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Sid Roth promotes Soaking Prayer tutorial on WND

soakingWhat in the world is a mystical, contemplative prayer video STILL doing on this site, in spite of personal and public pleas to remove this dangerous practice?

We’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:


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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22 Responses to “Sid Roth promotes Soaking Prayer tutorial on WND”

  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
      • Gail #

        AWESOME Sister Rose God bless you for sharing these words of healing and wisdom!!!!

        July 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM Reply
    • Marie #

      Amen Rose! Many worship Sid Roth as a 'great man of god' and believe every word that comes out of his mouth. Someone must have signed me up for his newletters as I began receiving them in the mail. His continuous begging for money to 'fully receive the blessings of god' sent up a red flag immediately….must give money to him to receive a blessing from god (not the God of our Holy Scriptures here).

      Huh? You mean I must give to his false ministry in order to get something back from our LORD? Really? This was truly heartbreaking to read and many within our local churches follow this man. The next time a church goer promotes Sid's soarking prayer presence, I have half a mind to ask, "can I bring my favorite bubble bath and rubber duckie to the party too?"

      I'm with you in the grieving process Rose because the Bible is no longer about Jesus for man has turned it around and made it about himself.

      July 11, 2014 at 3:45 PM 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
  4. lynda #

    Wow! I Googled soaking prayer for definitive answer and was given this site. Here is my own experience. I grew up in a Methodist church and only saw the Pastor praying for people. I took away a sense the Bible was a history book of sorts. Then became a prodigal thinking I could follow the 10 commandments and live separate from the church which lasted until my son was born in my early 30's I wanted him to have a chance to know God.
    My husband and I divorced from his adultery before my son turned one and I stood alone to have him baptized on his first birthday. My son as a tiny child was violent, had night terrors, and emotionally unstable in many ways. As he got older he suffered PTSD from the rape he suffered at age 5. At age 10 he threw an antique coat tree at me like a spear, laid on the floor banging his head and cursing God, and began to rip pages from his Bible.
    At age 40, God took me into another church who had not revealed any of the things described in the article and I had no clue existed. But as I experienced an Inner Healing weekend where Jesus reveals himself in the memories that wounded me, I experienced demonic attack and also release from hurts and pains I had carried for so many years. Over time I learned the hard way how bitterness and unforgiveness removes God's hedge of protection and separates us from Him.
    Some of these things listed I experienced and then it was explained what it was. Quieting the mind to hear that still small voice is a good way to learn to hear what God has to say. I believe He speaks to us more than we realize and that we just don't pay attention, or dismiss it as our own and miss what He is doing in our life. I believe soaking prayer is a time to become intimate with Him in his written word, to spend time in praise and worship of Him. He wants to know us intimately, and us to know and understand His heart for us.
    Because of generational curses see Deut 28, my own pride, rebellion, and falling prey to the enemy through his deceptions, I have experienced demonization. But the good news is I also experienced freedom in Christ through deliverance and continue to grow and seek the Lord with each day of my life. I do NOT wield my mind to ANYTHING OR ANYONE but God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are the only ones invited into my mind, heart, will, and emotions. I pray the Lord will reveal what He wants each person to know about Him, and that The Almighty God of Heaven and Earth, the one true living God reveals His heart to His children in His time and anyway He so desires. Be blessed my sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus, and may His peace be with you. Your loving sister in Christ.

    September 12, 2014 at 8:41 AM Reply
    • lyn #


      To 'hear God's voice' means to read His word, bury it deep in your heart, and recall it as you go through this life. As for generational curses, you totally misunderstand what that verse's context is. I am referring you to an article written by Bob DeWaay – http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue68.htm

      You make some contradictory claims – "I have experienced demonization; I also experienced freedom in Christ through deliverance…" Truly born again followers of Christ do NOT experience demonization! You cannot have Christ and Satan, it's one or the other, not both. I must warn you, verbal professions will not gain you entrance into God's kingdom. You must be born again, and that does not come by human will, choice, decisions, etc. God is the one who saves sinners, by His grace. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 and John 3:3, as well as John 1:13 . You need is great, like the tax collector who cried out from his brokenness, 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' Your sins are still upon you, for your words reveal you are not a true follower of Christ. You follow and rely upon emotional experiences and false teachings.
      I warn you out of love, you are not born from above by God the Spirit and you do not have a right understanding of His truth. I pray for God's mercy for your soul.

      September 12, 2014 at 10:32 AM Reply
  5. Chuck #

    Paul said I pray in the natural…and I pray in the Spirit!!!!not that I pray in the natural…and I SOAK!!!!this "soaking" is truly not of the Word of God….you dont need to clear your mind when you pray…..you're communicating with your Heavenly Father and you should have all your faculties operating properly so you can HEAR FROM GOD!!!!!

    September 18, 2014 at 9:19 PM Reply
    • Sal #

      I agree and disagree. Because of the times we live in it is harder than ever to spend quality time with GOD. This is because of our cellphones, computers, busy jobs and lifes. With this being said I agree that the thought of soaking might help you to become more likely to hear GOD as HE speaks to you. I hope this makes sense.

      January 6, 2015 at 8:09 PM Reply
  6. Carl Wilkinson #

    Lyn, actually when Paul wrote "impart some spiritual gift" he meant "impart some spiritual gift." I noticed you looked to the definition of impart. Why not try to define spiritual, because that's what's really in question here. I, like Paul in Romans 1:11, am saying that spiritual means spiritual, while you seem to insist that it means ministerial-in-the-natural. Actually, you seem to be making a complete contradiction.

    My encouragement is to read 1 Corinthians chapter 14, and identify the three reasons given for prophecy (spiritual gift) and see if it lines up with Romans 1:12.

    Please read that over and share your findings.

    October 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM Reply
    • lyn #

      Carl, Let's do look at 'spiritual', starting with commentary from Albert Barnes,"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. It was a wish of benevolence, and accords with what he says respecting his intended visit in Rom_15:29, “And I am sure that when I come, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” To make known to them more fully the blessings of the gospel, and thus to impart spiritual gifts, was the design he had in view".

      Paul is not the giver of gifts, that is solely the work of God the Spirit {see 1 Corinthians 12:8}.

      December 5, 2014 at 6:07 PM Reply
      • Carly Jo #

        Lyn, I still think spiritual means spiritual, even if Albert Barnes doesn't. The greek word in Romans 1:11 translated spiritual is pneumatikos, the same word used in 1 Corinthans 12 translated to Spiritual gift. Look, I'm not interested in debating the theology of wheter or not the apostles had the power of conferring spiritual gifts to others, I think that's a limited understanding of how the Holy Spirit works. I would say that Paul is referring to baptism in the Holy Spirit. He wanted to lay hand on the Roman Christians, partnering with the Holy Spirit to impart spiritual gifts. I think all born again believers have this kind of baptism available to them today, so it's not the special club the apostles are in that gives them god-like powers. Like you said, it is the work of God the Spirit. I would strike the word solely, and say that work is though partnership with ALL of the Church.

        Moreover, 1 Corinthians 14:3 tells us that prophecy, on manifestation of the Holy Spirit, is for edification, exhortation and comfort. In other words, it's three kinds of encouraging. So, the practical result of gifts is found in both Romans 1:12 and 1 Corinthans 14:3.

        But, you probably still disagree with me. Which is fine. If you do, then answer me this: why did Paul write "I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established- that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me." if what he meant to say was, "I long to see you, that I may preach to you the gospel that you may be established…" Do you see how the "preach to you the gospel" and "impart to you some spiritual gift" aren't interchangeable? Because, according to your understanding of the verse, there is no impartation, there's nothing spiritual, and there's really no gift.

        Also, just as a side note, from your understanding, why can't Paul just write down the sermon he wants to preach them, and encourage them that way? It wouldn't require physical contact. He wouldn't have to be present just to tell them something. No. He wanted to lay his hands on them and pray, partnering with God to bring about a movement of the Holy Spirit among the church in Rome.

        March 20, 2015 at 1:26 PM Reply
        • lyn #

          Carly Jo,

          You need to read the text that immediately follows {as well as the entire chapter} to get the context of what Paul is saying. Also, the word 'impart' means 'to share', that fits the context of the text. Paul isn't saying he has power to transfer any particular gift to them, what he is saying is this – 'not any extraordinary gift of the Spirit; but spiritual light, knowledge, peace, and comfort, through the exercise of his ministerial gift: whence it may be observed, that that which qualities men for the preaching of the word to the profit of others, is a gift, a gift by grace; a spiritual one, which comes from the Spirit of God, and may be, and is to be imparted to others in the free use and exercise of it' source – theologian John Gill
          Paul's gift of ministry given him by God was used to establish them, which means 'strengthen'; his ministry was the gift that is being referred to. Why didn't he just write a sermon, as you say? Obviously, God the Spirit prompted him to speak to these Roman Christians in person, it was a necessary journey ordained by God.
          May God lead you away from dangerous false teachings like that referred to in this article and charlatans such as Sid Roth.

          March 20, 2015 at 3:41 PM Reply
  7. Carl Wilkinson #

    What does the word soak mean? Think about a sponge in the presence of water, or any other kind of absorptive material. The sponge, which is not water, would be filled up and over flowing with water. When you touch the sponge you touch water. In the same way, born again believers who spend time in the presence of God get filled up and overflow with God.

    So let me ask you a question. From what I just described, and ONLY that situation, what is the state of mind for the born again believer spending time in the presence of God?

    October 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM Reply
    • Sal #

      well spoken

      January 6, 2015 at 8:11 PM Reply
  8. George Desjardins #

    All of this negative stuff about experiencing God through soaking prayer has it’s roots in Evangelical theologians teaching that Ephesians 1:12-14 is a theological passage explaining the salvation experience. This is widely believed, but it is not so.
    “That we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of his glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:12-14).

    This scripture is a reference to an actual experience Paul had when he met disciples in Ephesus. He was simply reminding them about what had happened to those who had been there on the first day he came to them. That event is recorded in Acts 19:1-7

    “Paul…finding some disciples he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said to them, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ So they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all” (Acts 19:1-7).

    Without doubt the Ephesian church came into being that day. Notice what happened. Paul specifically asked a group of Jewish believers (they believed in the message of John the Baptist about repentance) if they had received the experience with the Holy Spirit that was common to the rest of the Christians of that time. They responded they had never even heard about Him. He then preached the gospel of Jesus Christ more fully to them and they believed in Him. But he didn’t stop there. He baptized in water all who believed in Jesus’ name, but he didn’t stop there either. Then He laid hands on them so they could receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and they manifested the gift of tongues when he did so.

    There is nothing automatic about the infilling of the Holy Spirit not today and not that day. Now look again at the Scripture in Ephesians 1 and see how it is to be applied.

    If you have never been filled by the Holy Spirit in this way, ask Jesus, who is the true Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, to do so. Also, many in your community may have already received the gift and would be
    delighted to lay hands on you and minister the Holy Spirit to you. We need a radical endowment of the Spirit in these days, the last of the last, in order to do the work the Lord has for us today.

    The Holy Spirit showed up and continues to show up every day. What are we to do during Pentecost? Is this, His hour or day of appearing, not to be a time of ingathering? The Lord has given us instructions in case we are unsure of our task. We see the first thing He told us to do was to “do business till I come.” Excerpt from When God Shows Up available on Lulu.com Rev. George A. Desjardins

    December 5, 2014 at 3:54 PM Reply
    • Julie #

      The Holy Ghost "shows up"? That's typical misguided, unbiblical, occult, false NAR beliefs. The Holy Spirit does not show up; He is not a fool and at sinful man's service and beck and call. . When one is born-again, one receives God's Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, Matthew 3:11) who then indwells the believer. The Holy Spirit does not fall on you, jump on you, make fun of you, hit you all over the place, mock God, appear with laughable, unbiblical "fire on you" invocations, etc.
      NAR and like-minded teachings are most destructive and not anywhere near Christian, or biblical; it is just the opposite. It's blasphemous, creepy and rather dark.

      and many more.

      December 6, 2014 at 6:32 AM Reply
      • Carly Jo #

        Wow, you are really quick to call something demonic. I'd be careful doing that. Mark 3:20-27 tells the story of Jesus doing miracles casting out demons. The scribes responded by accusing Him of being possessed by a high-ranking demon. Jesus makes a good point, why would demons war against each other and not God, their enemy. So, Jesus disproves the scribes. But, what He says next is powerful. "he who blasphemes agsinst the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation"- because they said, "He has an unclean spirit.""

        "if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" Luke 11:13

        March 20, 2015 at 1:10 PM Reply
        • rosinavoz #

          But what Julie described IS demonic and it is happening in many NAR 'worship' services today. You can't deny that. The Holy Spirit doesn't….'fall on you, jump on you, make fun of you, hit you all over the place, mock God, appear with laughable, unbiblical "fire on you" invocations,' And I would also add, make you laugh uncontrollably, quack like a duck, and walk around in a fake drunken stupor making an utter fool of yourself. Jesus did genuine works of the Holy Spirit to heal and help people, not making make idiots of them. And the Jewish leaders who called His miracles a work of the devil committed a very serious unpardonable sin. But we cannot compare what Jesus did to what is going on in the name of the Holy Spirit in the hyper Charismatic movement today. I believe it is truly reverse a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to attribute to Him works of chaos He would never participate in. It is unpardonable? That I do not know, but it is extremely serious nonetheless.

          March 20, 2015 at 2:25 PM Reply
  9. Karen #

    When I think of soaking, I think of drowning in the abys of false doctrines. And like the jellyfish, we float around following every wave of false teaching.

    I desire to "be in the presence of God," not soak and drown.

    January 7, 2015 at 10:42 AM Reply
    • Christine #

      Spot on Karen!

      January 7, 2015 at 1:18 PM Reply

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