Prosperity and Wealth

Prosperity is defined as “advance or gain in any thing good or desirable; successful progress in any business or enterprise; success; attainment of the object desired; as the prosperity of arts; agricultural or commercial prosperity; national prosperity Our disposition to abuse the blessings of providence renders prosperity dangerous.”
  To prosper is defined as “to succeed in an enterprise or activity, especially to achieve economic success; to become strong and flourishing.” Synonyms for to prosper include burgeon, flourish, and thrive.
  Wealth is defined as “prosperity; external happiness; riches; large possessions of money, goods or land; that abundance of worldly estate which exceeds the estate of the greater part of the community; affluence; opulence.”
  Two other definitions for wealth, weal and welfare, are now considered obsolete: Weal is defined as “a sound, healthy, or prosperous state.” Welfare was originally defined as “the state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity.”—Webster’s American Dictionary

Today, prosperity is being “successful in material terms; flourishing financially; wealth and success.” According to its Latin root, the verb prosperus simply means “doing well.”
  Wealth is “abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; abundant supply; all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value; all material objects that have economic utility.”—The Oxford English Dictionary Note that these modern definitions are strictly materialistic.

“The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.”—Proverbs 1:32.

What does “doing well” mean today? The poverty threshold is relative to the economy of the nation under study. Total US government estimated spending for 2021 is $8.16 trillion, including a budgeted $4.83 trillion federal, a “guesstimated” $2.03 trillion state, and a “guesstimated” $2.1 trillion local.1

The Great Depression, which began with the U.S. stock market crash of October 29, 1929, grew to be worldwide and lasted until the beginning of WWII in 1939. Very few persons who directly experienced the unemployment and poverty of that era survive today. However the U.S. economy has been plagued with lesser economic recessions, financial Ponzi schemes, and industry-focused bubbles that caused downturns, some major, in the economy.

The so-called Middle Class, which grew up in the boom decades of the post-war era, has suffered extreme erosion due to outsourcing of American jobs, and increases in costs for just about everything a family or individual needs, coupled with stagnant income and few if any raises. Jobs that needed only a high school diploma required a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in the final decades of the 20th Century. Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers.2

Someone from the doom and gloom crowd is always preaching the gospel of the Next Big Crash, but no one knows when that will happen, soon or at all. AsRobert Baden-Powell, a wise man, wrote the Scout Motto: Be prepared, which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty. If you are rich as Midas, you probably will never land on this page, but if you are financially strapped, pressed to make ends meet, unemployed or underemployed, on a fixed income, frugal, or of modest means seeking more, read on.

Edna Lister lived through the Great Depression as a single mother with two sons to raise. She understood all the problems attendant to that situation in life, and at a time when no social safety net programs existed. She struggled and created a legacy of faith, love, and hope that includes this site, The Via Christa. During the entire decade of the 1930s, she gave talks on prosperity and a prospering consciousneess weekly. You will be able to find links to her outlines for them below, as they are readied for publication. Besides prosperity, we include the other Great Depression terms used to describe financial needs: abundance, increase, plenty, riches, security, supply, and wealth. We treat the topics of money, success, and prosperity separately.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”—Matthew 6:33.

1^ Source: "What is the Spending on Welfare?"

2^ Source: "A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2020", Student Loan Hero, accessed March 27, 2021. The most recent data (January 27, 2021) indicate: $1.71 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt. 44.7 million Americans with student loan debt. Defaults were halted as part of the pandemic relief measures — prior to the pandemic, 11.1% of student loans were 90 days or more delinquent or are in default. Monthly student loan payments were halted as part of the pandemic relief measures — prior to the repayment moratorium, the average payment was $300.

— Linda Mihalic, Via Christa editor

Creating Your Own Success and Wealth

Edna Lister lecture transcript; January 27, 1933, Tacoma, Washington. Scribe: Clarissa A. Watkins.

Declare with me, “This is God’s perfect hour for me.” You can live your whole life like this if you live only one hour at a time. Remember, “Lord, don’t let me miss any opportunity today.” Also, think to yourself, “I’m a wealth magnet!”

Let us now hold up everyone on our lines of responsibility. See them at the heart of a perfect radiant sun center of Light. In this you may abide and rest. Open your mind to receive inspiration and revelation, your heart to be filled with understanding. You are ready to receive the answer to your prayer, the solution to your problem. You are opening your eyes to see that open door to service which belongs to you, your place to fill full of love. You have opened your eyes to see, your ears to hear, and soon you shall receive in great measure, pressed down. and running over to share with the world.

How to create your success and your wealth: the five points I shall present depend absolutely upon your ability to separate yourself from the idea of time, knowing that it is always now. If you live now in absolute perfection, as if God were walking with you, you shall have no need to worry about the future, for it will unfold. People make five mistakes in manifesting the visible from the invisible: The greatest thing to know is that God will provide for you if you serve Him. If you see perfection everywhere, only the perfectly good can return to you. If you look at imperfection, it will return to you in your life of relationships with family and affairs. Five steps are necessary in actually creating, or in manifesting form from the invisible reality.

Will is a God-given mental faculty, which you use as will-power. The first step in manifesting form is concentration, the purely mental effort you make to focus your will-power to attain your goal. However, you can concentrate on only one thing at a time, so when you concentrate on manifesting supply, you cannot be doing anything else. Raise your hands to surrender to God’s Light-as-Power, send forth love, and speak the Word, which sends the Power directly to where it is needed. I concentrate on only one thing—my surrender to the Light as God's instrument. As I speak the Word to release that Power, “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”—John 14:10. Not I, but the Father, the Power, goes forth and does the work.

In doing this, you are filled with a flaming glory, with the power of love, surrounded with a pillar of fiery glory, radiating light. The Power goes forth in all your affairs, the rent is paid, debts are paid, you can pay everyone you owe. This opens doors to every avenue of income. If you want wealth and success, you must take others with you, the people who owe and those who are in need. You have to lift all people and be universal in your treatments for them if you are to succeed.

Declare, “The spirit of the Lord goeth before me making clear and easy the way.” Those whom you lift are definitely inspired, filled with ideas of abundance, so successful that they want to pay out money. You have to climb above the emotional and mental need to send out love. It takes concentration to keep your eye on sending the Power forth, and not on your conditions. So concentrate continuously on one thing, and if you concentrate on surrender to the Power, your eye will be single and your whole body filled with light. The single eye approach to releasing Power fulfills the law of love instantly.

Visualization: Christian Larson asked me, “What are you seeing? Don’t be so satisfied about giving away your last cent. If you see an empty, yawning cavity, an empty purse, and give it away, you will always have an empty purse, because you’ll never have anything you don’t see.” Now picture an image of a $100.00 bill in your wallet, see your wallet and purse full of them. Use your imagination to visualize them where they are not, but will be. To make visualization work best, picture images on a large scale, like the barrel of meal that wasted not, and the cruse of oil that never failed or diminished.

See all your own wallets and purses full first, then fill everyone else’s pockets with invisible bills. By giving these bills from the invisible to the visible, you increase your own abundance. Always give that which you really want to have come to you. At night, visualize putting this money into someone else’s hand or pocket. Fill his pockets full to overflowing with these bills. Don’t ask for money, but thank God that you already have it.

You can make every cent, every dollar, every bill you handle pay dividends, if when you pay it out, you say to yourself, “Thank God I have this $25 to give,” then see yourself giving $50, because you will receive the returns on what you see, and if you give graciously and gladly, and double the amount, you will receive dividends on what you see yourself paying. When you receive bills to be paid, say, “Thank God that this is a sign that I will have ample money.” Anyone will have sufficient supply, if he will live according to the law to bring it to pass.

You are lending money with every bill you pay and it will return to you a thousandfold. Always declare that you will receive twice as much as you need, thereby giving yourself a prosperity treatment. Make it a prosperity treatment every time you pay out money, be it ever so small an amount. Make everything pay you dividends.

You must rise to the point where you are not afraid to accept money. Do not be indifferent to money, but enthusiastic. Only those souls who have someone else furnishing the money for them say, “I’m absolutely indifferent to money, I don’t need it,” because somebody has to provide it. It is just as wrong to over-emphasize money as it is to under-emphasize it—a middle course is best, where you accept it at its right valuation and in the right place. Wealth is not just money but is the wealth of the universe and takes its rightful place if you neither over- nor underestimate its importance. You cannot escape the need for money at this stage of evolution. You have to use the coin of the realm, and not over-emphasize money.

When I was younger, I felt that perhaps I couldn’t be trusted with money. When praying, after asking for money, I said, “Now God, don’t let me have it if You think it isn’t the right thing for me.” I should have said, “God of all that is, fill me with the courage to succeed, the steadfastness to stand, the vision to hold myself to these laws of life. Keep my eyes single upon the truth and pour out the wealth of the universe to me. Keep my eyes open, let it pass through my hands freely because nothing of the world can hold me back from success.” Universal substance is always available to draw upon for your needs. This universal substance includes other things besides money—well-being, health, and shelter as well. No man can touch even a fraction of a vibration that belongs to another—it can’t be done.

God gave you a certain amount of substance, named and numbered with your soul’s identification number, to bring into manifestation, an account to draw on, and to create with, but you have to bring it from the invisible into outer forms. You have not yet begun to draw on your supply. Countersign the blank check on the invisible substance in your account; use the ink of the magnetic currents of the earth that cause things to move. Praise God and make an added effort to put these truths to the test. Surrender absolutely to this power of love that goes forth and does the work for you when you let it.

Surrender to the power, tend and watch it. Then while concentrating on the power of love, speak the Word to send it to whatever imbalance needs correcting, and the power will do the work. Just focus on the idea of surrender to this power of the invisible substance of love, and make the demand, “Release this power of love through me.” Then get busy and release more and more love, praise God, and the invincible law of Almighty God will work.

It is impossible to help people using mental commands, for that is forcing your will and desire on them, and will cause a reaction. You must work from the realm of spirit in prayer and speaking the Word. You must do most of your prayer silently, even with children. Praise a recalcitrant child to his face for the good qualities he does exhibit. Raise your hands, see a circle of fire about him, and say, “Name, you are filled with the power of love. You are perfect, whole and complete, doing the will of God, filled with this wholeness, completeness, perfection.” Then ask God to melt this block of ice. It all depends on how much love you will pour out upon the situation.

The question was asked: If I have to pay out $50 at a given time but no one owes me anything and I have no known way of having it on hand, what shall I do? Answer: Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. Keep on working with these laws and you will reach the place where your only question will be, “How is God going to open the door?” Declare, “I am working in the Light of God, and I am shod with the Light of God as I walk earth today. I thank Thee, Father, that I already have everything I need through the grace of Thy glory. Let it become visible now,” and according to your faith, so shall it be done to you.

Praise God twenty-four hours a day, praising Him that you already have what you need, are letting it become visible, and you will be freed from need. “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.”—Isaiah 45:2-3.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of prosperity: “doing well,” from Latin prosperus “doing well.”

Note: We owe a debt of gratitude to the enthusiastic and determined efforts of Clarissa A. Watkins, who rendered her shorthand notes into a typed manuscript, found among Edna Lister’s personal papers. In a typed note, she wrote, “To our Most Glorious Leader, Edna Lister: Here are my typed up notes, and please do forgive the delay. We all believe that we should publish as many of your lectures as you will permit. No one has ever brought such a message to earth. Please accept this humble offering of service, C.A.W.”


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Edition 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Webster, Noah. “Prosperity,” Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

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