Prayer Ties

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Prayer Ties Representing the Four Directions

Prayer: How Do You Pray | Light a Prayer Candle | Tibetan Prayer Wheels | Native American Prayer Ties | Prayer Beads | For the Highest Good of All Concerned | Praying to the Angels | Praying Hands. photo by Joe Desy

Native Americans offer prayer ties to The Great Spirit in exchange for blessings. However, you do not have to be Native American to adopt this earth-centered ritual of making and using prayer ties as an intention tool for prayer or healing.

Prayer ties, sometimes called prayer flags, are not to be purchased, although you may be able to purchase prayer tie kits. The making of the ties is part of the prayer and blessing ritual. Making the ties themselves is a meditative action. Your prayer or intention begins as you prepare the ties. It is easy enough to gather up the materials you need on your own without looking for a market selling prayer tie kits. Scraps of material can be purchased at fabric or craft stores. Or, you could cut out the squares of fabric you need from discarded clothing such as handkerchiefs, old bedding, or tea towels.

Prayer Tie Kit Contents:

  • Small bundle of string.
  • Package of loose tobacco.
  • Four squares of cloth material.
A single prayer tie is made from a square piece of cotton cloth, no larger than 5 inches square. A pinch or two of loose tobacco is placed in the center of the square. Tobacco is considered a sacred herb when it is used as a gift to the spirit world. It has become universally accepted as an offering of gratitude.

Gather the four corners of the square cloth together and secure the tobacco into a small bundle by looping or tying string around it. Leave approximately four inches of string on one side of the first prayer tie, leaving the rest of the string loose.

As you create additional prayer ties, add them to the same string, spacing the prayer ties 3 to 4 inches apart. You can add as many prayer ties as you like to your string, but there should be no cuts made to the string except on both ends. The continuous string represents the flow of energy from the beginning to the end of your prayer, you do not want any breaks to interrupt the natural flow of your intention.

When your string of prayer ties is finished make a your final prayer or intention statement to: The Great Spirit, God, the angels, your higher self, mother earth, or whatever deity or energy you are spiritually aligned with.

Intention Statement Examples:

1. Great Spirit! Hear my voice. I am (your name). I speak with gratitude. I am one of your children. I stand here with pride and devotion for my purpose among all earth spirits. I accept your love and wisdom. I offer this blessing to you for all your goodness and knowing. My heart is beating, my blood is pulsing through my body, I am alive. I am grateful. I ask this prayer respectfully. (speak your prayer request...)

2. Dear Mother, I call out to the four great winds. I feel your breezes against my face. I thank you for taking away those things which no longer serve me with your clearing sweeps of change. I appreciate your precious gifts carried in with a wisp of air and delivered at my feet. I offer you this string of four prayer ties with gratitude for all your kindness and knowledge. I come to you with this request with the utmost respect and love. (speak your prayer request...)

Four colors of fabric are used when making a prayer ties to represent the four directions or four winds - east (yellow), south (red), west (black), and north (white).

Secure the prayer ties to a place you consider sacred. It can easily be tied to a shrub or tree branches, or tacked onto an outdoor structure. Some people will take their prayer ties along with them when they participate in other spiritual rituals such as sweat lodge ceremonies, walking a labyrinth, medicine wheel ritual, etc.

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Your Citation
Desy, Phylameana lila. "Prayer Ties." ThoughtCo, Sep. 26, 2016, Desy, Phylameana lila. (2016, September 26). Prayer Ties. Retrieved from Desy, Phylameana lila. "Prayer Ties." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 19, 2018).