Yarn Along: Praying As We Go

Hi there! I'm still knitting along with lots of friends, stitching a Baby Surprise Jacket.

Surprise! It's too big for my "baby." Looks like Karoline will wear this jacket before Sarah Annie does.  That's just fine with me; I was sort of sad that when Sarah outgrew it, it would be relegated to the giveaways or to my hope chest. Now, two little girls will wear it (unless Karoline wears it out). Still investigating exactly what this means in terms of adapting the pattern. And trying not to hyperventilate.


I'm reading Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer, by Norris Chumley. This has been a bit of a serendipitous read. Before the book arrived, I was looking to settle into a rhythm of knitting and praying when I am away from my audio Bible. A little digression: when I was being treated for cancer, I discovered that I had just enough time while they zapped me with radiation to pray three Hail Marys, followed by imploring St. Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, to pray with me that I would be able to conceive, carry, bear, and raise healthy, happy, holy children. My third child born after those treatments, and first daughter, was named Mary Elizabeth. Ever since, I've keyed prayers to certain activities. For instance, I had different repetitious extamporaneous prayers for each of my labors.

My girls have all repeated the words, "in, around, through, off" as they've learned to knit--words that match the actions, marking motion with meaning. I have discovered that in exactly the time it takes me to knit a stitch, I can pray the ancient Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,have mercy on me, a sinner." It fits just perfectly. It's rhythmic and contemplative and meaningful.There is an inner peace to be found in the rhythm of the prayers and the needles.


Chumley's book is a bit of a documentary in print, taking the reader to visits hermits and monks and nuns who share how the prayer is lived in their lives. The rich layers of the ancient prayer are revealed to the reader as they draw us into the practice of simple, simple prayer. Chumley writes, "The point is to try to maintain connection with God at all times, remembering that God is here with us at every moment. The practice of prayer and meditation helps us do that, uniting the inner core of our being, our soul, with God and with all the scattered parts of us."

Knitting and prayer. So simple.

Be sure to stop by and visit Ginny and see what other folks are knitting and reading.