You may have seen blankets being used by severely ill patients in hospitals, but these are no ordinary items. “What is a prayer blanket and what is it used for?”, you may ask.
Simply put, the prayer cloth—whether blanket, shawl, or handkerchief—is used as a reminder that there is a group of people praying for their ailing friend or family. It serves as an item of comfort as it is made and sent with prayers.
Prayer blankets are cherished because they are made with love, care, and prayer. Even ministries and congregations take time to pray over thousands of blankets to send them to people in need.
Prayer blankets are not limited to the ill, either. It can be made and given to anyone in need of care, love, or blessings.
It is very simple to create a prayer blanket; remember, the most important part is that you pray over the blanket while making it and then have it blessed by a priest before giving it to someone.
If you are thinking of creating your prayer blanket to give to a friend, you can simply follow the guide below.
How To Make A Prayer Blanket
Step #1. Knit, crochet, or sew your blanket
There are many ways for you to make your prayer blanket. You can knit, crochet, or sew your blanket.
However, you can opt for a no-sew option if you are not skilled in these activities. Fleece tie blankets, for instance, are very easy to make – you just need to cut your fleece cloth to size, a pair of scissors, and knot-tying skills.
You can even decorate your prayer blanket however you want.
Step #2. Include a prayer for the recipient while making the blanket
Prayer is the most important part when making a prayer blanket or shawl. Invite at least another person to help you create and pray over the blanket.
Make sure that the other person knows and cares for the blanket recipient because every knot or stitch made is said to send blessings.
Step #3. Take the blanket to the Diocese to be blessed
Once you are done making and praying over the blanket, you can take it to a Diocese or the church that you go to so that it can be blessed.
Once this is done, it is ready to be delivered or mailed to the recipient.
Because of the care and prayer that goes into making the prayer blanket, people believe that the prayers and blessings are what make the prayer blanket effective, not the item itself.
What Is A Prayer Blanket And Its Origins
Early scriptural recordings of the use of prayer cloth
Christians have used prayer cloths as an earlier practice in the church. In fact, the use of prayer cloths was recorded in the Bible.
It was shown in the woman who suffered severe bleeding and touched the hem of Jesus’s cloak in Matthew 9:20–22.
Handkerchiefs owned by Paul were also carried to the sick to heal them of diseases and evil spirits in Acts 19:11–12.
Modern-day origins of the prayer cloth
It is believed that the Mormons started using the modern prayer cloth in the 1830s when a group of people asked the Mormonism founder to heal them.
Because he could not get to them, he sent red handkerchiefs instead, who prayed over them. Some of the sick people were healed, making the handkerchief ritual more commonplace.
While it faded in Mormonism over time, it became more popular in the Pentecostal church and even the Roman Catholic Church, where it can be anointed in oil before being given to the sick.
Prayer cloth as a source of healing
Parishioners can request to make prayer blankets for those who are suffering from serious illnesses.
While they are made and given to those suffering from severe illnesses and diseases, these blankets can also be given to loved ones of the patients.
They can also be passed on to others to bring healing and comfort.
As money-making schemes for some ministries and organizations
Unfortunately, healing cloths can also be used as a money-making scheme, saying that these blankets are “anointed miracle cloths” they can send you in exchange for what are usually large donations.
While this is not the case most of the time, it is important to be vigilant on where we are getting prayer blankets from.
The prayer blanket implies that prayer is an essential part of using them. Some dioceses anoint it with oil before giving it to those in need, but it is okay if it isn’t.
What is a prayer blanket, and what is it used for? The prayer blanket is recognized in some churches as a sacramental item that a priest should bless to be relevant in the sacrament.
While it is familiar among Christians practicing Pentecostal traditions, other practices require these cloths to be placed on areas in need of healing while praying for the person with an illness.
You must remember, however, that the prayer blanket or cloth does not give automatic healing abilities. It should not be used as a “miracle blanket” that many people may believe it to be.
Instead, think of sending a prayer cloth as a beautiful gift or a kind gesture to remind your friend or loved one that someone is praying for them.