Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 1

I’ve been trying to discipline myself to do “soaking prayer” for many months now.  Basically, soaking prayer is quieting oneself before the Lord for an extended period of time for the purpose of intimate contact with Him, giving Him the opportunity to speak.  It hasn’t always been a fun adventure for me.  Sometimes it’s so frustrating that I want to permanently pitch the whole idea out the window.

My particular circle of Christianity is the charismatic, prophetic community.  Most of the people around me insist that soaking prayer is a must, if one does not want to be a pygmy Christian.  I’m not so sure they are completely right.  The following five-part series explains what soaking prayer is and how my own experience with it has been to date.

Soaking prayer became very popular during the Toronto Blessing revival, but it’s really been around as long as the Church has.  Some people weird out about it, thinking it is “meditation” or “mysticism” and therefore it’s Eastern religion, not Christian.  Soaking prayer is not yoga and such things, however. Psalm  104:34 says, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”   And Genesis 24:63 tells us Isaac was “meditating in the field” when he first met Rebekah.  There are lots more references in the Bible to meditating on God and on His Word.  And, if you use a concordance to look up words like “mystery” and “mysteries” in the New Testament, you will find that Jesus and the apostles spoke frequently about the mysteries of the Kingdom, or the “hidden wisdom.”  So “mysticism” — which involves mysteries (hidden things) — is not necessarily bad.

I’ve heard many ideas from a variety of  people about this type of prayer.  Sometimes it has sounded very ooky-spooky, depending on who was talking about it.  I’m finding that there are some expert soakers that I trust, and some that I do not, based on what I see happening in their lives.  The people who are balanced, godly people, who exhibit wisdom and grace, I listen to.  Those who are not showing the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, I do not like to listen to — no matter how stupendous their heavenly experiences sound.

I am mystified by people who are into soaking prayer for hours a day and say they are seeing all sorts of heavenly visions, but they do NOT exhibit Christ-likeness.  There must be some kind of disconnect going on in their lives that is not normal.  If we are truly connecting with God, and seeing into His supernatural realm, our lives should be changing.  When Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1-8) he said he became “undone.”  I hear that phrase thrown around a lot.  I don’t think, for Isaiah, that being “undone” was a momentary experience of chills and thrills.  It was a life-changing deal.  He took on a new purity.  The revelation of God’s holiness became a deposit of holiness in Isaiah himself.  Encounters with The Holy One should mean we take on a measure of the character of Jesus.  Transformation into His likeness should be the fruit of spending great amounts of time with Him.  This seems pretty basic to me.

I think sometimes the problem is that some of the expert soakers are not spending much time reading the Bible.  I mean reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, not just the portions that talk about heavenly visions (like Revelation and Ezekiel).  I like spending time with the Lord in prayer.  But I also know I need to commune with Him through His Word.  Sometimes in reading my Bible, I sense God is speaking directly to me through a verse or passage.  Sometimes I go for days where that direct speaking is not the case, but I am still learning general concepts that I need to be reminded of.  For instance, God talks a lot about how to relate in a godly fashion toward other people, especially in the New Testament letters to the Church.  I don’t always feel like God is giving me special, personal conviction or instruction when I read the Bible, but He is still speaking to me.  I am taking in His way, His concepts.  I still become like Him by absorbing these truths in a general way on a regular basis.

All Bible reading need not take us up into heavenly visions in order to be productive in our lives.  I don’t believe all time spent in prayer communion with God must necessarily involve heavenly visions, either.  It’s about Him, not about what glorious visions we can get out of Him — which is where I’ll pick up next time.

Next — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 2

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14 responses to “Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 1

  1. I’d have to agree with you about the folks who claim such amazing experiences yet don’t manifest any Christ-likness (or little) in their regular lives. I’m always leary of people anecdotal accounts – until I see a life that looks like Jesus. Then… I may begin to consider their claims from experience. After all, Paul did say the fruit of the Spirit is observable…

    If experiences were all that we needed, there’d be a TON of Buddists, etc. who we could consider “Christian”…

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  2. I am still not quiet clear what “soaking prayer” is… would you please define it for me?

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  3. Hi cbgrace!

    You may get a clearer picture of what soaking prayer is, as you read all 5 parts of my series on it, or by going to tacf.org’s explanation of it. In a nutshell, I think the important part is taking time to listen to God, and peacefully asking Him questions and waiting for His answers. The thing about soaking prayer that I personally struggled with was the method that some people were saying had to be followed in order to be successful at intimacy with God. I’ve since quit obsessing about it. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 2 « Out of the Fire

  5. Pingback: Catching Up on a Few Things « Out of the Fire

  6. Dear Lee Ann,

    It’s Sunday morning. I am not in “church”. Our church was just “laid to rest” on June 1st after a long slow demise as a result of gross mismanagement, loss of major donors and changing times. Now my husband of 29 years and I are seeking the Lord’s presence and meaningful “family” life. I just came across your interesting, well-balanced, and insightful Soaking Prayer Journals and am reading them with much encouragement. Jim and I have been around a long time and seldom got “into” current “moves” of the Spirit. Instead, we waited to see what lasting effects it had on those among us who went racing off to Toronto or Brownsville, or currently, Lakeland, FL. We were introduced to soaking prayer years ago, but had similar experience as you. Subsequently we abandoned our efforts, altho we don’t have a scheduled prayer time or prayer life. We pray throughout the days as needs come up and through the night as the Lord awakens us to do so. Now the soaking prayer is surfacing again — even spotlighted this passed week on the 700 Club TV program featuring an interview with Margarite Evans of Toronto Airport Fellowship. The things that I liked best about your writing is the wake-up call to reading the Bible. I’ve been remiss in doing this as a matter of course. Your articles spoke of the necessity of doing so, and have challenged me to get into the Word as never before. I’ve also been recently awakened to the proper chronological order of the NT epistles and am going to read them in this way hoping to find the logical timeline thread — to whom, when, and why Paul’s letter were addressed. I’m excited about this revelation. I’ve also just read Pagan Christianity; Exploring the Roots of our Church Practices, by Frank Viola and George Barna. It is very well documented and full of little known facts. It was very helpful in explaining the demise of our charismatic, prophetic church.

    Thank you so very much for your contribution. May the Lord continue to use and bless your ministry. I’ll keep reading and learning with much interest.

    Shalom,
    Judie Wolfe

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  7. Hi Judie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your church folding up. Truly, I hope you can find another fellowship that will meet your needs and help heal your wounds. We went through a similar thing some years back, after 19 wonderful years in a most beloved church family. But God is awesome and faithful, and gave us beyond what we ever dreamed in our new church and pastor, whom we love extremely.

    I’m so glad the blogs have helped you. We’re all in the learning journey together, and it’s good when we can encourage each other along the way.

    Many blessings,
    Lee Ann

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  8. Pingback: Is Lee Ann Rubsam New Age? « Out of the Fire

  9. I’ve heard Heidi Baker mention soaking prayer before. I was curious to learn more. I truly believe God reigns in her heart, so I don’t think soaking prayer is weird or demonic or whatever.
    I just want a better understanding.
    thanks!!

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  10. Pat Westmorleand

    Enjoyed your insights on prayer soaking. Agree totally with you about reading God’s word. I find that there has to be a balance to it all. Meditating on God’s word. Worshiping Him. All of it has a place that is a part of our walk with God. Prayer Soaking sounds great. Whatever brings me closer to Jesus is great!

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  11. This is so beautiful but I am so saddened that this is not printable as I give a teaching to my apostolate every week and this would have been so knowledgeable and spiritual to share with them. I thank God for your ministry. Charlotte

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    • Hi Charlotte,

      I’m so glad the materials on soaking prayer were a blessing to you. Were you interested in printing it just for yourself, or for everyone in your group? And how many people would that be? If you can give me an idea of what you want to print, perhaps I can help you.

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  12. This makes me so sad. There is waiting for us a fellowship with God that satisfies. But we need to correctly and rightly teach the Word of God. It isn’t a toy but instruction , comfort and exorts us to walk and worship His way. Otherwise cults and fads are the result. Please consider the lost.

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    • Hi Ena,

      I just reread the Part 1 post. May I ask what made you sad, exactly? Perhaps I can explain better if I know. I started out talking about some excesses and my frustrations with them, but I think the entire series gives more balance to the subject than just the first post. I wrote this about eight years ago, and I think that a lot has changed since then, both in my own maturity and also in some of the people who practice “soaking” prayer. Perhaps more of us have grown to better understand what “be still and know that I am God” means.

      Bless you, Lee Ann

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