A Healing Cloth


By Teena Myers

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. Acts 19:11-12

Trying to reproduce something that happened in a different time, place and culture is a bad idea. Many years ago, I received a letter from a famous evangelist with a small piece of cloth. The letter instructed me to lay the cloth on my body to receive healing. The cloth was a point of contact to help me release my faith and receive from God. The letter concluded with an appeal to send an offering so the evangelist could send more miracle working pieces of cloth. Need I say more? Money is a caution sign that manipulation is involved.

The reason God used prayer cloths had a purpose that had nothing to do with money. The people of Ephesus believed in many gods and faithfully worshipped them. In their religious practices they used curious arts of magic. Barnes Notes state “That such arts were practiced at Ephesus is well known. The Ephesian letters, by which incantations and charms were supposed to be produced, were much celebrated. They seem to have consisted of certain combinations of letters or words, which, by being pronounced with certain intonations of voice were believed to be effective in expelling diseases, or evil spirits; or which, by being written on parchment and worn, were suppose to ….guard from evil spirits…”

The Ephesians believed touching a parchment or cloth that had been prayed over had power to cure diseases and guard against evil spirits. Whether or not the Ephesian religious practices worked is debatable. Not debatable, they were accustomed to this practice.

God comes to us on a level we can understand and receive him and then lifts us higher. The Ephesians who touched the prayer cloth were healed.  And by the end of the revival, many Ephesians admitted their religious practices were evil and burned the books that taught them to practice sorcery.

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