The flaw in the new-age law of attraction, prayers for supplications, and gospel of prosperity

Matthew 7:7-12. Ask and it will be given to you

“Ask and it will be given to you.”

I confess: I was a sucker for the new-age version of the so-called “law of attraction” (LOA). The “ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find…” verses have been used to justify LOA’s claim that a person merely has to think and intend good thoughts to manifest a good reality.

This is dangerous, because it places the burden of good things happening mostly on the “universe” or a Higher Power. I also disagree with the perspective that faith (without action) alone can save. (Enter irresponsible Christian anti-vaxxers claiming that faith in God alone is sufficient to eliminate the coronavirus! I’d much rather prefer the interpretation that God granted grace, intelligence, and wisdom to our medical doctors to come up with reasonably good vaccines against COVID-19!)

When we pray for supplications, I find it inauthentic to say: Lord, bring me success! Is it God’s responsibility to spoonfeed us so we can flourish? It’s more authentic to pray: Lord, if you will it, please grant me the wisdom and fortitude to overcome this challenge. Miracles happen through God’s mercy; but they are extraordinary, i.e., not normal. It is irresponsible to abandon personal agency and test God by burdening Him with removing our struggles.

A strong faith is an active faith; thoughts manifested through concrete works. Intelligent and reasonable insights validated through responsible action. The new-age law of attraction underplays the role of action in manifesting good intentions.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.”

Put another way:

“Love your neighbor.”

The golden rule is a way to operationalize the new commandments of Jesus through concrete actions.

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 69: MARCH 10, 2022]

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