Bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs has made a complimentary mp3 download available of his recording of Somebody's Praying. Find it here on the National Day of Prayer website. I have been listening to it over and over this week.
I have also been reading about prayer quilts, and I was struck by how the message of the song and the quilting idea go hand-in-hand. Made by individuals or groups, the quilter prays as she sews for the person who will receive the quilt. When the person who receives the quilt wraps it around his shoulders, he is reminded that someone is praying for him. It is a beautiful idea.
As I grow older, I have become more and more aware of the bits of humor that surface in the midst of grieving. Because of this, I appreciated this note from the Prayers & Squares International newsletter, Aug. 2009:
Here is a fun note that Nancy Brado attaches to the quilts
her Georgia chapter sends out.
HOW TO USE YOUR PRAYER QUILT
(THESE QUILTS ARE QUITE VERSATILE)
1. Cover yourself and sigh and moan, as appropriate.
It is best to do this only when others are around,
2. Pull over your head to signal that you are no longer
willing to answer questions. Turning over, when
combined with the over- the-head movement,
dismisses tiresome guests without saying anything.
3. The voices you hear when wrapped in your quilt are
not in your head. They are the prayers that have
been spoken over your quilt while the knots were
being tied. Those voices are meant to soothe you;
allow them to do their job.
4. When the pain is extreme, hold onto those knots with
both hands. Each lumpy knot represents prayers that
have been offered up to God on your behalf. You
don't need words, they have already been spoken.
5. This quilt is washable, so don't hesitate to rumple,
crumple, or in any other way use it as a source of
relief. It has a nice solid batting that holds an
abundance of tears, so don't hold back.
6. As far as laundry, wash it in warm water and dry in
the dryer on medium heat. We have included a
Shout “Color Catcher©” to throw into the wash
with it the first time. These fabrics were washed
before sewing, but just in case there's any surplus
dye, the “Catcher” will get it.
7. Recuperate and take the quilt on a picnic. You'll
both love it.