The prosperity gospel and the word-of-faith movement has done a lot of damage to believers in the faith. Believers have been indoctrinated into believing that they can speak things into existence and it has lured believers into thinking they are almost on an equal par with God.
This gospel has manipulated the Word of God to suit the desires of people. What person would not want to be healthy and wealthy? Our sinful nature craves after things that will be centered on us and the prosperity gospel has taken advantage of that.
The main driving force.
One of the main driving forces in this movement is the “I declare and decree” prayer. This prayer basically advocates that whatever you “declare and decree” it shall come to pass. This is a tradition that has entered the church and is one that most of us still say. So if you declare and decree that there should be bread on your table it shall come to pass.
Now if we could “declare and decree” things so that they happen or don’t happen, where is the dependence on God come in to this? How are we meant to trust in God as the bible says we should?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding”
Christ said if we ask anything in His name then it shall be done (John 14:13-14).
We should not mistake positive confession with trusting and having faith in God. This is not to look down on the power words can have in our lives and their impact on others. But to use words in order to speak things into existence through “faith” is not biblical. Although the things you may declare and decree may be right and out of compassion, only God can make those things come to pass. No one can speak things into existence except God Himself as He did in the beginning.
This is the danger with this. Instead of leaning on God the Creator of all things, you lean on the power of your words instead of Gods word. The major give away is “I” at the beginning of the prayer.
Manipulation of scripture.
Now people who are heavily involved try justify this with scripture. That’s the case with most non-biblical doctrines where people try to manipulate the Word in order to suit them and what they desire. One of the scriptures they use is Proverbs 18:21:
“The tongue has the power of life and death…
But they forget to read the rest of the verse which puts it into context.
, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
If you love talking and are not careful with the words that come out of your mouth, then your tongue can lead you to death. If you use your tongue wisely then it will prevent you from death. James 3:6 says:
“ The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body,sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
We need to tame our tongue because it “a world of evil among the parts of the body”.
Another scripture is Ezekiel 37:4
“Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!”
So God told Ezekiel to prophesy to dry bones. But again if you continue to read, you will realize that God was the One in charge here not Ezekiel.
“ This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’
And so Ezekiel, a mere man, prophesied as God commanded him. And because it was God’s Word the bones came into life!
“So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
The power of God’s word.
That is the power of God’s word. In the beginning God said “Let there be light”, and there was light. Only God can speak things into existence. We were created in His image and likeness but the bible clearly show that He is sovereign and He is in control. If we were able to declare and decree things and they come to pass then there would be no need for any kind of biblical prayer. The biblical prayer in which the Holy Spirit truly manifests in a clear and unmistakable way.
We are to hide scripture in our heart and meditate on it daily, holding on to God’s promises for those who are in Him and those who He is in. But we cannot misinterpret scripture to make us not need to depend on Him. God said trust in Him and He will provide for us. We don’t need to then go off and start declaring and decreeing things in order for our needs to be met, let alone our wants! If want the sick to be healed and the lost to be found etc., it’s only by the power of God in which those things can happen through prayer or as God wills.
Elijah did not by his word cause a drought in Israel, he prayed earnestly to God that it would not rain.
“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.”
Lets lean on God’s word as it is and God’s power instead destructive doctrines. To find out the origins of this movement briefly explained it is well worth reading this article by The Watchman called: Positive Confession.