A prayer cloth is a sacramental used by Christians, in continuation with the practice of the early Church, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles:[1]

Two prayer cloths, one distributed by the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (top) and the other from the Shrine of Our Lady of Medjugorje (bottom)

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them (Acts 19:11-12).[1]

Prayer cloths are especially popular within the Pentecostal tradition of Christianity, although communicants of other Christian denominations use them as well.[1] Among Lebanese Christians, prayer cloths are blessed and then placed on an afflicted area, while believers pray to God through the intercession of Saint Sharbel.[1] Among Methodists and Pentecostals, if a Christian is suffering from an illness and is not present during a church service, a prayer cloth is consecrated through prayer and then taken to the sick individual.[2][3]

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References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Caine, Kenneth Winston; Kaufman, Brian Paul (19 May 2000). Prayer, Faith, and Healing. Rodale. p. 499. ISBN 9781579542658.
  2. ^ Lang, Bernhard (1997). Sacred Games: A History of Christian Worship. Yale University Press. p. 403. ISBN 9780300172263. If the person who needs to be healed is not present, prayer may be said over a piece of cloth; consecrated through communal prayer (and perhaps the additional touch of a particularly gifted healer), the cloth is believed to carry a healing power. The Foundations of Pentecostal Theology quotes the scriptural basis of the "prayer cloth": "And God wrought special miracles by the hand of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or belts, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).
  3. ^ Joyner, Belton (29 January 2015). United Methodist Questions, United Methodist Answers: Exploring Christian Faith. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780664260422.