By The Rev. Freda Wilkins.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry of Springfield Baptist Church presented their Pastor, Dr. Proctor N. Beard Sr. with a prayer shawl during the church’s annual Homecoming Celebration, Sunday, August 11. The ministries of the church crocheted and knitted the 10 squares of the prayer shawl. The squares of the shawl represented the 10 years that Dr. Beard has served as Pastor of Springfield.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry has been active at Springfield for approximately 3 years. The Prayer Shawl Ministry was birthed as an extension of Springfield’s Women in Waiting Ministry and the desire to impact the lives of Springfield women. Each prayer shawl is meant to be a physical manifestation of the presence of God, signifying a place of comfort and safety for the wearer. The person crafting the shawl prays for the intended recipient while doing the needlework. This means that each recipient has literally been prayed over for untold hours before ever receiving the shawl. Likewise, each shawl is saturated in prayer while the work is being done. When the recipient is wrapped in the shawl, it is hoped that they feel the impact of these hours of prayer and find comfort.
While the prayer shawls that we create at Springfield are not the same; they are modeled after the Jewish Tallit or prayer shawl. The Tallit (prayer shawl, as referenced in Numbers, was considered the visible symbol of the Word of God.) Shawls are universally recognized as symbols of an unconditionally loving and inclusive God. Shawls enfold, embrace, comfort, cover and provide solace. The giving of a prayer shawl is intended to encourage, comfort and affirm the recipient.
Imagine the joy of knowing that someone spent hours calling your name before the Lord and sending blessings and God’s will toward you. The Prayer Shawl for Dr. Beard was the church’s way of blessing him and letting him know that, as a congregation, we pray for his goodwill and peace.
Sister Cassandra Taylor-Anderson brought the prayer shawl concept to Springfield and continues to provide leadership in this ministry.
Springfield Baptist Church meets at J.R. Tucker High School, 2910 N. Parham Road, Henrico VA at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday Morning Worship.
The Rev. Freda Wilkins serves as Missions Minister for Springfield Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. Follow her blog and read more of her meditations on Real Faith for Real Life from the Peaceful Warrior.