The Truth Behind Prayer Cloth Healing
Healed of cancer! Delivered from addiction! Depression gone! People from all walks of life have testified to receiving miracles like these when they used a prayer cloth (sometimes referred to as a healing cloth).
The sheer volume of testimonies is a good reason to search out the truth about prayer cloths. After all, do you know anyone who is suffering? Would you like to see that person receive relief? Of course you would! Perhaps a prayer cloth could help.
Let’s find out the truth behind prayer cloth healing. Are they Scriptural? Is there a right and a wrong way to use them? We’ll discover answers to these questions and more in this study.
Amazing Prayer Cloth Testimony
The story below is from the book “How To Heal The Sick” by Charles and Frances Hunter. “The Happy Hunters” spent nearly 40 years leading “Healing Explosion” conferences, praying for the sick, and teaching Christians about healing. During the 80’s my family and I participated in one of their “Healing Explosions” and witnessed many real-life healings.
The amazing testimony below began when Charles and Frances Hunter received a request for a prayer cloth from a praying grandmother in England. Her grandbaby had been born without any hip sockets and with hydrocephalus (deformity of water on the brain).
Charles and Frances Hunter’s Testimony
The Hunters write, “England is a long way from Houston, Texas, so we and our entire office staff laid hands on a little piece of cloth. We asked God to let his healing power go into it, and along with it, so that when it was laid on the baby, resurrection power would go from the cloth into the baby’s body, and the baby would be totally healed by the power of God! We believed with supernatural faith as we prayed over that little piece of cloth and sent it on its divine load.
“The baby was asleep when it arrived, so the grandmother took the little piece of cloth, rolled it up and stuck it inside the baby’s hand. That was her point of contact!”
“Grandma wrote and told us that the very second that little prayer cloth touched the inside of the baby’s fist, the skull instantly reduced to normal size. THAT BABY NO LONGER HAD HYDROCEPHALUS. The child was totally and instantly supernaturally healed by the power of God!”
“…Probably a week or ten days elapsed between the time [the prayer cloth] was prayed over and the time it was put in the hand of that child, but the power had not diminished! That power was as strong as when we prayed, and so was the receptive faith of the grandmother!”
“Two weeks later they took this child back to the clinic where it had been previously treated, and when the doctor x-rayed the baby’s hips, he found two perfect hip sockets. The child had been born without any hip sockets at all, and now it had two! … Hallelujah!”
Prayer Cloth Basics
In the story above, the Hunters sent the grandma in England “a little piece of cloth”, but prayer cloths can be any size. Some churches, ministries, and individuals prefer a larger size. Some larger prayer cloths are printed with Scripture quotations and faith declarations that help the recipients build their faith to receive a miracle from God.
As the name “prayer cloth” implies, prayer is an essential part of using a prayer cloth. The Hunters prayed over the cloth before sending it to England. The grandma in England was also praying.
In addition to prayer, cloths may also be anointed with oil before being given to those who need them. The emphasis on prayer and anointing with oil comes from the Bible.
Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
How Do Prayer Cloths Work?
Is the power of God in the cloth, or is the prayer cloth simply a “point of contact” for the recipient’s faith?
Some believe that prayer is what is effective, not the cloth itself. They point out that James 5 calls Christians to pray and anoint with oil, but doesn’t mention using a cloth.
In fact, the words “prayer cloth” are found nowhere in the Bible. So are prayer cloths Scriptural? Let’s find out.
The Origin of Prayer Cloths – Is It Scriptural?
There are three New Testament passages that mention cloth (clothing) in relation to healing. Two are found in Matthew’s gospel account of the life of Jesus, and one in the Book of Acts.
“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind [Jesus] and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
Jesus commended the woman for her faith. “Your faith has made you well.”
Who or what had she put her faith in? Not the cloth itself, or Jesus would have corrected her. Her faith was in the only Person we should put our faith in: Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Savior, Healer, and Deliverer.
We humans love to have something to look at or touch as “a point of contact”. Something to pin our faith on. This woman put her faith into action. She named her own “point of contact”: “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” Then she pressed through the crowd to accomplish her goal. What was the result? Jesus commended her for her faith, and “at once [she] was made well”.
We see a similar story played out in a second passage, only on a larger scale. In Matthew 14:34-36 (below), Jesus cured “all who were sick”, who by faith in Him “[touched] the fringe of His cloak”.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized [Jesus], they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.
By now you might be thinking (along with me), “I wish I could just reach out and touch Jesus physically when I’m sick.” But we can’t. And sometimes we may need a “point of contact” to boost our faith. Something like a prayer cloth. The passage below, Acts 19:11-12, is the passage usually cited as the Scriptural basis for using prayer cloths.
God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.
Who or what was the source of healing in this passage? God. He was “performing extraordinary miracles”, working through Paul.
God chose to work through ordinary handkerchiefs and aprons. What part did they play? Did they carry a tangible “anointing” (the power of God), or were they “points of contact” for the faith of the sick and oppressed? We are not told.
What can we conclude from these few New Testament passages? These passages provide a description of how God worked, but not a specific instruction to use prayer cloths. Nor does the New Testament prohibit their use.
Are prayer cloths Scriptural? I personally believe that based on the principles in these passages, a compelling case could be made for using prayer cloths – but within Scriptural guidelines.
Right and Wrong Ways to Use Prayer Cloths
Scripture admonishes us that whatever we do, we should do it in such a way that it brings glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Colossians 3:17 further instructs us, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
The Right Way
- Remember that God, not the cloth, is the source of healing. Our focus should always be on Him, not on the people or objects through which He chooses to manifest His power. The glory goes to Him alone.
So always look to Jesus as the Healer. Don’t revere or trust in the cloth.
- Remember James 5:14-16. Always pray when using a prayer cloth. “…Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
The Wrong Way
Some ministries have been accused of using prayer cloths as a money-making scheme to build their ministry. Use caution if a ministry focuses more on finances than on the Lord Jesus Christ. Beware if they extol the wonders of their “anointed miracle cloth” – and offer to send you one in exchange for a (large) donation. This type of prayer cloth use does not glorify God.
Which Type of Prayer Cloth is the Best?
God can work through any kind of prayer cloth – small, large, with or without print. However, there is an additional benefit to having a larger size cloth. Larger prayer cloths may be printed with Scripture quotations and faith declarations that help the recipients build their faith to receive a miracle from God. There is power in agreeing with God’s Word! Find out more here. (Kara-link?)
How about you? Do you have question, a comment, or a story about a prayer cloth? Share it here.(Kara-link?)