Speaking to Peter, Jesus stated, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven” (Mat 16:19). Jesus spoke these same words to all His disciples in Matt. 18:18
For years people have used the concept of these Scriptures in prayer to “decree and declare” or “bind and loose” things/people. I’ve personally witnessed people teach others to utilize this specific language. But is the practice biblical?
Binding and loosing was a Jewish idiom (an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meaning of its words - like “kick the bucket”). Literally the passages above would read, “…whatever you loose on earth shall having 👉🏽been loosed👈🏽 in heaven.”
When translated correctly, these verses show that the apostles were not to “decide” a matter thus binding heaven to their decision, but that their decision was to be in line with what God’s mind was already on the issue. Therefore, the true meaning of to bind and loose is:
**The authority to declare what God’s mind is on a matter of doctrine or practice. It is the authority to carry out the will and decisions of God upon earth as they had already been established in heaven.**
This is what the early Church did in Acts 15. This authority is only valid when used in submission to Christ’s Word or teaching. Any person presently attempting to “bind and loose” things of their own will, is operating outside of the original intent of Jesus’ teaching. This authority was given to the Apostles, not to every single Christian.
We have the Word of God, we can “declare” (make known, announce, proclaim, state, etc) what has been decreed in God’s Word, but it is foolish and erroneous of us to think that heaven will be bound to execute decisions that “we” make. Our responsibility is to declare what God’s mind is on issues according to what is contained in His written Word.
I’m guilty of this practice in my past as well. Research this for yourself. Now that we know better - let’s do better and pray in accordance with God’s will!