Catch the Fire Ministries. CBN posted an article about Evans
who is the USA Coordinator for
Soaking Centers. The
article, titled "Soaking in the Spirit," explains that "the aim of soaking
prayer is to put oneself in an attitude of stillness, focusing on Jesus without
Evans, originally from South Africa, is now part of the training staff for the
Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, the church in Canada where the "Toronto
Blessing" began. In
an article written by Evans titled
"How to Experience the Father's Love," she says that soaking prayer "is a
simple practice that was lost to the majority of the Church for centuries" (see
On the TACF website, where a description and instructions are given about
soaking prayer, it says that those who practice soaking prayer will often
respond with falling or lying on the floor, where they "soak in God's presence."
1 Instructions for soaking suggest turning on "intimate worship music with
meaningful words that quiet your soul and help you draw near to God." Results
can include: a feeling that a heavy weight is on the body, an electric tingling
in the hands and feet, and a warm sensation going through the heart.
While the instructions on the TACF website are rather vague, there is no
question that soaking prayer is something that must be taught and practiced.
Offering numerous soaking prayer Kits, including one for teens, special soaking
prayer music, and "soaking essentials" (pillow and blanket), along with an
entire training seminar on how to start your own soaking prayer center, is
evidence that what is being taught goes beyond the realm of a biblical quiet
time where a believer reads the Word, meditates mindfully on it, and prays.
The goal in soaking prayer is to quiet the soul and enter into a stillness. Once
in this stilled state, the participant can supposedly feel God's presence and
hear His voice, and thus experience His love and perhaps healing from wounds of
the past. But being able to shut off the mind to enter this stillness is not
something that can take place naturally, and this is where contemplative prayer
and soaking prayer become basically synonymous. On the TACF website, one of the
topics taught at the Soaking School is actually called "Contemplative Prayer."2
The "meaningful words that quiet your soul" are indicative of this.
a revealing article about soaking prayer, Roger Harper, a UK chaplain,
stated: "Soaking prayer is a modern form of contemplative prayer ... The Toronto
church sees soaking prayer as one of the main ways in which they encourage
people to be open to the Holy Spirit ... Joyce Huggett notes, 'a fresh touch of
God's Spirit often opens the door to contemplative prayer.'" While some claim
that soaking prayer is different than contemplative prayer, it is interesting
that this article points readers to Richard Foster and Henri Nouwen.
Interestingly, in Harper's article, he writes about John Wimber, founder of the
Vineyard Church movement.
"John taught that there are signs that the Holy Spirit is on a person.
'Some of these phenomena are obvious: weeping, cries, exuberant and
prolonged expressions of praise, shaking, trembling, calmness, bodily
writhing and distortions, falling over (sometimes referred to as 'being
slain in the Spirit'), laughter and jumping. Other phenomena are more
subtle: slight trembling, fluttering of the eyelids, faint perspiring, a
sheen on the face, ripples on the skin, deep breathing..' Wimber also
said that people sometimes experience a sense of heaviness or tiredness,
weeping or drunkenness."
These symptoms that Wimber describes, along with the electric tingling and warm
sensations described at TACF, are also the signs of what is called the Kundalini
effect. Ray Yungen discusses this:
In A Time of Departing, Ray Yungen talks about a Life Times
magazine article about a woman who was initially skeptical about mystical
experiences. Her skepticism evaporated when she discovered that meditation was
"a powerful force":
"[K]undalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that
underlies Hindu spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as
the serpent power. St. Romain, a substance abuse counselor and devout
Catholic lay minister, began his journey while practicing contemplative
prayer or resting in the still point, as he called it.... Having
rejected mental prayer as "unproductive," he embraced the prayer form
that switches off the mind, creating what he described as a mental
passivity. What he encountered next underscores my concern with sobering
"Then came the lights! The gold swirls that I had noted on occasion
began to intensify, forming themselves into patterns that both
intrigued and captivated me ... There were always four or five of
these; as soon as one would fade, another would appear, even
brighter and more intense ... They came through complete passivity
and only after I had been in the silence for a while."
"After this, St. Romain began to sense 'wise sayings' coming into his
mind and felt he was "receiving messages from another.' He also had
physical developments occur during his periods in the silence. He would
feel 'prickly sensations' on the top of his head and at times it would
'fizzle with energy.' This sensation would go on for days."3
"Soon I began to notice unusual sensations in my body while meditating.
It felt like energy flowing through me. In the morning I woke up feeling
happy and energetic and filled with a glowing warmth as though I had
been sleeping in the sunshine on a sandy beach. Gradually the sensations
became stronger and after a while it seemed like electric currents were
coursing through my body. My fingers tingled and I felt a slight
throbbing in the palms of my hands. I had no inkling of the significance
of this energy until one night in a very lucid dream, I was told that I
Thus, we can see that what happens to a person during Hindu or New Age
meditation is the same as what happens during contemplative prayer or soaking
While TACF and Evans use several Scriptures to support their belief in soaking
prayer, a look at these Scriptures do not indicate that a method like soaking is
being suggested at all.
"Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still." Psalm 4:4
These verses in no way indicate that a mystical practice is engaged in order to
still the mind. When the Bible says "be still," it is talking about trusting the
Lord, not becoming anxious or agitated, but resting and trusting in Him. And
there is nothing in Scripture that suggests we will experience these physical
symptoms when in God's presence or when spending time in prayer.
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:7
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
In an article titled
"Toronto-Blessing: Christian Based Magic?," the writer describes the
symptoms that occur during meetings with Swami Baba Muktananda:
"The Swami would transfer what was called "guru grace" to his followers
through physical touch (shaktipat).
This "grace" triggered the gradual awakening of the Kundalini which in
turn produced various physical and emotional manifestations.
When CBN presents their Spiritual Gifts Seminar this coming Tuesday with
Marguerite Evans, we pray that participants will have their eyes opened and see
that soaking prayer is not biblical prayer but could put them into contact with
realms that would endanger their spiritual wellbeing.
"These included uncontrollable laughter, roaring, barking, hissing,
shaking, etc. Some devotees became mute or unconscious. Many felt
themselves being infused with feelings of great joy and peace and love.
At other times the "fire" of Kundalini was so overpowering they would
find themselves involuntarily hyperventilating to cool themselves down."
Notes (not live links):
3. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails Publishing,
2nd ed. 2006), pp. 48-49, citing Philip St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and
Christian Spirituality, Crossroad Pub. Co., 1995, pp. 20-29.
4.Mary Ellen Lafferty, "The Joys and Frustrations of Being a Healer" (Life
Times, Issue Number 3), p. 59.
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