How to do Soaking Prayer
Craig von Buseck
CBN.com Contributing Writer
You can seek the Lord through soaking prayer anywhere, and at any time. Soaking prayer can be done in a church service, or in a cell group, youth group, or Sunday school class. You can be alone, or with your spouse, or children. Or you can invite friends to your home and you can take turns praying for one another.
Many people like to go into a private room, lock the door and lie down on the floor as they prepare to enter into the presence of God.
When you soak, you might want to put on some quiet instrumental or worship music. Some people grab a pillow and a blanket to be comfortable. Others climb into their favorite chair! Others lie down on the floor, or on their bed.
But you don’t have to lie down. The key is to be in a safe, comfortable place where you can open yourself up and spend quality time with your Heavenly Father. This helps you to quiet your soul, draw near to God, and listen to His voice.
At first your mind might be buzzing with thoughts. Don't try to wrestle with them. Instead, just wait for them to settle, yielding your thoughts to the Holy Spirit. If you are distracted don't become frustrated. Just simply turn your attention back to the Lord.
Some people bring a journal to write down these thoughts to consider at a later time. This helps them to remove the distractions from their mind so they can focus on the Lord.
As you quiet yourself, begin reflecting on the cross and all that Jesus has lovingly purchased for you. Begin confessing your sins to Him and tell Him how you long to be close to Him. As you repent of your sins, receive God's forgiveness as you press forward in prayer.
After a few moments, you will start to become aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence. You may want to worship the Lord for awhile, both in your native language and in the language of the Holy Spirit.
At this point you may want to pray the prayer of Romans 6:13b:
…present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
You may want to meditate on God's goodness in your life and bring to mind experiences with the Lord, like healings, miracles and provision in your past. You may want to recall the ways He has manifested Himself in your life. This creates an atmosphere of expectancy and an awareness of His presence.
Tell the Lord how much you love Him. Ask Him for more of His presence, more of His fullness and more of His glory to be manifested in your life. You may want to repeat this prayer as you wait on the Lord and focus on Him:
"God, I want to know you. I want more of You; more of Your Presence, more of Your fullness and more of Your glory in my life."
Then become quiet and listen for His voice. You may hear His still, small voice speaking to you at this point. Or you may have a vision or some other supernatural experience. During these soaking times you position yourself to receive impressions, pictures, angelic visitations, and other supernatural revelations.
Experiencing the intimate presence of your Heavenly Father will radically change your life. As people have made soaking prayer a part of their lives they have experienced God's manifested presence in various ways. For some it can be a sensation of heat, electricity, or shaking. For others it is an overwhelming sense of peace, a feeling of lightness, or abundant joy that brings on weeping and laughter.
Experiencing the manifest presence of God is not to be our goal, but it is a by-product of pressing in to knowing God. It is also a gateway into the supernatural realm where we can see God, hear His voice, walk with Him, and be filled afresh with His Spirit. A wonderful byproduct of this refilling is receiving the compassion of Christ for the lost and the power of the Holy Spirit for ministry.
The key is learning to wait on the Lord until you experience His manifest presence. This is something that you can do daily.
Soaking Prayer Tips
Here are some ways that people have discovered to soak in God's presence during times of contemplative prayer:
- Find a comfortable place;
- You may want to lie down;
- Settle down and open your heart to the Lord;
- Relax and just enjoy being still;
- Listen to worship music and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you;
- Invite the Holy Spirit to soak you in His presence;
- Pray and surrender yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ -- spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions) and body;
- Focus on the Lord's presence within you;
- Rest in faith, believing He is working in you;
- Take as much time as you can (try to give yourself at least 20 minutes to relax and receive);
- Respond to the direction of the Father;
- Get up refreshed and full of the Holy Spirit;
- Watch with expectancy as God moves in your life and in the world around you.
As you soak in the presence of God you may want to turn to the Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to help you choose a passage to meditate upon. This is not for the purpose of study, but for experiencing God. Read a small portion of the passage slowly and meditate upon it until the Lord gives you revelation.
Madame Jeanne Guyon encouraged seekers to press in to the depth of the biblical passage “until revelation, like a sweet aroma breaks upon you.”
“In praying the Scripture,” she explained, “you are seeking to find the Lord in what you are reading. In the very words themselves. In this path, therefore, the content of the Scripture is the focal point of your attention. Your purpose is to take everything from the passage that unveils the Lord to you.”
But remember, soaking is about ‘being’ with God, not ‘doing’ things for God. There should be no agenda. Just ‘be’ with God, communing with your loving Father.
Soaking prayer is a way for us to show God that we are laying down our agenda and humbling ourselves before Him. As we soak in prayer, we surrender control, confirming His lordship in our lives.
The Fruit of Soaking in God’s Presence
Intimacy with the Father is one of the missing pieces of the Christian experience that God is restoring to the Church today. As believers soak in the presence of the Lord, sometimes He will fill them with His love and they will respond with a heart of love. Other times He will heal a deep wound. On another occasion He may empower you for ministry, or reveal a ministry calling.
As He immerses you in His healing love through soaking prayer you will grow in your love for God and then carry that love into every area of your life. Contemplative prayer creates an intimacy with God that will motivate you to have compassion for others. That love will then motivate you to serve the Lord by serving others and telling them the Good News of the Gospel.
Another result of spending time with God is that He releases His power through us as we dwell in intimacy with him. The outworking of His presence through soaking prayer includes signs, wonders, and miracles.
During times of soaking prayer people are set free from fear, shame, and unforgiveness. In God’s presence they are filled with hope, joy, love, and power. Physical and emotional healings can happen spontaneously. We can experience God through words, pictures, visions, and His still, small voice -- or just His peace and His love.
The Bible is clear that these sorts of supernatural experiences can be an ongoing part of life for the New Testament believer. You can experience dreams (Genesis 28:10-16; 37:5-11; Dan. 2; Matt. 1:20; 2:12; Acts 2:17), visions (Gen. 15:1; Num. 12:6; 2 Sam. 7:4-17; Daniel 7:1-3, 9; Acts 9:10-16; 10:3; 16:9-10,), trances (Acts 10:9-17, 11:5), out of body experiences (2 Cor. 12:2-4), angelic visitations (Luke 1:11-17, 1:57, Acts 12:7-10), and being transported in the Spirit (Acts 8:39-40).
Through soaking prayer, we come to the Lord expecting nothing. Instead, we are merely expressing a desire to be with Him. But as we spend significant time in His presence we will begin to become more like Him, and we will bear Christ-like fruit. Jesus promised that if we would abide in Him the Father would be glorified and we would bear much fruit. (John 15:4-8)
Read part one in this series: What is Soaking Prayer?
Part two: Is Soaking in the Bible?
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