Value of Soaking
Recently, an old practice has resurfaced under a new name:
“soaking.” “Soaking” is the practice
of becoming still before the Lord, usually with worship music
playing in the background, simply to linger in His presence
with no other agenda than to be with Him. It is a style of
prayer that focuses on “intimacy” rather than
goals, on “being” rather than doing.
In my background, we often engaged in “waiting on the
Lord;” a practice similar to soaking, but without music.
This seems to be an adaptation of “tarrying for the
Spirit,” during the early days of the outpouring of
the Holy Spirit, as people would tarry at the altar and wait
for a genuine encounter with the Lord.
All three of these practices have much in common. They steer
us away from our prayer agenda, and put us in a posture of
seeking the Lord’s agenda. They assume that we are willing
to be patient and inconvenienced, as we await the Lord’s
timing. All three are disciplines that enlarge our capacity
to flow with the Holy Spirit.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9.
It would be tragic for us to approach the Lord each day in
prayer, year after year, without somehow letting Him lift
us from the narrowness of our thoughts, into the greatness
of His. “Soaking” is a process in which we exchange
our thoughts for His. It is prayer that focuses, not on asking,
but on beholding. It sets us up for a lifestyle born of who
It is a form of repentance. As we soak, we put our hearts
on the altar before God, trusting Him to reshape us, as a
potter shapes the clay. Slowly but surely, His presence changes
the way we think, as we are transformed by the renewing of
There is no substitute for our spending time in the Lord’s
presence. This is the purpose of “soaking.”
A study of revivals show us that people often spent long
periods of time in prayer, and in waiting on the Lord. This
is being done today as we spend time “soaking”
in His presence. During these prolonged times spent in His
presence, we are “sowing” to the Spirit. It is
always costly to the natural man, and by Adam’s standards,
it is inefficient.
Yet in a larger sense, it is the most efficient thing we
can do. These times of “soaking” in His presence
do not produce quick results, but rather, lasting ones. Jesus
commanded us to abide in Him, adding that it will cause us
to bear “fruit that remains.” So often, our quick
successes crumble quickly. But, the abiding life - a life
that “waits” and “soaks” in God's
presence, will produce fruit that will stand in eternity.
There is nothing we can do that is more efficient, than to
linger in the Lord’s presence.
There is a contemplative element to “soaking.”
It is a proactive form of an “abiding,” which
changes us, enlarging our capacity for God. Also, it will
enable us to perceive God-given opportunities.
Many have found a new richness and power in spiritual gifts
through “soaking.” Others are finding a new sense
of an “open heaven,” as they go against the current
of modern life to linger in the Lord’s presence. Spiritual
experiences that have been uncommon throughout church history
are becoming commonplace, today.
May I challenge you to make room for “soaking”
in your church services. And also, to make room for “soaking”
in your personal prayer life. Take time just to be in the
Lord’s presence. Make sure that this is a time in which
there is no agenda - a time mainly for beholding, not of asking.
While your outer man is still, your inner man will come alive
to the things of God. There is no substitute for spending
time in the presence of the Lord. Then, when the time comes
for our lives to be on display, others will realize that we
have been with Jesus.