Prayer Ribbons: What Are They?

Prayer ribbons are “infused with prayers, and the wind will carry them.”

blue ribbon rolls used in a community prayer ribbon campaignMany times while walking around a neighborhood or past a church, one can see ribbons tied around fence posts, trees or in front of buildings. Have you ever wondered what these colorful ribbons are for? Each prayer ribbon has been placed there in honor of someone or as a memory of a specific occasion.

These ribbons, often referred to as prayer ribbons, are based on Native American, Tibetan, Siberian and other indigenous traditions. In these cultures, it is believed that everything that is alive has a spirit and everyone lives in partnership with all things. It is believed that all of life is connected to a web of life; this includes cooperation and partnership. It is important to honor and respect all of life that is connected to this amazing web.

Blue ribbons are often used in remembrance of fallen officers of the law or others in authority. People tie ribbons loosely on the branches of a tree or wrap them around a fence where they can be easily seen. Yellow ribbons are often used to welcome home soldiers and other returning from a foreign land. Just as one might light a candle for someone, ribbons may be tied to trees and posts as a prayer for a person or situation that is one’s heart.

Just a few color meanings:

custom ribbon rolls used has prayer ribbonsYellow represents new birth.

Red represents fertility and growth.

Black represents inner work and healing.

White represents wisdom.

Green represents grounding.

While prayer ribbons typically have religious undertones, they don’t have to. Many chose to participate in writing prayer ribbons as a way of helping with goal setting and recognition of a job well done. While most prayer ribbons include things such as prayers for families, food for the needy, more faith in God, and other priorities in schools and communities, they range from personal needs to community related projects.

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