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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Dangerous Soaking Prayer gains momentum

soakingWe’ve been reporting about the dangers of something called “Soaking Prayer.” While it sounds like something Christians can practice safely, it is anything but safe. In fact, the Soaking Prayer practice contains spiritual elements that are not only not found in Scripture, but God’s Word warns us to avoid doing these things.

Gaining popularity

One of its biggest proponents is a man by the name of Sid Roth.  Mr. Roth, whose television program It’s Supernatural, has been promoting on his own website since 2006 through multiple articles and videos.

Yesterday, he doubled-down on this practice by uploading a new tutorial to YouTube. The How-To helps Christians get into a trance state in order to hear God’s voice:

soaking

The “Soaking Prayer” is one of many Contemplative prayer practices that isn’t found in the Bible. It is designed to empty your mind, and was developed by the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, now known as Catch the Fire Toronto. This group also gave rise to the “Toronto Blessing” and many aberrant practices such as holy laughter, making animal sounds, and being drunk or paralyzed in the Spirit.

Back in 2006, Roth’s ministry page featured the first of many articles and videos titled, Soaking In His Presence, a How-To on Soaking Prayer by John Arnott, senior pastor of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and host of the “Catch The Fire” television program. Arnott explains why you would need to listen to music and have a “catcher” volunteer positioned behind you, just in case you fall over while you empty your mind.

At the end of the article, he encourages support for his vision:

I want to see hundreds of Catch the Fire “Soaking Prayer Centers” springing up around North America and the world. This is an opportunity for those who are hungry for the River and for more of the Lord’s presence to link with us and draw deeper into intimacy with God. …We are offering a starter kit to get you going right away. We also offer a one week training course in Toronto where we can train you and pray for an impartation of the Holy Spirit so you can begin.

Impartation?  Are we not promised the Holy Spirit upon our conversion when He regenerates our souls from death to life?

In an article titled, “Soaking: The Key to Intimacy with God”, writer Gary Oates recently wrote more on the supernatural realm we can experience, which is the goal of the Soaking Prayer:

During our soaking times, we position ourselves to receive impressions, nudges, quiet whispers, pictures, angelic visitations, and supernatural revelations. Here is a partial list of what to expect:

  • Dreams
  • Visions
  • Trances
  • Out of body experiences
  • Angelic visitations
  • Being transported in the Spirit

Experiencing the true intimate Presence of the living God will radically change your life. People describe His manifest Presence in different ways. To some, it is heat, electricity, or shaking. To others, it is lightness, peace, or weeping.

Experiencing the manifest Presence is not the goal but the gateway to the supernatural realm. It’s the beginning. We go into the spirit realm where we can see Him, hear His voice, walk with Him, and be empowered by Him.

The Bible says we are to avoid sorcery, mysticism, divination and the like. Soaking prayer, listening prayer, theophostics, and other mystical exercises are part of the ”contemplative prayer” and contemplative spirituality, which can not be found anywhere in God’s Word.  What does the Bible say about biblical prayer? It is simply 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).

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4 Responses to “Dangerous Soaking Prayer gains momentum”

  1. Rose Vosburgh #

    Pretty disturbing to see all those people lying on the floor, some in a lotus position, all zoning out…some even shaking and quaking. Had I not known who these people were, I would have thought it was a New Age convention. Christians are being so deceived today. All of this appeals to the emotions and that ought to be a warning sign right there. Where in the Bible is this kind of 'prayer' ever taught? Can you imagine Jesus doing this? I just started reading The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer and there is so much meat to chew on in this book, I can only get through one chapter a day. Prayer…real prayer… is hard work. It involves faith, trust, obedience, fervency, vigilance, perserverance…just a few of the topics he covers in 568 pages (!)… and it is based on knowing God's will through the Word. Prayer and the Word go hand in hand. No open Bibles anywhere in this bizarre 'worship' session. But on the screen they keep flashing ads for the Soaking Worship Kit…a must-have for those who want to 'soak in his presence'. (Question is: whose presence are they really soaking in?) So…it is all about money in the end, isn't it? Wolves selling their wares, deceiving the masses, and laughing all the way to the bank.

    It grieves me to see this happening more and more, spreading like a cancer. And I think it is additive to the people who get involved in it. They have feel-good experiences which they place their full trust in rather than test them against the Word.

    October 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM Reply
    • Christine #

      I used to practice this utter foolish delusion! It's another money making fad. Fantastic comment Rose, need one say anymore more!

      October 4, 2013 at 3:32 AM Reply
  2. Carl Wilkinson #

    This article is dangerously misleading. It claims there are things not found in Scripture which clearly are. For example: impartation. Romans 1:11 says, "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift". Paul was writing to believers who had already been converted. Why then would he write Romans 1:11? Also, there are numerous occurrences during the book of Acts where the gospel writer specifies time when people are full of the Holy Spirit. Why would that be specified if they and every other believer/convert were already filled? Certainly these phrases from the eternal written word of God aren't meaningless. That means there is either a further impartation of the Holy Spirit, or at the very least, a refueling. Don't forget that God in the form of the man Jesus had the Holy Spirit descend upon Him. That would also be meaningless if believers receive the Holy Spirit once and for all upon conversion.
    Also, the whole basis of this article is that soaking/contemplative prayer is unbiblical, which is down right false. Read the Psalms. What do the Psalmists mean when they say "meditate"? What does Paul mean when he wrote Colossians 3:1, "Set your mind on things above where Christ is sitting at the right had of the Father?" perhaps you disagree with some things certain people and ministries do, and maybe you just don't believe in the working of the Holy Spirit in our present lives. But certainly you believe the word of Scripture is meaningful, right?

    October 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM Reply
  3. lyn #

    From Romans 1:11, – to impart means 'to share, give'. Impart is used here in the active voice in the Greek, meaning the subject, Paul, is the doer or performer of the action, 'imparting'. Paul is sharing his ministerial gift[s], not instilling some spiritual gift into another by supernatural means. For what purpose was Paul sharing? So that they may be established, or 'strengthened' as Strong's defines it. Bear in mind 2 Timothy 3:16, 'Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness'. Believers need edification and encouragement from other believers, and this is exactly what Paul was doing. Verse 12 explains verse 11, ' that is, that I with you may be comforted in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.' Paul not only desired to share with them words of comfort/encouragement, he expected to receive back from them that same comfort and encouragement.

    Commentary from John Gill – "not any extraordinary gift of the Spirit; but spiritual light, knowledge, peace, and comfort, through the exercise of his ministerial gift".

    Commentary from Albert Barnes leaves no doubt as to the meaning of the text, ' Some have understood this as referring to “miraculous gifts,” which it was supposed the apostles had the power of conferring on others. But this interpretation is forced and unnatural. There is no instance where this expression denotes the power of working miracles. Besides, the apostle in the next verse explains his meaning, “That I may be comforted together by the mutual faith,” etc. From this it appears that he desired to be among them to exercise the office of the ministry, to establish them in the gospel and to confirm their hopes. He expected that the preaching of the gospel would be the means of confirming them in the faith; and he desired to be the means of doing it."

    There simply is no scriptural support for any view of some type of 'further impartation', for if you study the text in it's context, you can plainly see what the Apostle Paul was speaking of, and how he desired to comfort and be comforted by other believers. You cannot read Romans 1:11 without going further and reading verse 12 as well. This will give you the fuller context of what Paul was speaking of.

    Meditating on the Scriptures does not mean emptying the mind. You read the word of God, you ponder it in your mind, you seek to understand His truth, crying out for both understanding and wisdom. So you go deeper in your studies of His word.
    That is followed by an application of the truth received. Reading the word of God is the first step in meditating on that word, for God reveals Himself in His written word; His commands and precepts are found there. Again, I refer to 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

    October 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM Reply

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