Cloth and Healing / Deliverance
In Acts 19:11-12 (NIV) it reads, “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.”
These scarves are prayed over and anointed with oil, which represents holy power (i.e. the Holy Spirit anointing, the blood of Jesus) so that they can be used in similar fashion for intercession with powerful results when we are in unison with God’s heart. (Why are anointing oils used?)
In addition, the scarves also can act as banners, which are used throughout the Bible. One example is in Psalm 20:5 (NIV) which says, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.” Read our full explanation of Why We Flag.
God created color. If God speaks to us and makes Himself known to us through the world around us (Romans 1:20), it should not seem strange that He would use color to express Himself as well. God specifically mentions different colors in the Word. Amber is specifically called out when describing His glory in Ezekiel 1:4.
Other times, colors are used symbolically representing something. For example, brown and gray are used to represent repentance and humility – brown for sackcloth and gray for ashes (Esther 4:3). So the colors and patterns have meanings, which is how they are named.
In the same way that an action can signal something without saying a word (like raised hands in worship signal surrender to the Lord) – so do the scarves. This is why they are powerful in worship as well. For example, dancing with a scarf named “Majesty” (representing the majesty of the Lord) is a bold worship statement declaring the majesty of God without saying a word.
Sometimes scarves can be used for both worship and intercession simultaneously. For example, a scarf named “Mercy” could be both a worship tool acknowledging the Lord’s abundant mercy as well as being a prayer for mercy for someone or in a particular situation. What I’ve found is that in the same way He prompts me which colors to use when and what patterns, etc – in that same fashion, He will also prompt me what to pray and with what – just like any Spirit-led intercession.
So the scarves are tools – anointed and dedicated to Him and His purpose.
At this point I feel the need to digress for a moment and tell you how I arrived here doing this. Let me start by saying that historically, I was not a fan of expressive worship – or intercession for that matter. From the moment I became aware of people’s use of flags and streamers in worship, I thought it was cheesy and it made me uncomfortable because I didn’t understand the Biblical context and intercessors seemed kind of odd. I had no interest in being part of either. That is until spring of 2003.
That spring my world was falling apart – and more specifically, my marriage. I finally broke, stopped trying to fix it myself, and lay it down at the Lord’s feet. He told me to “shut up and pray”. So I asked Him to teach me to be a prayer warrior for my husband.
The Lord sent people my way who would share their own experiences and sometimes books; one such book was Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets. For the first time in my life, I was excited about intercession.
In the book, Dutch tells about some intercessors who had had success following the Acts 19:11-12 principle. They had anointed and prayed over cloths and put them in strategic locations. As I read, I sensed the Holy Spirit instructing me to do the same. Feeling a bit silly, I complied in faith.
I didn’t have any “real” anointing oil, so I grabbed a bottle of olive oil and dedicated it for the use of anointing. I didn’t have any prayer cloths, so I used strips of paper towel (which goes to show that the power comes from Him because there is certainly no “magic” in Bounty!). Anyway, I would pray as I anointed them and tuck them in my husband’s car seat, wallet, pillow case, etc… later he mentioned he couldn’t figure out where they kept coming from – he thought the kids were doing it!
Coupled with fasting and prayer and a lot of worship, the Lord used these things to move powerfully in my husband’s life; he has done a complete 180 and now is one of the most Godly men I know. Praise God! This was my first experience with prayer cloths – since then I’ve seen them work many times – when done in unison with God’s heart. It’s important that it be done in accord with God’s heart, because if it’s not – it’s no better than witchcraft or a lucky charm – both of which are an abomination to Him.
In the midst of the two years of prayer for my husband, I began a study on the names of the Lord. There was one name in particular that I didn’t really understand, but kept feeling the Holy Spirit bringing me back to: YHWH-Nissi, the Lord my banner. I prayed and asked Him to teach me what it meant – and He began revealing to me some of the intricacies in the name – like when we hold the Lord as our banner we walk in victory. I had a gold ring made in Israel with YHWH-Nissi carved in it – that’s when I discovered another interpretation for Nissi was “miracle”. So having the Lord as our banner has us walking in miraculous victory. Wow! After my husband’s rededication to the Lord, he felt the Lord prompt him to get a matching ring as well.
Now fast forward to 2006. The Lord started calling me to dance for Him. Nothing in public mind you, but dance none the less. It was through the dancing and as a result of some God-appointments that I began dancing with scarves. And let’s face it – what woman wouldn’t love silk? I won’t lie – I love to watch it move and feel the texture – it’s beautiful! Reminds me of God’s beauty 🙂
Through the dancing with scarves, I also began to create silk streamers, billows and flags. Even my husband can wield a powerful flag! I’ve experienced some powerful times in both worship and intercession while using them.
All that to say – God has drawn me into this. For His purposes. Because only He could change my heart to take some things that I thought were cheesy and odd and make them beautiful and powerful tools for His glory. And I pray they bless you too! (Hear more about this history as well as how to do flag ministry in our post: How-to Minister with Flags and About Flag Ministry)
Find out more about how the scarves are made in Spirit-led dyeing?