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Name it & Claim it - Discerning Faith Series

*See video at the end*

There is a practice that is widely accepted in the Christian Faith. It is the "Name it and Claim it" doctrine. This doctrine seems to hinge on a message on faith taken from the scripture below.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. - Mark 11:24

God has caused us to know that whatever we ask the Him, we can receive if we only believe. Some have taken this to mean that whatever desire enters into our minds, we can then pray for it, and we will have it. However, is this truly the heart and mind of this scripture.

I want us to look at the conditions of the scripture above

1. Whatever we desire

2. Pray

3. Believe.

This scripture seems to teach that as long as I have those 3 God will always grant my requests. However, consider this. What if I, having been offended and hurt by someone, pray that God take their life. I desire it to happen, I believe God can do it, and I have prayed. Does this mean God will grant my request? Certainly not! Then it seems that the scripture above is not as absolute as we may think.

Many have taken the above scripture outside of its context and placed the focus on the part that says "what things soever". They have interpreted it to mean that if you desire a house, a fancy car, a mansion, fame, fortune, power and/or influence, all you need to do is pray and believe. God will then honour your request by giving you them all. However, this is a false mentality! This scripture like all scripture must be rightly divided. By the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses is every word established. So let's see what John's take on this principle is.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. - John 5:7

Notice how the scripture states that the words (teaching/doctrine) of Christ must abide in you. Well, this includes His teaching concerning gaining the whole world and losing your soul (Matt 16:26). It also includes His teaching concerning taking any thought for what we shall eat, or wear (Matt 6:25). These words must first abide in us. We have to live by them. We have to delight in them. We must be manifestations of the word of God.

Not only that but we must also be in Christ (who is the Word of God). To be in Christ means to be filled with Jesus' Spirit. Jesus is the word of God, and if He is in us, and we in Him, that word is written on our hearts and our minds (Heb 10:16). This means that naturally, we will desire to fulfil the word and will of God.

The infilling of the Holy Spirit removes all the worldly lusts for the things and preeminence that this world offers. Nothing in this world can satisfy a son of God. Only the things that please God truly please them. It does not matter if they have spent most of their Christian journey trying to fulfil the lusts of their hearts. They were designed for much more than material and carnal things. They were designed to please God.

What is God pleased with? He was pleased with His son Jesus, who though a King, had no house of his own. Though He made all things, He had to borrow a donkey for transportation. God was pleased with Christ's obedience. He was in the world yet not of it. He did not desire to walk up the hierarchies of this world or the "be somebody". In fact the things that could have made Him great in this world, He hid from the public. He discerned that all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; so He never made His life about the things of the world. He set His attention on ministry.

The working of ministry pleases God! Ministry is focused on the reconciliation of souls to God and the retention of the same. The will of the Father is always concerning the working of ministry. This is why Christ pleased Him; because Christ's food was to please the Father.

If we are in Christ, and His words abide in us then whatsoever we ask we shall receive. We cannot ask God to grant us sin or to fulfil our lusts.

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. - James 4:2-3

Therefore, in answering the scripture from Mark above... let us go to this final scripture.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: - 1 John 5:14

Our prayers must be according to the will of the Father. We cannot pray for anything we desire. It must fall in line with God's will for your life and for those you are praying for. It must fall in line with the working of ministry; because ministry is the will of God.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. - Mark 11:24

Jesus spoke this saying to His disciples. His chosen vessels to minister the word. He was speaking to them as if they had already received the Holy Ghost. He knew that when the Holy Spirit came, their desires would change. They would no longer be selfish, but now their desires will be concerning ministry. What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them. In other words, anything you need from God to win souls/work ministry you can have it. If it is concerning ministry, you may with boldness petition the Father. However, if it is concerning your lust, you are praying amiss.

Does this mean that God cannot grant you natural things? Well of course God can grant us natural things. However, we have no right to anything but to those things He has promised (food and raiment), which we need not take thought for. If you pray material things, it should be offered as a petition unto the Lord. This petition must be free of lust, or any lack of contentment. In addition, you must always have a nevertheless, thy will be done, in your heart and in your mouth.

Focus on a soul today.


Activity: Have you ever prayed for something you knew God would not have granted you? Share the experience with with friends.


This series is based on the book "Discerning Faith", by Mary Banks. Get your copy on Amazon at the link below

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