Question:

I have a friend that asked me about"prayer blankets or cloths". I am aware of the Scripture she is referencing: Acts 19:11-12. I'm just unsure on how to help her understand scripturally why this is not necessary. Thank you for your time and scriptural truth; I really appreciate it.


Answer:

"Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).

Your friend wishes to claim that what God said was an unusual miracle showing that Paul was an apostle and inspired by God (Hebrews 2:3-4) is now a common place item.

But it really isn't the same thing at all. People were miraculously healed by clothes that Paul had touched. Notice that no mention of prayers is found in this verse. Prayers may have been said, but that is not where the emphasis lies.

God answers prayers, but people think they need something tangible instead of trusting God to hear. In a way, they are much like Thomas, "Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed"" (John 20:29).

God never commanded the use of prayer cloths and there is no example of such being used (beyond pulling an event concerning Paul out of its context). What I've seen these days is hucksters offering mystical prayer cloths for a some of money. Even if someone realizes the cloths don't do anything beyond wiping up dust, they are told that it is because they lack faith. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4).