Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Truth About Soaking Prayer

Recently, I chanced upon a facebook page of a local church where I used to attend, and there was that announcement posted about the schedule of their so-called "Soaking in the Spirit". It says there that the usual service has been canceled to give way for Soaking instead, which to me is unusually long for an 8 AM till 5 PM session. The term "soaking" is new to me, I never heard of it before, and this prompted me to do my research on it.

I decided to contact some of my Christian friends from Facebook through private messages to ask them if they could help me on the subject. Some of them are pastors and teachers of the Word who are known to be biblically sound and have discernment ministries of their own. They sent me lots of links about Soaking which were taken from very doctrinally-sound and reliable sources like Lighthouse Trails Research Project which specializes on exposing New Age Spirituality and Eastern Mysticism in the church.

What is Soaking in the Spirit?

Soaking in the Spirit and Soaking Prayer, are terms which we often hear and being popularized by Emergent churches. Soaking was developed by the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (now Catch the Fire Toronto) which is also known for the "Toronto Blessing" and other unbiblical practices like holy laughter, drunk in the spirit and making animal sounds. This now very popular practice is a modern form of contemplative prayer where a person experiences and absorbs God's presence through stillness and by quieting or emptying one's mind, focusing on Jesus and opening up to the Holy Spirit as he or she lies down and/or in a sitting position while listening to a quiet worship music, although some choose to do this in total silence. Like contemplative prayer, Soaking focuses on having a mystical experience with God.

Just like all false doctrines, this can not stand without twisting the Scripture and taking them out of context. Those who practice soaking always use twisted verses to justify that it is biblical. They often use Psalm 46:10 which says "Be still, and know that I am God...", or Matthew 6:6, "But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly." and Psalm 37: 7, "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him...". 
"Soaking prayer is a modern form of contemplative prayer ... People put themselves in an attitude of stillness, focusing on Jesus and opening 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", Roger Harper
(For more on Contemplative prayer and other links on the subject go to Lighthouse Trail)

Here's a video I found on You Tube of a woman who promotes and teaches Soaking in the Spirit. She explains what Soaking is, its benefits and how to do it. She said that God spoke one day to her husband and told him to buy a tent, set it up in the house, spend time in it and wait for the Lord there. She even compares Soaking to sunbathing and calls it spiritual sunbathing. (Notice how she twists Colossians 3:1, 2)

Soaking music

The music used for Soaking are usually quiet worship songs, but sometimes they also use soothing, relaxing instrumental worship music and believe me, when you hear this type of music, you will not be able to distinguish it from New Age music, in fact, if you would look for it in the music store most of them are categorized under the New Age section. This music often has a melancholic feel to it which triggers a particular emotion or feeling, no wonder most people who do Soaking prayer often can't stop themselves from crying. One of the followers of our blog says that she used to listen to this kind of music which she thought Christian. She used to spend quite a lot of money for it until God took her out of it. God bless her.

(Here's a very "New Age" soaking music with the sound of  a stream in the background)

Dangers and Physical Symptoms

As with contemplative prayers, transcendental meditation (TM), reiki, and yoga, soaking requires that you empty your mind leading it to an altered state of consciousness (ASC) or trance. Those who practice soaking believe that they are inviting the presence of God or the Holy Spirit but in reality what they are inviting is a different spirit. This is very dangerous because this gives familiar spirits an open invite for demonic attacks or worse, demonic possessions of the unsaved.
"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", Roger Harper
"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?", Kent Philpott
(For more on Kundalini, read "Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality" by Ray Yungen)
"There is nothing in the Bible about soaking or saturating in the Holy Spirit. We are to worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), which means that the teaching in the Church must bring worship to the Lord by upholding the timeless truths of the written Word." - "How to be Unsaturated", Sandy Simpson
Soaking prayer, listening prayer, theophostics, or any other prayer that seeks the presents of God through mystical exercises is simply not biblical. In this it is similar to "contemplative prayer" and contemplative spirituality, which are equally unbiblical. Biblical prayer is talking to God with His will in mind (1 John5:14). A bibically 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). - "WND Promotes Soaking Prayer Tutorials", Amy Spreeman (Stand Up for the Truth)

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