Today's post is written by Nancy Benson, a member of the Branches Small Group at Brook Hills and the leader of Hannah's Heart Prayer Shawl Ministry. This ministry meets every Thursday in the lobby of Brook Hills from 10:00am-noon. For more information about this ministry, visit this site.

When I was asked to write a blog about Hannah’s Heart Prayer Shawl Ministry, I said to my friend, ”I’m not good at doing this kind of thing, but I know it is important to get Hannah’s Heart out there.” So here it goes. Before I moved to Birmingham, I lived in Alexander City and started a prayer shawl ministry at my church there. What a blessing this

[caption id="attachment_377" align="alignright" width="300"] This beautiful throw was given to someone going through dialysis whose daughter is a dear and precious friend of so many in the group.[/caption]

ministry was to so many. After losing my son to suicide, I became the recipient of a prayer shawl. I never comprehended the comfort and blessing of a prayer shawl, until I wrapped mine around me. I knew I was being blessed, and calmness came over me.

Since moving to Birmingham and getting plugged into small groups, I just felt I needed to do more to give back to others in need. God put it on my heart to start a prayer shawl ministry at Brook Hills. In July 2012, a small group of women was formed, and Hannah’s Heart was started. Volunteers used their loving hands to knit, crochet, and quilt gifts to cheer, celebrate a birth, and comfort during illness or when suffering the loss of a loved one. Through the love of God and the power of prayer, this new ministry has touched hearts and is a loving reminder of God's peace, love, and mercy.

In the beginning, we developed a list of friends who were in need mostly due to illness. Since we knew the friends, we prayed as we worked on their shawls. When they were finished, a cross was sewn on a corner, and each person in attendance blessed the shawl. We either deliver or mail each shawl once completed.

As of today, we have made 50 prayer shawls, throws, and baby blankets. When you receive a “thank you” from a recipient, you know how much the shawl has touched their heart and the blessing they received. Once again, calmness surrounds me.
In 1 Samuel 2:1 , Hannah prayed and said “My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides you, nor is there any rock like our God." Hannah, in her silent suffering and in her quiet loving ministry to Samuel, had a great and lasting impact on her times and ours as well. Hannah’s prayer of petition, which expresses her vow to God, is silent, but the result of her prayer has great significance. Her prayer of praise is a part of Scripture and the source of great instruction, comfort, and encouragement. While she had no leadership position and her ministry was private, she still had great spiritual impact through her prayer.

Currently, we have 12 volunteers in our ministry. We would love for you to join us if you know how to knit, crochet, or quilt. If you’re interested and do not know how, I will be glad to teach you. We currently have four women knitting with us who have never knitted before. If your heart feels led to donate to this ministry, we would certainly appreciate your help. We are currently funding this ministry on our own.

Hannah's Heart recently appeared on Alabama's 13. Click here to watch the profile on Hannah's Heart.