Encompassing prayers belong to another slightly different genre of praying, and were to be found both in Ireland and in Scotland. They often open by speaking of the arm or the hand of God: "The compassing of God and His right hand," for the idea of encircling or encompassing was very popular. The "caim" [or drawing an invisible circle with a finger in the air around oneself and whomever else was participating in the prayer] was a common form of safeguarding in which the persons of the Trinity or any of the saints, or Mary, would be invoked for protection of the person in need.

Esther de Waal, The Celtic Way of Prayer