Is Decreeing an Occultic Practice?

In recent weeks I’ve heard respected teachers speak against decreeing/declaring and prophesying to “see a shift in the atmosphere.”

One teacher called it an “occultic practice.”

I encountered that same claim this past weekend in a firestorm attack on social media. One of the issues surrounded a book I quoted in which the author, Mark Batterson said, “Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray.”

Several commentors seemed to lose the book’s message about praying/decreeing scripture over our families and situations and instead got derailed over an example he used about creating a circle of prayer.

Please stay focused with me. This article is not about Batterson. It is not about prayer circles.

It is about praying, decreeing and prophesying God’s Word over a situation, which some have described as witchcraft and unbiblical.

This is an important issue, which Satan can use to make Christians fearful of using these tools to pray with authority.

One of the detractors stated in his article, “You just won’t find that line of thinking, terminology or practice in the New Testament. ‘Prophesying’ into the atmosphere, causing a ‘shift’ in regions and ‘warring’ in the heavenlies are mystical terms that produce hype in the hearers and nothing in the earth realm. There are no examples of it in the Bible. There is no Scripture for it. New Testament prophets don’t prophesy into the atmosphere. Neither do Old Testament prophets for that matter.”

SEE ALSO: Make Prophetic Declarations over America

Let’s look at his statement, which I feel is dangerous—especially at a time when we need to better understand our power in prayer.

I believe the very thing that we are called to do is to pray, proclaim, decree and prophesy the Word of God into the atmosphere to see a shift. Why do I believe that? Because it is what Jesus did.

The practice is completely biblical and Jesus is our example. In fact, there are numerous examples in both the New Testament and Old Testament. It is one of our greatest weapons of warfare.  

It started in the beginning. When God created the world, He spoke it into existence. He called what was not into being. He decreed it.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said… (Gen 1:1-3a).

God spoke into the atmosphere and it shifted.

Jesus did it as well.

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm (Mark 4:39).

He decreed, commanded, prophesied…whatever verb you want to use. Jesus spoke to the storm—into the atmosphere—and there was a change, a shift.

Before He left, Jesus instructed us to do the works that He did. So by example, we are to also speak, command, and prophesy to the storms whether physical or spiritual.

 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14).

When we pray God’s Word, we are not prophesying according to our own will or desire. We are speaking His words back to Him. His Words are His will.

SEE ALSO: Were All the Prophets Wrong?

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (I Jn 5:14).

What about in Ezekiel 37 when the Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones and speak/decree breath into them? Wasn’t that a similar situation as we live in today? It was to bring life into that which was dead in a nation. Can we not do the same to speak life back into America and call the dry bones to come back to life?

What about the disciples as they shared the Gospel? Many times, they didn’t pray, but decreed and commanded into a situation to cause a shift/change/healing. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

David decreed to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Sam 17:45-47).

He prophesied and proclaimed what was about to take place.

In the book of Job it says,

For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God. You will make your prayer to Him. He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. You will also declare (decree/prophesy) a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways (Job 22:26-28).

I could go on, but clearly there is scriptural precedence for decreeing and prophesying to see a situation or atmosphere shift.

It is part of the weapons of our warfare as a tool of prayer. It is not New Age. It is not an occultic practice. It is biblical and a powerful tool Jesus modeled for us. 

So why do we see so much division in the body of Christ, especially now, over these issues such as prophesy and prayer?

Because Satan is desperately working to diminish and remove them. Without prayer, without understanding the power of His Word, we become a weakened and ineffective Body.

Remember, “the effectual fervent prayer of righteous men/women avails much” (Jas 5:16). Satan, hates it when we pray effectively and fervently. He hated it when Jesus did it. He hates it when we do it.

And so, I have no doubt that this area of division is a tactic to stir confusion and controversy.

The bottom line is praying scripture isn’t witchcraft.

I agree that we must use wisdom when we pray that we are not manipulating a situation—which is witchcraft. However, we are called to pray His Word.

God called those things that are not as though they were. He declared what He saw in the spirit realm and so it was.

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not (Romans 4:17)

This isn’t “name it, claim it.”

This is a tool of spiritual warfare needed in this hour to see God’s will accomplished on the earth. That is our role. To pray. To speak His Word. To decree and prophesy into situations.

What else did He mean when He said,

“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 (Matt 11:23).

Let’s speak to those mountains, the Goliaths, that taunt and flaunt themselves as greater than our God. We are called to decree and prophesy to them…it is up to Him to go from there.

You might be interested in …


  1. To label the verbal declaration of God’s Word(s) over a family, a church, a nation or a situation as being occult is to give evidence of NEVER having understood the Psalms or much of the rest of the Bible! II Corinthins 10:3-4 clearly tells us we have divine weapons with which we are to demolish strongholds and take thoughts captive. That did not mean physically attacking anyone or any ideology! It meant by decreeing God’s Word and supreme authority over a situation! Think about how Jesus and thousands since then have cast demons out of people>? It wasn’t by hitting them! Nor was it by standing nearby and silently lifting a “please, God, deliver them” kind of passive prayer. Having lived for many years in India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and also working in the ghettos of NYC beside David Wilkerson and the Spirit-filled former gang members and addicts, I CAN TELL YOU THE DEVIL ISN’T SILENT ABOUT DECREEING HIS TERRITORY, and neither is the Christian who is intent on decreeing what Jesus gave as an example of prayer: “Kingdom of God, COME! Will of God, be DONE on earth just as it is in Heaven.”

  2. Karen, you are entirely correct. Satan wants to destroy the body of Christ.  Do these individuals have nothing better to do? How about they focus on the Alpha and Omega and not the Delta (COVID19 variant). We have the Armor of God which is prayer and calling out His word. They need to keep the church doors open and actively be leading as many souls to Jesus as possible.  The “time is at hand!” Satan, the liar, is prowling to steal our joy and to destroy us. The finally Victory is Jesus’s!


    Thank you Karen for standing strong on the Rock of truth.


  3. This was a timely word for me. I was becoming confused with all I hear but I do believe we are to decree and declare a thing and it will be done. Thank you Karen

  4. You nailed it. This response is full of clarity and truth. Believers need to know the scriptures and have sharpened discernment more than ever. We stand on the Word of God as our defense!
    Keeping this one in my pocket. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch the Videos, Enjoy and Learn!