“I decree and declare that I am healed
I decree and declare that I will have resources
I decree and declare that COVID-19 will not come to me or my family.”
Is decreeing and declaring Biblical?
I wrote a post some time ago asking if Christians could Can We Really Call Those Things Which Be Not As Though They Were? You can read that post by clicking the link. To summarize I said, in that post, that the only one that can call something that didn’t exist into something that does exist is God. He is the only one that can create something out of nothing.
Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26-27 NIV And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
No, we can’t speak things into existence or call thing that are not as though they were. In fact, scripture warns us about talking about what may or may not happen in the future.
James 4:13-16 NIV Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
It is God’s words and not ours that calls those things that don’t exist as though they do!
Back to Decreeing and Declaring
First some definitions. A decree is an official order issued by a legal authority. For a decree to be official, which means it can be executed, the person issuing the decree must have the authority or the right to pronounce the order. Without that authority, a decree is worthless. For example, I could decree that federal income taxes on income will now be 3% instead of what it is today, which is a lot more than 3%. I may want this, but I can’t enforce it for me or anybody else because I don’t have the legal authority. I may decree it but it would be an empty decree.
A declaration is making something known formally, officially, or explicitly. A declaration is simply an acknowledgment of something that is, but a declaration alone does not have the power to cause what you declare to happen. There is no creative power in a declaration.
When people decree and declare in prayer, the often believe that there is power in their word to make it happen. As I said in my earlier post only God has that power.
Those who believe that believers have the authority and power to decree and declare and it will happen often base it on these verses of scripture.
Job 22:28 KJV Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: And the light shall shine upon thy ways.
Mark 11:23-24 NIV “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
If you read these verses out of the context within which they were written, you would think that all we must do is to decree it and declare it and it is going to happen. However, let’s look at them in context.
The statement in Job was made by one of Job’s friends, Eliphaz. When we read the entire book of Job we find that while much of what Job’s friends say is true they misrepresent God and His will in dealing with Job.
Reading the Mark scripture in context we see that this is part of a narrative of Jesus about faith and specifically faith in God being the catalyst for any answer to prayer.
Mark 11:20-24 KJV And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The real problem with decreeing and declaring is that it is not the way Jesus taught us to pray and it’s not the way we get answers to prayer. The key is not to decree and declare but to ask and believe.
Matthew 6:7-8 NIV And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 7:7-11 NIV “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
James 4:2-3 NIV You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
1 John 5:14-15 NIV This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
God encourages us to ask in prayer, not to decree. Decreeing puts the onus on us to cause it to happen, asking puts the onus on God to bring it to pass. What God wants is for us to put our trust and faith in him to bring it to pass.
When we decree and declare what we are saying is that we have the power to make it happen. Faith in words is useless; our faith must be in God who can answer prayer. Our words are an expression of our faith in God to do what he has said he will do.
Yes we are made in God’s image we but he did not give us the ability to create something from nothing. Only He can do that. We can decree and declare until we are blue in the face but it won't happen unless God causes it to happen.
The problem with decreeing and declaring is that what you decree and declare may not be God’s will for you. That goes against one of the things Jesus said we should pray for..
Matthew 6:9-10 NIV “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Another problem. What if what you decree and declare doesn't happen? Some of your Christian friends may forget God's will and accuse you of a lack of faith. Here’s an example and my guess is that most of you can, like me, nod yes in agreement. I am going through this right now. I am praying that God heals my granddaughter of cancer. The doctors have given and said there is no more they can do. Hundreds of people all over the world are praying for her along with me. She is not getting any better.
I have know people, and there may be some praying with me now, who say the reason that she is still sick with cancer is because I and the others praying for her, don’t have enough faith. Not only is this not true, it is very deflating to me and to others. This is sometimes how the decree and declare movement operates, which is a disconnection from the truth. It does not matter how much you decree and declare, it must align with God’s will for it to happen. If it is not part of God’s will for your life, then it will not happen.
So How Should We Bring Our Requests to God?
There are two truths that will never change. God will never answer any prayer that falls outside of his will for you and God is not subject to our decrees and declarations we are subject to His.
Every prayer that you pray that is in alignment with God’s will, He will answer. The purpose of prayer is not to get God to do what you want, it is to align your will with what God wants. When your heart, will, and desires are in alignment with God’s heart, God’s will, and God’s desires, then you will pray and ask and God will move. When we are aligned with God’s will it removes any of the selfishness, and pride, and causes us to thrust In God to answer prayer.
We don’t decree and declare when we pray, we ask. When we ask , we can be confident in our God who is faithful to hear us and more importantly faithful to always do what aligns with his will and what is in our best interest.
Philippians 4:6 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.