Many of us have heard prayer cloth testimonies, usually on television or the internet. People have testified to being healed of disease, delivered from addiction, walking again after being injured from an accident and other amazing miracles after using a prayer cloth. Just hearing people’s testimonies about the power of the healing cloth draws many to want to learn more about them and wondering if getting one can give them relief to their sickness or ailment. Many people think that the ministers who talk about these clothes and their miracle powers are scam artists, but is there merit to using them? Are they biblical? Does God say anything about using them? The best place to turn to for that answer is scripture.
You may not know that several biblical accounts serve as a foundation for the modern practice of using a prayer cloth to receive answers to prayer. One of those accounts is in Matthew 9:20-22, which tells the story of a woman who has suffered severe bleeding for 12 years. The woman touches the hem of Jesus’ cloak, trusting and believing that her contact with his garment would heal her. Jesus tells her in verse 22, “Your faith has made you well.” In another account in Matthew 14:24-36, the people of Gennesaret believed something similar. All who were sick wanted to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, and they were all healed.
There is also another passage in Acts 19:11-12 that talks about handkerchiefs that Paul had. These were carried to the sick in the hope that people would be healed of evil spirits and diseases. While none of these stories refer to Jesus’ clothing or Paul’s handkerchief as a “prayer cloth,” we can draw the general foundation from these passages.
Modern-day use of prayer cloths has been tied to the Mormon church and the Pentecostal church. There are times when the cloths have the sweat of those who pray over it on the cloth. They also may be anointed with oil. Prayer cloths can be given to those you care about as a reminder that you are praying over them. Sometimes, groups of people will pray for a person holding onto the cloth. Some believe that the sweat and the il will create a transfer that will allow God’s miracle power to enter the recipient of the prayers.
In recent decades, prayer cloths have shifted in their application and have been used to take advantage of believers. They have become a fund-raising method used by prosperity gospel televangelists. These are the infomercials you’ve likely woken up to in the middle of the night. The program will encourage viewers to call in, and send their name, address and a short prayer request to a 1-800 number. Following submitting this information, you receive instructions on what should be done with the prayer cloth like “write your name on it” or “put it under your pillow,” along with a hefty donation to the ministry. It is particularly problematic when they are used exclusively for financial gain.
Ultimately, there isn’t anything wrong with sharing a reminder to family, friends and loved ones that you are praying for them. However, the fact that prayer cloths have turned into a blatant money scheme by some televangelists is sad and troubling. The Bible tells us, “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed, they will exploit you with false words…” (Second Peter 2:2-3). Scripture never says that prayer or spiritual favors can be paid for. Sending a donation to a ministry doesn’t guarantee answered prayer.
One of the best ways to pray for a miracle is by asking God for healing directly. We can call on God for miracle power. There are tons of accounts in the Bible testifying the miracle power of God. He is always doing the miraculous in the world each day. Begin by asking Jesus directly for healing. The only way we can do this is through prayer. Since we see the countless examples in scripture of Jesus doing miracle work, we know that these same things can happen in our lives as well. Miracle power happens when we put our full and total trust in God’s power. It always requires that we have faith. If we want to understand the miraculous, we have to remember that we are miraculous being, and God has a bigger plan for our lives.
If you are ready to have miracles take place in your life, you need to call on God. You also have to stay persistent about every situation you face in life. We are able to see the miraculous happening in our lives when we know that God is working on it. The more trust you place in God’s power, the greater you will see the miracles taking place around you.
If you are going to use a prayer cloth, you should be doing it in a way that glorifies God. A reminder of this is in 1 Corinthians 10:31, which says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” We are also instructed in Colossians 2:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” We must always be clear that God, not the prayer cloth, is the true source of healing. When we are praying, we should be focusing on him, not on objects. All miraculous power should be attributed to God alone. We should also look at Jesus as our sole healer. When we give the prayer cloth more trust than we do God, we are not doing what the Bible instructs us to do. If a ministry is offering prayer cloth for money-making purposes, you should be cautious. This does not glorify God in any way.