Law of Attraction doesn’t work for most people for the same reason prayer doesn’t for its practitioners. The former, just as the latter, is based on an assumption that the universe, or God, is benevolent and generous.
The Law of Attraction or, as it is known in the Bible, the Law of Believing and, sometimes, the Law of Asking and Receiving, all refer to the same law. In fact, you can find some form of this law described in virtually every culture and religion.
The Law of Attraction has its roots in quantum physics. Simply put, the law states that your thoughts dictate your reality. Like everything else, thoughts are made up energy waves that attract like energies in return. Positive thoughts, for example, operate at higher energy or vibrational frequencies. So, when you think positive thoughts, you both broadcast and receive, or attract, positive results. Conversely, negative thoughts vibrate at lower energy frequencies. When your thoughts are charged with negativity, you get negative results.
Essentially, Saint Paul pointed to this same spiritual law in his Letter to the Philippians. Although he knew nothing of either quantum physics or the Law of Attraction per se, he wrote: “I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” (Phil. 4:8-9).
The Law of Attraction operates in this world with as much reliability as the Law of Gravity. The former is a spiritual law, the latter a physical. While neither can be seen with the naked eye, their effects are witnessed and even somewhat predictable. For example, the Law of Gravity makes it possible to predict with uncanny certainty what will happen if you leap from the fifty-fourth floor of high-rise in Manhattan. The Law of Attraction makes it possible to predict the kind of life you will live by the kind of thoughts you think.
The Law of Gravity makes possible life on this planet. But, it’s also the law that brings down a plane whenever there’s a loss of power. There’s an equally unattractive side to the Law of Attraction, at least where the ego is involved. Some practitioners of this law, for example, make the mistake of believing it guarantees that, whatever they want and are willing to give their undivided attention, they will get. They believe that, if they hold the thought of what they want in their minds with resoluteness and have no doubt whatsoever, what they want is on its way.
But, this is not so, which is why the Law of Attraction doesn’t work for most people.
Just as no Christian can use prayer or the words “In Jesus’ name” to get anything he or she wants, you cannot use the Law of Attraction to land a career, the house of your dreams, the ideal career, the income you desire, and so on. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life or your life situation, whenever ambition is driven by ego, then the desires usually become self-serving, self-centered and self-obsessed. Neither God nor God’s laws can be so manipulated.
Whenever your ego is present, and it is present more often than it is not, the Law of Attraction is interrupted. That is, it is corrupted and the law ceases to operate as you might desire. The same happens to the efficacy of prayer when those who pray do so in an attempt to manipulate reality.
James, author of a New Testament book that bears his name, understood this. While he did not know to use the words ego or Law of Attraction, he was well acquainted with the realities beneath and beyond those terms. He wrote, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives. He might have put it this way: “When you want something and believe you’ll get it, either through prayer or focused thinking, but you do not receive it, there’s a simple reason why: it is because your wanting and craving is only for yourself” (James 4:3).
This is another way of saying that your ego has gotten in the way.
What does this mean? How can you be certain that both the Law of Attraction and prayer will work for you? Keep your ego in check. This is tricky because the ego is clever and crafty. In whatever you want, assume the ego is present. Look for it and, when you see and acknowledge its presence, that’s enough to bring it under control. No need to obsess over it or make a problem out of the ego. It is present in all of us. The recognition of it, however, is the key to overcoming it. Once its power and control over your desires is released, what you desire you will manifest. What you ask in prayer, you will receive.
I’ve written extensively on these matters. If you’d like to receive an email whenever I post or blog about spiritual things, follow me on Twitter and I'll send you and everyone else a notice when the book hits the market – spring, 2010. It's entitled, The Enoch Factor: Sacred Art of Knowing God.