Blog has moved, searching new blog...

Friday, March 19, 2010

What is Soaking Prayer?

By Justin Edwards

Another form of mystical prayer is called soaking prayer. It is a meditative practice that has no biblical foundation. If you hear this term in your church, it should serve as a red flag that something is amiss, and your church is heading down the heretical mystical pathway - Emergence Christianity loves this stuff. The following articles from Got Questions and Lighthouse Trails Research explain further:

Question: "What is soaking prayer?"

Answer: Since the 1990s there has been an increased focus on mysticism within various segments of Christianity. Bordering on the esoteric, these mystical experiences broaden the division between a "factual faith" and a "felt faith," and threaten to replace sound biblical teaching with emotion-driven response. Soaking prayer is one such mystical activity. It is described as resting in God's presence. This is accomplished by playing some gentle worship songs, either sitting or lying down, and praying short, simple prayers for an extended period of time, but otherwise keeping your mind free of other thoughts. At the point when you sense God's presence through some type of manifestation like tingling skin, a sensation of heat or cold, or even a gentle wind seemingly blowing through your body, you are to just "soak" in that presence.

Although that might sound a little strange to some, it does not immediately come across as being necessarily bad. However, the rule by which we measure our experiences in life is the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and when soaking prayer is examined accordingly, we find that it comes up wanting for biblical support. Nowhere in the Bible can a model of prayer be found that soaking prayer follows.

Prayer in its simplest form in the Bible is calling on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26), and in each instance where it is found in Scripture, it is descriptive of communicating with God. Soaking prayer starts that way, but quickly devolves into a trance-like meditative state. This is when soaking prayer ceases to be biblical and becomes more like a New Age practice or something an adherent of Hinduism would participate in.

There is no denying that experiencing the presence of God can be powerful and life changing. It is not the goal of soaking prayer that is biblically off base; it is its methodology. Soaking prayer focuses on obtaining a spiritual high by seeking out the presence of God through mystical exercises. In this it is very similar to ”contemplative prayer” and contemplative spirituality, which are equally unbiblical. Biblical prayer is talking to God with His will in mind (1 John 5:14). A biblically praying believer already understands that God's presence is always with him (Psalm 139:7; Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:14), and he doesn’t need to experience any type of physical sensation to prove it.


And more on soaking prayer from Lighthouse Trails Research:

A Form of Contemplative Prayer

"Soaking prayer is a modern form of contemplative prayer ... People put themselves in an attitude of stillness, focusing on Jesus and open to the Holy Spirit but with no requests or agenda. The aim is to be still in God’s presence, "waste time with Jesus.". The Toronto church sees soaking prayer as one of the main ways in which they encourage people to be open to the Holy Spirit." "SOAKING PRAYER" by Roger Harper

(the same as contemplative or soaking prayer)
Ray Yungen

Kundalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies their spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power. Philip St. Romain, a substance abuse counselor and devout Catholic lay minister, began his journey while practicing contemplative prayer or resting in the still point, as he called it. What happened to him following this practice should bear the utmost scrutiny from the evangelical community-especially from our leadership. Having rejected mental prayer as "unproductive" he embraced the prayer form that switches off the mind, creating what he described as a mental passivity. What he encountered next underscores my concern with sobering clarity. Read more .... Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality

Physical Symptoms and a Demonic Realm

Physical symptoms, which can include things like a tingling sensation, that occur during Soaking Prayer are similar to those experienced during the Kundalini experience, and both are dangerous and can take the practitioner into a demonic realm.

* * * * * * *

"Some of these phenomena are obvious: weeping, cries, exuberant and prolonged expressions of praise, shaking, trembling, calmness, bodily writhing and distortions, falling over (sometimes referred to as 'being slain in the Spirit'), laughter and jumping. Other phenomena are more subtle: slight trembling, fluttering of the eyelids, faint perspiring, a sheen on the face, ripples on the skin, deep breathing..." Wimber also said that people sometimes experience a sense of heaviness or tiredness, weeping or drunkenness." "SOAKING PRAYER" by Roger Harper

Kent Philpott

"Some leaders get tingling in their hands, some have their hands get warm when healing is about to occur, some feel "power surges" going through their bodies. Some claim that they see a person's "aura" when soaking a person in prayer. Soaking means pouring out lots of prayer over a person, often with laying on of hands and/or passing the hands over a person. It is reminiscent of what is called "Therapeutic Touch" [Reiki] practiced by new age and alternative medicine enthusiasts. People who believe in soaking prayer get the sense that power is passing through their bodies and actually helping to bring healing, comfort and love. And those who are soaking someone testify that they feel waves coming from the person or going toward the person being prayed for. Certainly something may be felt or experienced, however, is it the Holy Spirit?" TORONTO BLESSING: CHRISTIAN-BASED MAGIC? by Kent Philpott

To fully understand soaking prayer, it is necessary to understand contemplative prayer and its relation to the occult and Hinduism. Read A Time of Departing


  1. I've been doing "soaking prayer in my home for quite a while. I had no idea it had a name. I could care less about the sensations in my body, what it looks like, or how non-believers offer false worship to false gods that don't exist anyway.

    I am sitting, worshiping and praising God and inviting Him to just hang out with me for awhile because I need him. I tithe, fast, pray, evangelize and help further the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every way that presents itself to me, but that time is just for me and God. I want Him around me. I NEED Him to be around me in a way I can recognize, so I get alone with him. I'm not telling anyone else how to do that. That's how I do it.

    David tended sheep alone and spent his time singing, playing and worshiping God. While he was our there doing what you guys call "heresy", he wrote some of the most beautiful love songs and passionate prayers to God we'll ever encounter. That's all this thing you guys call "soaking prayer" is, worship, prayer and reading the Word. You can try to make it some voodoo, mumbo-jumbo if you want. I just want to be like David. I want to be "a man after Gods own HEART", not the man doing the most work, or getting everything right according to the expectations of other men. I want God's heart and my heart to stay the same heart. That takes spending time together just because we love each other with no agenda.

  2. Hi Anon, thanks for the comment. There is nothing in Scripture to indicate David practiced this mysticism as described in the articles above.

    The question for you is: are you repeating prayers with controlled breathing in order to reach an altered state of consciousness? Perhaps what you believe to be soaking prayer is not actually soaking prayer according to the definition.

    Spending quiet time with God does not and should not equate to mysticism.


You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...