Approx 30 min

Tying string ‘bracelets’ on the wrists of others is a popular form of blessing for Thai people. It is done to wish a person well and to indicate a sense of solitude and blessing. Occasions include weddings, monk ordinations, New Year, graduations, farewells and when people are sick. The string is wound loosely around the recipient’s wrist three times and tied in a knot. As the string is being tied, a blessing is said, wishing health, wealth or happiness. During some ceremonies, people use string that has been blessed by a spirit or a monk. If it is ceremonial occasion the pieces of string are draped on a Bai See, an ornate centrepiece arrangement.

Baptist Mission Australia is connected with an emerging faith community in northern Thailand. They have adapted the string tying practice so that they pray blessings in the name of Jesus. Team members use a cross as a Bai See to indicate their connectedness to Christ as well as to one another. String tying is used at baptisms, Christmas and Easter celebrations and other events.

Resources needed

  • Prayer points and information on least-reached people groups (
  • A piece of string for each person, approximately 80cm long
  • A cross (made of sticks or wood), standing upright in a bowl of uncooked rice
  • A map of Thailand

Activity – Praying for the least-reached of Thailand

  1. On a mat on the floor, place a cross in a bowl of uncooked rice. Drape pieces of string over the arms of the cross. Also place a map of Thailand on the mat.
  2. Invite everyone to sit around the mat. Thai people kneel on the floor with their feet tucked to their side, so as not to point their feet at anyone.
  3. Say a prayer of blessing for the Thai people.
  4. Each person takes a piece of string from the Bai See to wrap around another’s wrist, symbolising your commitment to pray for the Thai. 
  5. Close with a communal prayer for the Thai.