Using crochet as prayer is not too different from using it for mediation. I considered putting the two in the same article, but I decided that there are enough differences that they need to be separate.
Some people prefer to pray instead of “mindlessly meditating.” (Yes, I have heard that before.) Like with meditation, prayer can be specific or have a more general application. You can specifically pray for a person or issue. You can pray in general for the state of the world or for an area of concern.
For the purposes of helping you see how you can use crochet as prayer, I’m going to assume you’re engaging in prayer for a specific person or situation.
Benefits of Prayer
Prayer can help you reduce stress and anxiety. It can put you in touch with God/the Divine. It can help you process grief. Praying out loud can help you feel like you have someone to talk to.
Honestly, I want to be able to give you as many benefits to prayer as I did for meditation last week. However, there aren’t many resources that talk about the effect of prayer. Since it is so steeped in various religions, there’s not a consistent method to look at it. With that said, an article on CNN.com from June 2020 did say that prayer can help reduce stress, loneliness, anger, and fear.
Most forms of prayer don’t require any supplies, unless you keep a prayer journal. That said, the supplies you’ll need for your exercise in crochet as prayer are the same as they were for crochet as meditation.
- Crochet hook
- A repetitive pattern
- A comfortable place to sit
This is also not the time to do a complicated pattern. You want something that is repetitive and easy to memorize. The yarn should be something you find pleasing to work with. Use your favorite crochet hook, one that is comfortable for you to use.
You can sit on the floor, on the couch, at the kitchen table, at your desk, or in your favorite chair. Whichever place is more comfortable for you is where you should sit.
How to Do It
There are different approaches to crochet as prayer. One is to pray your intent before you start. Then proceed as you would if you were working a regular pattern. Another is to find a short prayer that works with the rhythm of your stitches.
When I learned to crochet, I started making prayer shawls. One of my cousins had passed away and I made a prayer shawl for his mother and his sister. The prayer I used as I crocheted was short.
“Peace, love, and happiness.”
I shed many tears in the making of those shawls. It helped me work on my grief as well as praying for my aunt and cousin in theirs.
Start working on your pattern. Remember the intention of your prayer or repeat your short prayer as you work. If this is a prayer for someone else, you might find you are able to work on it longer than you can if it is something specific to you. Praying as you crochet has a way of making you look at your emotions around the situation as you come to know what you should do about it.
When You’re Done
If you need to set a timer before you get started, then do that. When your timer goes off, or at the end of your session, finish the stitch you’re currently working on and set your crochet aside. (Ideally, place it in a project bag so it won’t be left out for little hands to pull out stitches if it’s something you want to keep.)
If you do this regularly, you will begin to see benefits as though you were having a regular prayer practice. Because you are. You are using crochet as a tool to help you connect with God.
This is also something I have done for quite a while. Admittedly, though, I haven’t made a prayer shawl in a while. I feel like I should say that you’re not limited to making prayer shawls. You can make anything that fits your situation. I have also prayed while crocheting baby blankets, bibs, and booties.
This is something I feel like is well-suited for focused prayer. With that said, I know religions, denominations, and even individuals have different ways of approaching prayer. I only offer this as a possibility for something you might want to try.
Rogers, Kristen. “The Psychological Benefits of Prayer: What Science Says About the Mind-Soul Connection,” CNN.com. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/17/health/benefits-of-prayer0wellness/index.html. June 2020.