The Pretzels for God movement was founded by Marlene McCauley of Phoenix, Arizona in 1973 after she became inspired to restore the pretzel to what she felt was its rightful place in Christian worship.
Apparently Christians invented pretzels back in the fifth century to eat during Lent since the pretzels contained only water, flour, and salt, but no eggs or milk which were forbidden during the observance. The shape of the pretzel symbolized arms crossed in prayer.
However, in modern times this religious origin has been largely forgotten as pretzels have become a bar and snack food. McCauley was determined to right this wrong. Specifically, she hoped to encourage Christians to eat pretzels during Lent and also to recite before each meal the "pretzel prayer":
"Grant us, we pray, that we too may be reminded by the daily sight of these pretzels to observe the holy season of Lent with true devotion and great spiritual fruit."
"The Twisting Religious Plot of the Pretzel,"
"Pretzels for God,"[PDF]
text of a speech delivered by McCauley at the National Pretzel Convention in 1974
"Rev. Cornelius O'Mara, S.J. holding Lenten Christian symbol of prayer and penance with students from Central High School"
Kane Republican - Feb 23, 1974
Arizona Republic - Apr 8, 1979