begun to work with Threads of Love which provides clothing, blankets and other handmade articles for premature babies and sick infants as well as prayer shawls to the parents, and they provide support to other ministries at Grace Avenue like Journey of Recovery, Making Memories and Journey of Hope. Those who receive an item created by the Grace Avenue Prayer Shawl Ministry know they have been lifted up in prayer and love.

The Grace Avenue Prayer Shawl Ministry meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from 1:00pm to 3:00 pm and on 3rd Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00pm.

New members are always welcome. Supplies and lessons are readily available. If you are interested in joining the Prayer Shawl Ministry, or have questions you can contact Beverly Smith at [email protected].

Prayer shawls and pocket prayer cloths are available in the church office if you or a loved one are in need. Please call the office at 972.335.2882 or just stop by and ask.