of the names of God in the Scripture is Yahweh Nissi meaning “The Lord
is my banner.” This name is a symbol of God’s over-arching presence in
people of the Jesus way, we proclaim God’s sovereignty and providence,
not only in our lives, but in all creation. God’s love, grace and mercy
extends through the universe as God’s Spirit moves, saves, touches,
shapes, nurtures, beckons, blesses one and all reminding us the wise
words of Christoph Blumhardt… “Everyone must concede that the kingdom of
God comes not through logical concepts but through surprises.”
Scripture calls us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit at all
times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and
always persevere in supplication for all the saints.”
Prayer flags are a wonderful way to engage in
prayer for our neighborhood, community and ultimately the whole world.
may help us visually focus our intercessions and God’s intentions
for the world. The Psalmist declares, “May we shout for joy over your
victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the LORD
fulfill all your petitions. (Psalm 20:5)” Raising flags with our
intercessions covers the whole earth with God’s banner of love, grace
a prayer flag is a colorful panel of rectangular cloth, often found
strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. The
prayers displayed on the flags are believed to be carried by the wind
across the countryside with the intention of blessings, peace,
compassion, strength and wisdom to all on the breath of nature.
flags come in sets of five colors representing the basic elements:
Blue symbolizes sky/space, white symbolizes air/wind, red symbolizes
fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth.
continually mount new flags as the present ones are deteriorated in an
effort to recognize that life moves on and there is always new life.
In the act of renewing the flags, people acknowledge that they are also a
part of the ongoing cycle of life.
are many ways one could delve into making prayer flags. The prayer flag pictured above uses a
faux batik method. Here are some suggestions for the process:
some time with the Scripture. In prayerful silence, ask the Holy
Spirit what prayers and blessings God wants you to offer on behalf of
words and symbols which resonate with your prayers. I find one of the
great ways to have an image overdose is to google the word or phrase
about which I am thinking. Try it and it will really inspire you.
a piece of cloth about 12"x12" from white muslin. I have discovered
white muslin allows me to be free with my own colors as the Spirit
guides my prayer.
or paint your prayer on the flag. You may choose a simple word, maybe
the name of your neighborhood, verses from the Scripture...
you complete the prayer flag, hang it by folding and gluing or sewing
in place the side of the cloth through which a rope will run. Pull the
rope through your flags.
As you fly your flags remember to raise God’s banner in prayer.
Faux Batik method is easy: As the resist, instead of wax, you use a liquid mixture of flour, alum, and water to draw a design onto muslin.
in a bowl or blender 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons alum powder, and 1/2
cup flour. Mix thoroughly to remove any lumps. You can double this
recipe. Pour contents into a plastic squeeze bottle. Lay out wax paper
on your workspace with your cloth on top.
your prayers by squeezing the alum mixture onto the cloth in thick
lines. Make sure your lines are not too heavy with the mixture. I used
my hair dryer to help speed up the drying process of the flour mixture
after the drawing is complete.
dry I painted with acrylic. You could use fabric or tempera paint as
well. And don't worry going over where the mixture has dried it will
resist the paint. After the paint has dried, thoroughly rinse the cloth
removing the mixture and the excess paint. Either hang the flags to dry
or put them in a dryer to heat-set the paint.
Blessed prayers to all....