An Upstate woman’s decorated tree is getting a lot of attention this holiday season. But it’s not her Christmas tree that’s getting noticed.
She’s using a small tree outside of her home in south Greenville to pray for people worldwide.
“I pray while I tie the ribbon and I come out here several times a day and pray,” said Tina Delk as she tied two ribbons to the tree for two neighbors facing illnesses.
Tina grew up in church in the upstate and says she’s devoted many hours to prayer. “Prayers for police officers, for political candidates and for people of all walks of life. ”
So in April, when a family member hit a tough spot without a job, she turned to God for help.
“I looked up at the tree and it’s like God said are you really praying earnestly? Are you praying for your prayers to be lifted up?” she said.
That’s when she decided to take a big orange ribbon out to the small tree in her front yard. She wrapped it around a branch and sent up a prayer to ask for a new job. Then she returned with smaller ribbons for the next 14 days with the same request.
“It was my way of saying yes, this is genuine,” Tina added. “This is coming from my heart. This is not about me. It’s about God and other people’s prayers.”
Once her son-in-law landed that job, word spread fast about the prayer tree and how her prayer had been answered. People nationwide and even from a couple of other countries have been asking Tina through Facebook and by phone to put their prayers on her tree.
Tina says some people drive by stopping to leave anonymous prayers with a ribbon of their own.
Others, like one student at Robert E. Cashion elementary school across the street, come asking for help.
“He said ma’am I would like to tie a ribbon on your tree for my classmate that is very, very sick and I want you to pray for them,” Delk recalled.
Anytime a prayer is answered she replaces the ribbons with a white one, so passersby can see what she’s seen most of her life, the power of prayer.
“You don’t have to have a prayer closet in your home. This is my prayer closet, the open air and the open sky.”
Tina also writes down each prayer that she can. She likes to keep track of those that haven’t yet been answered.
The prayer tree is filling up fast. So at the start of the New Year, Tina will begin tying ribbon around a new tree. She encourages all to bring their prayers, with or without ribbon. She has spare ribbon for those without.