By Tracey Solomon
Dipping the knitting needle into the next stitch, I wrap the yarn and pull it through. As I do, the beautiful lavender, silk yarn glides through my fingers. Wrapping for the next stitch, I whisper prayers for the future wearer of this offering of yarn, handwork and love. "Lord, bring comfort in these stitches." "Lord, let these stitches be a reminder of your love and mine for the wearer."
I dip the needle into the next stitch and continue knitting and praying.
I'd love to say this practice was inspired by a Victorian era women's devotional practice I'm trying to revive. Or, that it came to me by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Or even that I read about it in a book. I didn't. I'd like to because they sound better (and holier) than the truth ...
Prayerful knitting happened by accident one day, when I was multi-tasking. A friend was struggling through something and I decided to knit her a "hug." I wanted to make something tangible to remind her of my love, and God's. I prayed for her between the stitches.
Which is when I discovered that knitting helps me both focus and stay awake while praying!
See, I have a problem with sitting still and focusing on prayer. When I try to sit still and focus, one of two things usually happen:
a) I get distracted (Oh look! A squirrel) and forget I am praying . Which is like putting Jesus on hold and forgetting him. Nice.
b) I fall asleep. Which is not the same as resting in Jesus. Trust me. I'm not resting. I'm asleep. As in drool may be involved and I could possibly snore. Snoring is not a prayer language. Just saying.
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So for me, prayer is not just a spiritual battle, it's a battle between distraction and exhaustion. Maybe, I have "prayer-colepsy" or "PrayDD." Whatever you call it, I'm glad I've discovered that if I pray while I'm doing something. That way I can stay both focused and awake.
So I pray when I'm knitting. And while folding laundry, and sometimes in the shower. I rarely fall asleep in there.
Knit two, Pray two.
It works for me.
What about you? What works for you when it comes to prayer? Do you have struggles with prayer? What does your prayer time look like? I can't wait to hear!
Tracey is married to her high school sweetheart, Kyle. They have 3 sons. Tracey serves on the Board of Directors at MOPS International and has a background in pastoral counseling. She loves to knit and is passionate about reaching, connecting with and learning from that "other woman," the one who's different from her. She writes about it on her blog, A Mile in Her Shoes, at www.traceysolomon.com.