The so-called ‘Prosperity Gospel’ has been very effective in taking people’s eyes off the Lord and onto their own selves, with their lusts and pleasures. Some seem to think that the Lord is just waiting to load us up with earthly riches and make us comfortable here in the world which hated and rejected Him.

We do have the promise of the Lord to provide all our needs. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” This means that to an extent we cannot even imagine the Lord is able to give us more than that we can desire in our prayers; even more than all that we can even think to ask. The Lord Jesus tells us in John 15:16, “…whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” We learn from these two verses that the Lord is able and that He desires to give us what we ask for.

Now, let’s consider a couple of verses that will give a little insight to the Lord answering our prayers as we ask Him, or as we ‘name it and claim it’. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” Success in our prayer life is found when we “ask anything according to his will.” The Lord loves us too much to give us things that are contrary to His perfect, all knowing will. The Lord knows what is best for us. He knows if our desires of our heart will eventually draw us away from Him. He even knows why we ask for certain things. James 4:3 warns us, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Why would the Lord NOT give us what we ask for? Why would He NOT give us a new car, a new home, or make our debts go away? There are certain scriptural principles that apply and that we should learn. Ephesians 4:28 teaches us, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” After condemning the act of thievery, the Lord gives us a most important principle: He expects us to work to support ourselves. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 tells us to, “…work with your own hands, as we commanded you.”

Some pray that the Lord will work a miracle and make their debts go away. Let’s consider this principle found in Galatians 6:7, “…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” If we begin to buy things on credit and then realize we have over-extended ourselves, that shows that we have not learned this valuable principle. You reap what you sow! Do not over-extend yourself with debt, and you will not find yourself trying to ‘name and claim’ a financial miracle.

Let’s consider the prayer of Solomon in Proverbs 30:8-9, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” The Word of God does not teach us that we can ‘name it and claim it’, but it does teach us in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” We cannot demand anything from the Lord, but in sincerity and humility, we can give Him our cares and He will work on our behalf according to His perfect will. (166.2)