It's always a little shocking to see a ministry that warns people about dangerous trends in the church turn around and promote one. WND today ran an article by Sid Roth (from television's "It's Supernatural"), about the Contemplative Prayer practice known as the Soaking Prayer. The title of the article is, The lost art of "soaking" in God's presence. Billed as an "exclusive," Roth interviews Julie True, "in a rare, interactive session." In other words, we're not only learning that there is such a thing as the Soaking Prayer, but we're being taught how to do it, in order to “be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10 is a verse often taken out of context by mystical meditation proponents).
Julie True hosts an online healing room where she plays mood music to get you into a trance state in order to hear God's voice.
The “Soaking Prayer” isn’t found in the Bible, but it was designed to empty your mind and experience the Holy Spirit. It 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.
CBN frequently promotes this style of experiential contemplative prayer, as does writer Gary Oates, who recently opined in an article titled, “Soaking: The Key to Intimacy with God”, that "Bible reading and prayer are not enough."
Here is an excerpt:
I tell the Lord: “God, I want more of You, more of Your Presence, more of Your fullness in my life. Fill me with more of You.” I may repeat this statement many times as I wait on the Lord and focus on Him.
Then, I get quiet and that’s when I begin to hear His voice. Many times, I begin to have visions and supernatural experiences.
The key here is learning to wait in solitude. I cannot overemphasize the importance of waiting on the Lord until I experience His manifest Presence daily. I don’t come out of that private room until I have experienced His Presence.
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:
- 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.
While God can and does do the supernatural, the list of expectations in the above statement is NOT something a Christian should be partaking in. In fact, the Bible warns us to safeguard our souls against this sort of sorcery. And if you notice the premise of the Bible not being enough, Gary Oates, Sid Roth and "soakers" might to well to remember that Scripture is sufficient. 2 Tim. 3:16
Soaking prayer, listening prayer, theophostics, or any other prayer that seeks the presence 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 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).