Quilts, filled with prayer, offer comfort and caring

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by Garner F. Saguil – 

THE PRAYERS AND Squares quilt ministry of the San Diego Citadel has created 50 quilts to encourage and bless others.

“Caroline’s father passed away this morning…” The tone of this message left on my voicemail early one Saturday morning, resonated in my mind all weekend. Caroline, a fourth grade student in my math and choir classes, had known her father was terminally ill with cancer. As her teacher, I wasn’t sure what to do for her, so I did what I knew was best, and I offered Caroline’s family my prayers.

At the corps, I requested prayer for her family, asking God to show me a way to help comfort Caroline. After church, Major Betty Carpenter, corps officer, asked me if Caroline would appreciate a prayer quilt. Right then, I knew God had heard my prayer. With the approval of Caroline’s family, the ladies at the San Diego Citadel Corps went to work and had a prayer quilt ready within a week.

“Prayers and Squares” is a Christian ministry designed to promote an active prayer life. The Citadel adopted the program in June 2002, becoming the 74th chapter of this organization; nationwide, there are currently 184 chapters. How does a prayer quilt program work? First, there has to be a need requiring prayer. Then a prayer quilt is made for that specific need. Once it is made, members of the congregation are invited to tie knots in the quilt. Each knot represents a prayer made on behalf of the recipient.

Since the program started at the Citadel, 50 prayer quilts have been created, with recipients ranging from small children to the elderly.

While they are beautiful, it’s not the appearance of the quilt that matters—it’s the prayers that lie within each creation. “The beauty is in the ties once they are put in the quilt,” shares Mrs. Carpenter. She continues, “I am grateful to God for putting it [this ministry] on my heart.”

I received a quilt myself last year when I went through surgery. It was touching to know that each knot represented a prayer made on my behalf. I still have my quilt, and will treasure it for a lifetime. However, what really made this program meaningful to me was when I had a chance to share it with others. A thank you note received from Caroline’s mother read, “Caroline loves the prayer quilt. She often wraps it around her when she reads at night.” It’s comforting to know that I belong to a church that believes in prayer. Because of the prayer quilt program, the life of a young child has been touched.

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