Manifestation meets Faith

by Dr. Kristen Barnes-Holiday, Ph.D., Contributing Columnist

 In 2023, we don’t have to look far to hear about or see the word “manifestation.”

Talk show hosts, life coaches, and even social media gurus are consistently regurgitating this word—sometimes recycling definitions and, in other cases, crafting a new lens through which we can consider the term.


However, few people realize that manifestation isn’t new, Westernized, or even an age-old African proverb. Manifestation has roots in faith-based religion. In fact, it’s rooted in the world’s oldest religion, Hinduism. When manifestation is used beneath the umbrella of Hinduism, it entails viewing superior beings (or gods) through a plethora of lenses.

Gods can show up (or manifest) in multiple ways and environments, including through Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu, the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. As K. Largen notes in Finding God Among Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Systematic Theology, there are many manifestations of one universal reality. This makes sense, as Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, consisting of multiple gods or deities.

Even with this, for Christians, manifestation needs faith to survive and ultimately come to fruition. If one is manifesting a better job, a bigger house, or a more purpose-filled life, it is a great idea to start by putting those desires into the universe. And honestly, my plan of action would be to communicate my desires to the Lord first and foremost.

Manifestation, albeit spiritual manifestation.

Through the lens of Christianity, manifestation ONLY works if faith is a close bystander. Imagine wanting something desperately and putting this wish into the universe without a plan of action, expecting that greatness will fall into your lap just because you verbalized a wish. Spiritual manifestation places faith at the nucleus and thereafter activates our plan of action. Faith is grown folks’ security blanket. The formula is simple: I believe. I pray. Therefore, I know (or at least feel some ease from not knowing). Matthew 21:22 reminds us that, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Haven’t we all experienced the truth that lay in this Bible verse?

Manifestation is an art. A skillful art. Not long ago, I heard an oldie but goodie from Iyanla Vanzant’s affirmation series. She said: “I have the power to manifest my deepest desires.” And she’s right, we all do! But keeping this affirmative statement front and center, I’d start the activation process first—pray—then manifest whatever your heart desires. And don’t stop praying. Ever.

Manifestation meets faith in the most beautiful way that’s nearly incomprehensible. Go along and manifest and pray simultaneously. Until next time…

Love and blessings.

Dr. Kristen Barnes-Holiday, Ph.D. is a professor of English at Wayne County Community College District, a second-year divinity student at Duke University, and a Christian blogger. In addition, she is a teacher, preacher, and lifelong student of the Word of Jesus Christ.

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