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Dr. D. K. Olukoya

Deuteronomy 8:18:“But thou shall remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”

In the foregoing, the Bible talks about power to prosper. It is a good thing to talk about prosperity and to preach about it. But the subject of prosperity must be balanced with the subject of holiness so that after we have prospered, we would not go to hell fire.

Psalm 84:11 says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Our God is clothed in glory and there is no reason why His children should wear rags; it does not make sense. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: the world and they that dwell therein.” If God owns the earth and the fullness thereof, and I am His son, I must prosper. All the money in the world belongs to our heavenly Father. If you don’t have your own share of it now, perhaps somebody is keeping it for you, waiting for you to grow up before handing it over to you. But you will surely get it. The time has actually come for unbelievers to be removed from the positions of power, so that the gospel can prosper. Allowing them to be in control of the economy would certainly hinder the course of the gospel.

There are many people that have the keys of poverty in their hands and until they drop them, there is absolutely nothing God can do to help them. God has so designed His plans that He places first things first. A lot of people claim that Abraham’s blessings are theirs, the question is, will they allow God to run them through what He made Abraham to go through? Abraham first became a friend of God. He was righteous, he had faith and then God blessed him. Nowadays, people want to do it the other way round. They want money first. They want to be comfortable first before they serve the Lord. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Anybody that cannot serve the Lord when he or she is poor will not be able to serve Him when he or she gets rich.

Let us look at the twenty keys of poverty. If you have these keys in your hands, you need to pray hard to drop them so that you do not labour in vain. Sometimes, what you think is a big problem is a small one. You must have sweated before discovering that it was just a simple thing you needed to drop for your life to be overflowing with blessings.


1. Stinginess: Proverbs 11: 24 says, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” Stinginess leads to poverty. This is where God’s mathematics is different from our own mathematics. It is more logical to keep money, hoard it, or pile it up to become rich. But God’s law says that he that scatters increases, but he that withholds, gets poor.

A certain man was on a salary of Five hundred naira and was paying Fifty naira as tithe per month. After some time, God blessed him and he started earning Five thousand naira per month and as such, he had to pay Five hundred naira for tithe every month. This man went to the pastor and said he needed counselling. The pastor asked him why he needed counselling and he said that five hundred naira was too much for him to pay as tithe every month because he felt that it could buy so many things. The pastor said, “No problem sir, let me pray that God should return you to your former income so that you will be able to pay fifty naira which you can afford.”

A lot of Christians treat God as if He is an errand boy who they give tips. God is not also a beggar. He does not need your alms. If you are reading this message and you are still stingy, stop it because the Bible says that a stingy person is cursed. The key to receiving is giving. Anyone who does not give is like a Dead Sea. The problem of a Dead Sea is that it does not give out, it keeps everything inside and so, it stinks because it is not refreshed.

2. Loving sleep: Proverb 20: 13 says, “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” If you want God to prosper you, and you still wake up every morning with the help of an alarm clock, something is wrong. Students who would love to excel above their colleagues will not love sleep. How can a Christian sleep for 12 hours a day? Such kind of believer needs deliverance from the key of sleep.

3. Loving vain persons: Proverbs 28:19 says, “He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.” When a person is constantly found in the company of unserious people and those who don’t work hard, such a person would put himself into poverty.

4. Laziness: Many Christians are very lazy. Instead of them to pray for ideas that would fetch them money, they would fold their hands and keep saying, “O God, we are looking at your face.” Anybody who is spiritually lazy cannot get anywhere with God. If you are lazy physically, you will not get on well as well. The Christian journey is not a journey for the lazy ones.

5. Mocking the poor: Proverb 17: 5 says, “Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker; and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” People who are fond of making mockery of the poor and laughing them to scorn shall receive the wrath of God. Don’t say, “Me, I am not in your category. I am made of a better stuff. I wear only expensive clothes and not these cheap stuff that you people wear.” If you have you ever looked at somebody created by God and said things like, “I don’t mix up with riff raffs like you,” you have mocked the poor and reproached their Maker. You did not create them. You did not decide on your own whom was going to be your parents before you were born. They too had no choice. If children had choice of parents, you would not see twins at the middle of the market with their mothers begging for bread. Mocking them is reproaching God. Sisters who tell their husbands things like, “You are a useless man. You are not like that man over there that has just bought a new fridge. You are just wasting time, you are a useless man,” are mocking the poor and are reproaching his Maker who will not take it kindly with them.

6. Failure in tithes and offerings: Malachi 3: 8-10 says, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Failure in tithes and offerings is a strong key to poverty. When you give God your tithes and offerings, don’t sit down like a businessman who said, “O God, I have just paid ten thousand naira to you and that means that you have to give me hundred thousand back. God, do you understand?” In this case, you are doing business, you are not giving. It must be willingly and cheerfully given. Believers don’t borrow their tithes. If you borrow your tithe, you must pay twenty per cent on top by the time that you are bringing it back. Ten per cent is just the minimum that God wants you to bring to His house. It is different from the offerings, which you must give to God. Failure to do that would amount to God not opening you the windows of haven and pouring you out a blessing. Many believers are labouring under this curse without knowing. They always say, “I pray all the prayer points, I did all the things that should be done and yet nothing.” The question is, are you faithful in paying your tithe?

7. Not contributing to the Lord’s work: Haggai 1: 6-8 says, “You have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.”

Anytime there is something to be done in the church and pledges are taken, please don’t be left out even if it is only ten kobo that you can afford, Put something down for the Lord for He sees your heart provided you have done according to your ability. Not contributing to the Lord’s work is like watching your father’s business go down and you feel unconcerned about it. It is this attitude that makes foolish Christian leaders to print harvest pamphlets and envelopes and distribute them to lodge members because they want money. The harvest that Jesus was talking about was the harvest of souls, not the harvest of yam and plantain and bazaar, which is really fraudulent in the house of God. It is wrong to put down a tuber of yam that someone bought for ten naira and to start ringing bell for someone to buy it for more.

8. Giving to God in small measures: God measures your giving by the amount you have for yourself and not by the amount you give. Jesus said that that widow contributed more than everybody did because she put all that she had. It is a pleasure when God gives you something and you are able to give it back to Him. Luke 6: 38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

9. Engaging in the wrong business: Luke 5: 4 – 6 says, “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake...” The man who has prosperity was there, and when Peter failed, he told him what to do. When Peter saw what Jesus did, he was astonished, and those who were with him. In verse 10, Jesus said unto Simon, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shall catch men.” This means that Peter was supposed to be catching men but he was busy catching fish and was not successful. Even when Jesus died, he went back to fishing and still did not catch anything- John 21: 3-6.

10. Not caring for ministers of God: Mathew 10: 41 says, “He that receiveth a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” Ministers of God are not meant to be begging people for money. They are not supposed to be commercial ministers like it is these days. But the church of God is meant to look after its ministers.

11. Not giving to the poor: Proverbs 28: 27 says, “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” Giving to the poor helps you to have abundance.

12. The curse of poverty: Galatians 3: 13-14 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…” The curse of the law includes poverty, disease and death.

13. Ignorance: Hosea 4: 6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Some believers are ignorant of God’s provisions for their lives. Some people who claim to be living by faith tell lies because they are living by begging. Ignorance concerning the keys of prosperity or keys to success would lead to poverty. Ignorance is the major cause of human failure in many endeavours.

14. Pride: Some people feel that they are too big to do some jobs whereas they have no job. They would say, “This is not the kind of job for university graduates. I cannot do it.” They then begin to walk about the street jobless. They always forget that God takes a little thing and then multiplies it. This is why rich illitrate men employ many university graduates today; yet they do not want to do the kind of jobs that those illiterate men did before they became rich. They feel that they are too big to begin business in a little dirty way. God will deliver all those who have the spirit of pride in them, in Jesus’ name.

15. Ostentatious living: Some people like showing off. As soon as they collect their salary, the people they brought things from would be waiting to collect their money. They want to look better than everybody does and so they keep paying debts.

16. Rigidity: When a person refuses to leave a closed business, he will suffer.

17. Discouragement: A lot of people give up so soon. Once they fail at first attempt, they give up. Some believe that they will fail even before they start; they have programmed their minds to failure. When the failure eventually comes, they will say, “I knew that it would not work.” The spirit of discouragement, the spirit of the loser and the spirit of the tail are all the same thing.

18. Lack of good counselling: A lot of people go into things without counselling and they do not ask for God’s direction. This leads to failure.

19. Engaging in secret sins: Sin hinders blessings. They stop God from working. As a believer, if you have some sins that you are committing secretly, you have the key of poverty in your hands.

20. Demonic activities: The major factors responsible for the poverty of black people in this environment are demonic activities.

God is a good Father who cares for His children and listens to them. He is always ready to hear us when we cry unto Him and satisfies our needs. He is not against us having money but does not want money to have us. You can have money as far as money does not have you, and does not get into your head. One man of God said that a man is rich by what he has left after all his money has been removed. Money can either be good or bad because a bad man’s money will do bad things and a good man’s money will do good things. A bad man will use his money for the kingdom of satan while a good man will use his money for the kingdom of God. If however you have money and you don’t control it in accordance to God’s will, it will control you and lead your soul to hell. Roman 12: 1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Your consecration to the Lord is the basic requirement for God’s blessings. Have you presented yourself holy to the Lord? Sacrifices have no power over the priest. We cannot sacrifice money to the Lord and His work if we ourselves are not sacrificed. Judas thought he was doing a good thing when he threw Jesus into the hands of those who would kill Him. He did not know what he was doing but the men who wanted Jesus knew what they were doing. He collected his thirty shekels of silver without knowing that he was fulfilling an evil prophecy. He thought that Jesus would overcome His captors by His mighty power. He was surprised to see Him following them like a sheep. The money became useless and he threw it back at those who gave it to him.

Luke 16: 13 says, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” In the foregoing, mammon is personified and treated as an idol. It is treated like another god. The Bible says that you cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon. The word "cannot" means impossibility. You may work for two masters but you can serve only one.


Mammon is that demon power that controls money. It is the devil’s salesman. It is the power behind those who sell charms, witchcraft materials and do all kinds of things to make men sell their souls for money. Also, mammon spirit distribute spirits of poverty to attack human race particularly Christians. It is the demon that controls greediness, selfishness, poverty and financial bankruptcy. Many Christians have to defeat mammon in their lives. They have to bind the power and spirit of mammon. It is an evil spiritual power that grips men and enslaves them through money. It is the spirit that is working in the world and has made so many people to become slaves to money. We must deal this satanic force that enslaves men and women through money.

Your attitude towards money reveals your attitude towards God. If you are always ready to tell lies because of money, you cannot be a friend of God. So, your attitude towards money is very important if you want God to give you prosperity. The reason God sometimes does not give a person too much money is because He has seen some things in that person. He knows that giving such a person plenty of money would mean giving him a straight ticket to hellfire. No wonder Paul describes the love of money as the root of all evil. Whether you are poor or rich, it is either you are ruling money or money is ruling you. Poverty does not free one from the rulership of money. It will turn both poor and rich men to thieves. The love of money is what makes drivers of commercial vehicles to be involved in accidents most of the time. It makes people to drink terrible concoctions; it makes human beings to kill one another. Many will engage in the accumulation of money and forget their souls. Some will prefer to run their businesses on Sundays instead of coming to church. There are people who commit adultery in order to make money. The money of affliction and sin will lead to more problems.

Some people can die because of money. Some can spoil the lives of their children because of money. It is also the same reason many sisters marry the wrong men. They want good cars, expensive perfumes from Paris, expensive shirts and ties. Even when you ask them to go and pray, they will not regard it as important.

It is very bad to overestimate the power of money. Sometimes wealthy people are shocked to discover that there are things that money cannot purchase. And strangely too, poor people always imagine that once they have money, everything would be okay.

True riches are spiritual and it involves your being conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. You need to deliver your money from the world. You need to deliver your money from your ownself. If you are controlling your money or the world is controlling your money for you, it means that you have not submitted yourself to God. If you give God what you cannot feel, then you make Him a beggar. The best bank is in heaven. God cannot force you to part with your money. The money you are dying for had been in the world before you were born. When God says, give, He is just giving you a privilege, and so, don’t misuse that privilege. Don’t be like Solomon who spent thirteen years building his own house and seven years to build God’s house. Don’t be a slave to money with money. God loves a cheerful giver. What people call money carries a lot of heavy load. A dirty currency note represents both blood and toil. It is frightening because it can serve or destroy man. Only God knows the secret of how many hands the money you are holding has passed through. Only God knows the evil or the good the notes have done since the moment they were printed. The money will not speak so it will never tell you all that is hidden it. Many people would have died because of that note you are holding. Many might have killed themselves for it. Many might have fought to possess it for a few hours, or to use it for a little pleasure and joy. That money might have fed a baby; it might have provided food for a family or books for education. But at the same time, it might have sent a letter breaking an engagement. It might have been used for abortion fees. It might have bought alcohol to create a drunkard. It might have bought dirty films or might have been used to record an indecent song. It might have been used for good or bad. This is why we must always pray on our money. This is the secret behind the power of mammon to trap people.

Many Christians are holding too tight to the money that have passed through so many things instead of giving it back to God. You must understand that God does not want us to be poor. But the keys to poverty must be dropped. Understand that God gave you whatsoever you have now and you must give it back to Him. If you refuse to do that, He would look for people who will give it back to Him and bless them. Therefore, be wise.


1. O God, locate and revive my divine potentials, in the name of Jesus.
2. I break every curse of poverty, in the name of Jesus.
3. You spirit of poverty, be bound, in the name of Jesus.
4. I bind the spirit drinking the blood of my blessing, in Jesus’ name.
5. O Lord, create profitable opportunities for me, in the name of Jesus.
6. O God, if my job or business needs changing, change it for me, in Jesus’ name.
7. O God, reveal the secret of spiritual prosperity to me, in the name of Jesus.
8. All my stolen blessings, be returned to me, in the name of Jesus.
9. I refuse to inherit the spirit of poverty, in the name of Jesus.