The following post was submitted by Marlene Goodfield from Bethany’s Prayers and Squares Ministry.
Four years ago, I began a new chapter in my life thanks to an article I read in the Bethany eBulletin that explained the various activities done by the Prayers and Squares Ministry at Bethany.
I had been confined to a wheelchair for several years following a stroke and my life was going nowhere. I was feeling hopeless, so I started praying that God would in some way help me do something to be a blessing to Him and find meaning to my life. I kept thinking, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
The article explained how the ladies involved were sewing quilts for people needing prayer for healing and blessings for others dealing with the many problems of daily living. It also explained the giving of sundresses and shorts to the children of Africa. I had no interest in making quilts at the time but I thought, “I can sew sundresses and shorts”. And so my passion came alive as I sewed these dresses and shorts with a prayer for each child receiving them that God would bless them in a very special way.
After three years of sewing on a daily basis, it was decided that Prayers and Squares would just focus on making quilts. Although I understood their reason for doing so, I felt devastated because I had never sewn a quilt nor did I know how or have the desire to do so. I loved sewing the frilly dresses! My thought was, “Now what am I going to do?”
With the leader’s (Jan and Kathy) gentle persuasion and guidance, as well as advice from from group members Anne, Jenny, Katie and Norma, I started what has now turned into my new passion. I will be forever grateful to these ladies for walking alongside me and teaching me the skills of quilting. I am also so thankful that God has blessed me with the skills to be creative in making these quilts in order to bless others! It is bringing so much joy into my life.
As I put a quilt together, I wonder who will be blessed with prayer by receiving this quilt. My prayer is that each quilt will bring comfort and healing to someone special in God’s eyes. I have seen the blessing these quilts are to people on a personal basis after giving one to my friend Sharon, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Every day I visited, she would be wrapped in her quilt and would say what comfort it brought her knowing so many people were praying for her. Her children now feel that comfort as well after her passing. Her daughter often tells me how grateful they are to Bethany Church and the Prayer Quilt Ministry for the peace the quilt brought their mother during her struggle with cancer. Another friend who is facing surgery next week for cancer said she would be taking her quilt to the hospital with her as it brings her so much comfort. So many blessings from something so easy to do – just pray.
In my opinion, the quilts, although very important, are only the tangible part of the Prayers and Squares Ministry. The most important role of our ministry is the prayers that are being offered for the people receiving the quilts. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7)
By following God’s direction, we have seen healing from sickness and heartache, and people find peace after struggling with difficult life issues as a result of so many people taking the time to go to the kiosk to tie a knot in the quilt and say a prayer for the person receiving the quilt. We have seen how powerful prayer is and how faithful God is in answering the prayers of the righteous.
Bethany Church has an amazing group of ladies working in the Prayers and Squares Ministry, attending the kiosk on quilt-tying weekends, and sewing the many beautiful quilts in order to bless people with prayer. This past while, I have been praying God would open more doors for me to be able to serve Him and He has answered my prayer by giving me the opportunity to serve as part of the core group of ladies making decisions for the Prayer Quilt Ministry. I am thrilled to be working alongside these very dedicated ladies in this capacity.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10). Quilting has now become my new passion, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our ministry in the year ahead. We are always looking for ladies to join us on sewing day at the church (the first Thursday of every month) to do the various tasks in preparing quilts for giving, or serve on the kiosk for quilt tying weekends. You do not have to be a seamstress to get involved! Also, we welcome you to join our list of ladies who pray faithfully for those in need. We would be happy to hear from anyone who knows of someone who can be blessed with prayer by the giving of a quilt. Seeing the joy and peace receiving a quilt brings to people is the “icing on the cake.” We can be reached at email@example.com.
Blessings to all,
Marlene (for the Prayers & Squares Team)