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Prayer Shawls | Not Quite Amish

Prayer Shawls

Lolly’s Fabrics, Shipshewana, IN

I had not heard the term prayer shawls until recently. I was in church, and the woman who is in charge of this ministry stepped up, laid out the shawls members had made, and our pastor blessed them. Whoa! I was hooked.

A prayer shawl is something that, while you’re making it, you pray for the person you intend to give it to. You can knit or crochet it. There are many different patterns—some are a triangle and some are a rectangle. I’m a beginner at both crocheting and knitting, so I need to pick easy patterns.

Recently I made this prayer shawl. I found the free pattern here. I had never followed a pattern before, but this was very easy.

Prayer shawl

There was one catch, though. I didn’t know who I was making it for. In my upcoming book, A Wedding for Julia, I describe the teal and purple yarn. (It’s called Sweet Teal by Baby Bee.) I knew I wanted to make it and then give it away when this book comes out. But who will win? Who am I crocheting for? And how can I pray for her? Then it occurred to me that I might not know who the person is, but God already knows. So each evening as I worked on the shawl, I prayed for this person.

There are many things that we can do to encourage and lift up one another. My sister makes baby quilts. She stacks them in the closet, and whenever someone at her work has a baby, she gives it away. It’s her ministry. One of the things we enjoy about Amish fiction is the way members of the community minister to one another. I think we all have a way to reach out to others, a way to share God’s grace. The fun part is finding out how you’d like to do that.




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Vannetta Chapman (29 Posts)

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. She now writes Amish fiction for Abingdon Press, Zondervan, and Harvest House. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.


  1. I love knitting but have no idea how to crochet. Is it hard, Vannetta?

  2. Caitlin, I’m a beginner too. It’s not hard at all, especially with the videos on Youtube now. It helps to WATCH someone do what you’re learning. : )

  3. What a wonderful idea to crochet such a shawl. I love it !! Giving things to people is a great thing to do. Vannetta you gave a link for a site you found the pattern, but there are so many there. Can you tell me how the shawl was called (the pattern).

  4. Carin, here’s a better link for the shawl. Enjoy! http://www.shawlministry.com/Crochet%20Patterns/anniversary_shawl.htm

  5. Jackie Tessnair says:

    This was such a touching post.I just recently learned about prayer shawls.This was so touching that while you worked on this shawl you prayed for this woman,one whom you didn’t know who it was for.You are a great lady Vannetta.

  6. Jackie, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m just learning to make prayer shawls as well. And you know from our facebook page – praying for each other is what we do! Thanks for stopping by, Jackie. V~

  7. Pam DeWall says:

    I am making my first prayer shawl. Our local hospital has volunteers that make baby blankets and prayer shawls. I have been making baby blankets for a couple years and now decided to try my hand at prayer shawls. I have been crocheting for more years than I can remember but wanted something fast and easy and this is the perfect pattern. Thank you for posting it.

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