Manifestation is the idea that you can make things happen in your life through focused thought, belief, and positive thinking. The belief is that by visualizing your desires and believing they will come true, you can attract those things into your life. This concept has become popular in recent years, especially in New Age and some Christian circles. But what does the Bible actually say about manifestation? Let’s take a closer look.
The practice of manifestation stems from New Thought philosophy which emphasizes metaphysical beliefs and the power of the mind. While some Christians have adopted certain New Thought principles, the concept of manifestation as it’s often presented today does not originate from the Bible.
The Bible does not explicitly mention manifestation or the Law of Attraction. However, there are some verses that touch on related themes like the power of belief, prayer, and speaking things into existence. Examining Scripture as a whole provides a framework for understanding God’s sovereignty, how we should use our faith, and what role our thoughts and words have in relating to God.
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- The concept of manifestation is rooted in New Thought philosophy, not the Bible.
- The Bible does not explicitly mention manifestation or the Law of Attraction.
- Related biblical themes to examine include the power of belief, prayer, decrees, and God’s sovereignty.
- Scripture provides a framework for understanding how we should use our faith and thoughts.
With this background in mind, let’s explore some relevant verses and biblical principles.
A foundational biblical truth to understand when examining manifestation is the sovereignty of God. Scripture teaches that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present. He is in complete control over every aspect of life and creation.
Nothing happens outside of His divine will. Jesus teaches us to pray that God’s kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). This prayer recognizes that God’s plans and purposes will ultimately prevail. As Isaiah 55:11 declares, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
- “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
- “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”” (Daniel 4:35).
God is the author of creation and He holds supreme authority over the universe. While we can make plans and take actions, ultimate fulfillment comes from the Lord (Proverbs 16:1, 19:21). Our role is to trust and obey God, while surrendering our will to His greater plans and purposes.
The Power of Prayer
One way God invites us to participate in what He is doing in the world is through prayer. Scripture encourages us to bring our requests and desires to the Lord. God hears and answers prayer according to His divine wisdom and will.
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He provided a model prayer that focused first on the kingdom of God rather than personal requests (Luke 11:2). 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Alignment with God’s will is key. At times, He may have different plans than ours. As Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us, “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Still, we are encouraged to bring our desires and petitions boldly before God in faith, trusting He knows what is best (Hebrews 4:16). Ephesians 3:20 assures us God can do above and beyond what we ask or imagine, “according to his power that is at work within us.” Our part is to pray and surrender the outcomes to Him, while also doing our part to live obediently by faith.
- “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24)
- “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:13-16)
Through prayer, we can partner with God to see His kingdom come on earth. But the way that looks will align with His perfect plans, which may differ from ours.
The Power of Belief
A number of verses point to the power of belief and faith. Jesus Himself spoke of the incredible power of faith, even mustard seed-sized faith, to accomplish what seems impossible (Matthew 17:20). He urged His followers repeatedly to “only believe” in what He could do in their lives.
At the same time, the Bible reminds us that faith in God and His promises should far surpass any notion of belief in our own mental powers. Hebrews 11 provides example after example of men and women in Scripture whose great faith pleased God. The chapter concludes, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised” (Hebrews 11:39).
Their faith was in what God could do, not in their own power of belief. They trusted in God’s ability to fulfill His promises in His timing and way. The point was putting faith in the right object – God Himself.
- “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 8:13)
- “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “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.” (Mark 11:22-24)
The Bible shows the incredible power of faith when it is placed in the trustworthiness of God. Our faith can move mountains when it aligns with the will and purposes of God.
The Power of Words
Some manifestation proponents point to verses about the power of our words and declarations. Scripture does tell us there is creative power in the words we speak, especially when uttered in faith. However, once again context is key.
God spoke the universe into existence with His divine words (Genesis 1). Jesus created miracles through spoken commands and declarations of faith. As image-bearers of God, our words have power too. But only to the extent they align with truth and God’s will.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Our words can build up or tear down, encourage or discourage (Ephesians 4:29). James 3:3-5 warns that the tongue, though small, is like a rudder that can steer one’s life. Clearly, words matter.
At the same time, the Bible cannot be used to justify any name-it-and-claim-it philosophy. Our words only carry power when they line up with what God says is true and possible. We cannot magically speak anything into existence or manipulate outcomes with our mouth. Deuteronomy 18:20 warns against false prophets who speak presumptuously in the name of the Lord when He has not truly spoken.
As people of biblical faith, we speak boldly what God speaks over us and our circumstances. But we hold that declaration loosely, surrendered to His sovereign plans.
- “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalm 33:6)
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
The power of our words comes from alignment with God’s words and God’s will, not any power within ourselves.
Prosperity and Success
Some advocates of manifestation look to biblical texts about prosperity and success as validation for believing God will unfailingly grant any desired outcome we “name and claim.” A full examination makes clear that is not the case.
God does bless His people and desire good for them. 3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” Jesus said He came that we may have life to the full (John 10:10). It is not wrong to desire blessings or success.
Where it goes astray is treating God like a cosmic genie or vending machine whom we summon at will to deliver what we want. Deuteronomy 8 makes clear that God blesses His people in order to establish His covenant with them. Prosperity follows from walking in obedience to His commandments, which include loving others, caring for the poor, and rejecting selfish gain.
Nowhere does Scripture teach that we can or should demand wealth, health, and good fortune from God based on our visualization or belief alone. Instead we are to seek first God’s kingdom and trust that He knows what is best (Matthew 6:33).
- “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call understanding your kinsman; they will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.” (Proverbs 7:2-5)
- “Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
God blesses His faithful people, but not necessarily with all their self-defined desires. Our focus should be on obedience, not demanding things from God.
Living According to the Spirit
Romans 8 and other New Testament passages describe the importance of setting our minds on the things of the Spirit rather than the flesh. This biblical practice shares some parallels with positive thinking and visualization. Yet the object of focus makes all the difference.
Manifestation techniques aim to harness mental power and belief in one’s self. The Bible instead calls us to fix our minds on the eternal, to think on that which is noble, right, pure, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). We are to set hearts and minds on the Spirit at work in and through us, not our own self-generated thoughts and desires (Romans 8:5-6).
As we align with godly truth in our thoughts and attitudes, our actions follow. This leads to transformed lives reflecting Jesus. The power is not in thoughts alone, but in the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in us.
- “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5)
- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
Aligning our thoughts with godly truth is important. But real transformation comes through the Spirit, not positive thinking alone.
Manifestation proponents often look to the Bible to validate principles like the power of faith, words, and the mind. Scripture does speak to these themes, but not with the meaning often ascribed to them in popular manifestation teaching.
A thorough reading reveals that these principles only operate in alignment with God’s ultimate will and purposes. He remains sovereign, not us. There are no techniques to manipulate outcomes or summon riches and success from the universe at will. But there are invitations to bold prayer, vibrant faith, and renewed minds fixed on godly truth.
As believers, we walk out these principles in humble surrender to God’s greater plans. We hold desires loosely, speak affirmations with wisdom, believe boldly, and align thoughts to godly virtues. Rather than seeking to manifest things for ourselves, we trust the Spirit at work within us for God’s glory. His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In closing, manifestation as often presented today comes from New Thought philosophy more than sound biblical exegesis. Yet by examining key verses in context, we gain insight into how to exercise biblical faith, prayer, and speech in a way that honors God’s sovereignty and will. Our lives are not the product of mental powers or self-generated beliefs. Rather, we become living manifestations of the Spirit’s renewing work in us. To God alone be the glory.