Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 5

Today’s entry will wrap up my thoughts on soaking prayer for awhile.

I wonder sometimes if some of us are just made of a different fabric, and if, perhaps, it is OK to not fit the mold.  For instance, some soaking experts say that we cannot fully get into God’s Presence if we are not absolutely quiet.  But many of the most wonderful times I’ve had with Jesus have been when I was peacefully praying in tongues.  He often talks with me when I’ve been praying in my prayer language at length.  I’m not talking about doing violent warfare in tongues.  Some people do not know how to use their prayer language in any other way than aggressive warfare.  But I spend a lot of time praying in tongues with a listening attitude, and God speaks to me then.  I feel His Presence around me as I tell Him I love Him, and as I ask Him questions.  We often have conversational times together that are very dear to both of us.  These are not times when I am doing the “correct” soaking thing.  But they are better times with the Lord than what I have experienced in soaking.  I prefer to find Him in these ways.

So, I am torn.  On one hand, I have soaking friends that tell me I will never achieve the highest levels of intimacy with God if I don’t soak as they do.  They tell me I will never experience the heavenly visions if I don’t soak in the prescribed manner.  It’s interesting that I’m starting to hear some of the soaking people say that they are learning to ask God questions during their soaking times.  (Isn’t this breaking the absolute quiet rule?)   Could it be that soaking is only a step in the process of finding intimacy with the Lord, and I just missed this step and still got where I needed to be?  Or is soaking prayer perhaps merely a method — one of many means to achieve the desired goal?  I can only hope!

My husband and my best friend (she is a soaking advocate, by the way) have both seen and listened to my frustration over not being able to connect well with God through soaking, and they tell me to do what has been working for me all along.  I’d like to take their advice, but hardly know if I dare to.  The voices that say I am missing something clamor so loudly, but the encouragement to just do what has always worked brings more peace.  My friend that soaks (but says I don’t need to) has a theory that soaking IS just one method of getting into intimate relationship with the Lord.  She thinks I am accomplishing the  same end as she is, but have found a different way to do it.  I hope she is right.  Still, I will try a little longer to do it in the acceptable, prescribed way.

I bought Jim Goll’s book, The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence.  I figure, if anybody can help me sort it all out, he can.  I highly respect Mr. Goll.  He’s a prophet-intercessor with solid Bible grounding and he’s about as balanced as one could be.  When some of the rest of the prophetic world has itself out on a limb over a canyon, Jim Goll isn’t afraid to sound the warning alarm and bring things back to center.  So, I think I’ll find out what he has to say on the matter.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Purchase at Amazon: The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence

 Previous — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 4
 Soaking Prayer Revisited — An update done several months later

 Full Gospel Family Publications                      Character Building for Families

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10 responses to “Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 5

  1. Oh dear, I’m not what one would call a “blogger” but I feel you won’t mind if I share some of the research I’ve done over the past few days on this topic, as I’m just as curious as you. Col 3:16-17 teaches us to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This is what you do. I Just heard the word “soaker” for the first time two weeks ago. And it scared me silly! I’ve been researching it on the internet and found it is derived from Asia and is their meditation/form of belief or “calming” one’s self and does not include Christ in any form. The Christians have brought it into the US into their churches for a calmness, so to speak. Maybe this is why your form of communicating with God (Col 3:16)feels more comfortable to you, it’s not new, it is actually through God’s language that you are communicating and not through a man-made form of meditation. No one can be the proper judge to tell you how to talk to your Heavenly Father, as you already know the prayer language. We were created for God’s pleasure, to worship and to fellowship with Him. I wish someone could tell me why they feel the need to “go” to someone’s house. I find the Lord in my own house when visiting with Him everyday. And it feels really good. Please read Matt 24:24 for an important warning.

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  2. Thanks for your comments on the Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 5 blog! Before anyone gets too worried that soaking prayer is non-Christian and is always Eastern religion, however, please go back and read my Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 1 blog. There is certainly biblical basis for meditating on the Lord and His Word. And there is nothing wrong with “quieting” ourselves before the Lord. Quieting ourselves refers to focusing on Him, refusing to let turmoil rule us, and allowing ourselves to rest peacefully in Him. It is what is sometimes called “abiding” or “waiting on God.”

    Even Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

    It’s all about having deep fellowship with the Lord Jesus by spending time with Him, whether we do it according to the current soaking trend, or whether we find a somewhat different method.

    My intention in writing the Soaking Prayer series, was to express my own learning experience, my frustrations as I learn, and the humor I see in some of the traditions of men that surround soaking prayer. I believe soaking can be a very valid way of experiencing communion with the Lord.

    Blessings!

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  3. Thank you for your clarification.

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  4. Enjoyed the “soaking” postings. I’m coming off a year of weekly soaking and have hit the wall with it… but appreciate having a resource to use (soaking meeting) that doesn’t involve a talking head.

    I also appreciate the balanced approach you espouse and the way you are able to communicate the good points and mitigate some of the weird baggage that some people bring into it. CBB

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  5. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m estatic to have found your soaking series of posts. It’s a great fresh, realistic insight to soaking. As a pastor I’ve been exploring this for sometime, but only went to one soaking event. I wanted to understand it more, and the insight you’ve offered is wonderful. A lot of my thought you have put words to and now I feel an appropriate understanding of soaking has formed so I can go forth with this great “tool” for getting in God’s face and offer it to my church.

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  6. Good Day, I have been quickly scanning through your blog and found it interesting. I have been studying this soaking movement for some time and am too in full-time ministry and preaching. For some reason my spirit just does not flow with it. If someone says that it is the only way you can experience such deep intimacy with God then it starts becoming a sect. When people say everything else is wrong and they are only right, the something is wrong. You can’t take a “part” and make it a “whole”. Unless otherwise you feel led to enlighten me on this subject?

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  7. Hi….I tend to agree with Leon – It is all very good to quote scripture about “Being still before the Lord etc” , however I have a serious problem when man-made institutions want to come and dictate how we are to get intimate with God. God meets every person where they are at and each person’d relationship is unique and personal as he /she journeys with God- There is a corporate place for prayer, yes, but not to this degree where one ‘soaker’ judges another ‘non-soaker’ for not doing the same as them! Then we are back to religion and that is not what the cross of Christ is about. I can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit wherever I am, and nowhere in scripture does it tell me to ‘soak’ for days or hours in order to get close to God.. Scripture talks about meditating upon the Word, I believe that to mean to study the Word of God and live by it every moment of the day. I believe we need to be Holy Spirit led on this one! In His great love.

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  8. Thanks for your insightful and honest discussion of soaking prayer. I agree with Theresa. Regarding your struggles with whether this is the right or only way to get into intimate relationship with God: I would say ‘Hey, chill out!”. God is a God of fantastic variety who made us all different – just look at Creation! He has given us different gifts and temperaments and personalities, and so what works for one will not always work for another. Over the 25 years of my Christian walk I have learned about and tried many different ways of prayer, and for me, as a worship leader, the easiest way for me to find intimacy with the Lord is simply to sing to Him in worship. He once told me clearly: “When you sing, you will always have a way of reaching My Heart”. For me this works better than sitting quietly trying to calm my mind down, and focuses me on Jesus much more quickly and effectively. I am just beginning to learn about waiting on God, but I find soaking difficult because I am also an academic and have a very active mind. Five minutes in and I’m already planning tomorrow’s lessons! Worship works better, and I read the Bible as part of it, or at a different time in the day. Intercessory prayer comes at intervals during the day as God brings someone or a situation to my remembrance. Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing”, and to “continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His Name”. It is, I think, a case of practising the presence of God through the day in many different ways, time to be quiet and still, time to worship, time to read, time to lift our thoughts to Him as we are washing up even!
    Anything that says that you MUST soak, and do nothing else is RELIGION! Do WHATEVER brings you into the presence of God, makes you Christlike and full of His Spirit and Love, and grounded on the Word, that’s what matters!
    Be Blessed!

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  9. Hi there,

    I just want to say I really appreciate your balanced perspective on soaking. I have found the same thing as you – it’s hard to concentrate when lying on my back! It puts my mind in a much more passive, distractible state. It also feels more honouring to kneel or stand before God, as that is how people in Bible normally prayed.

    I tend to hear God when I quietly pray in tongues and write down notes in my journal about words, Scriptures and pictures that come to mind during this times. I have also had similar experiences to you with visualisation and imaginative prayer. (Woodland Hills has a very balanced series on imaginative prayer, which is not connected to the Toronto movement.)

    I like some of the soaking music which is just pure instrumental music – more like classical music/soundscapes – without words. However, I don’t think soaking is necessary. Being in His presence is all that matters, and I think it’s much wiser to be actively engaging your mind in prayer, listening and Bible study.

    God bless you richly!
    Lauren

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