What is Spiritual Soaking?

Why is spiritual soaking prayer relaxing for us?

Modern interpretation of an ancient religious practice, spiritual soaking is a form of prayer and meditation. It relaxes ones mind and relieves stress as side benefits.

A Method Of Praying

There are many ways that people relax and relieve stress. If that is the primary goal, this may be one avenue, but you have many alternatives to choose from. If, however, the idea of connecting with the Lord Jesus in a way that deepens your relationship and allows the “peace that passes understanding” to infiltrate your soul is important to you, you may be interested in what many call “soaking prayer”.

peaceful feelings
nosonjai / 123RF Stock Photo

Meditation can be religious or secular, and as such has been found to have health benefits; but for Christians, prayer and meditation is more than the mere practice, it has a focus.

Everyone wants to pray more, pray better, pray more effectively, it seems. Libraries of books have been written, and almost every Christian gives lip service to the value of prayer, its necessity even. But this is no essay on that topic. What I would like to present is the way this form of prayer has given me a tool to overcome the stranglehold of stress in my life.

Soaking After Services

The first time to be introduced to this form of prayer and worship was after services where people had received personal ministry through laying on of hands.

It is usual for people to lay prone on the floor quietly while restful, quiet, music is playing.


To meditate on God has always been a part of the Judeo-Christian practice. Many references are found in Psalms. Focus attention on the acts of God, His Law, His work… the Hebrew word carries the meaning of musing thoughtfully, rolling over in ones mind, studying, ruminating. (1)

Now Science is finding facts in the physical universe that shed light or in some way give support to religious practices. For a person of belief it is fascinating and confirming at the same time. In no way would I think it is proof that we should think a certain way, but for me it underscores importance of such a thing as prayer or meditation for us as whole beings.

Prayer and Meditation reduce stress, they improve our mental capacity.

Why Meditation Makes You Feel Better

Both prayer and meditation focus the mind, and I can’t say whether those who are spiritually soaking are doing that or not. I do know that the whole experience of the soothing music, the restful repose of the body, and the sense of God’s presence work together in a way that I can only describe as restorative: giving back wholeness, a healing experience.

I think all types of prayer are important, so this is only an exploration of one way that is more recent in my own walk of faith. I found it to be a key in overcoming the chronic stress I was prone to.

Source: evan courtney
Source: evan courtney

Soaking Is Active

It may seem paradoxical to our minds, but often what we consider a passive posture is spiritually a very active one. “Waiting on God” is full of active faith and believing, not a useless waste of time. Similarly soaking prayer, while seeming empty, is actively focused on allowing God to be more important than our efforts or needs.


I don’t know, is relaxing necessary? Rest is needed – even required. But relaxing? I would say it is beneficial. I have found certain music, quiet and rested posture, time out from everything including other forms of devotion helps me. mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Of course, being more introverted, perhaps it is my way of recovering from an overstimulated world. Still, due to the references in the Bible that encourage “confidence and quietness”, and other such mental states, I can’t help but draw a conclusion that other personality types would gain in their devotional life from incorporating some of this soaking time into their lives.

Add Some Background Music To Your Meditations

Soaking In Glory Rain - Prophetic Instrumental Worship Music
Soaking In Glory Rain – Prophetic Instrumental Worship Music

Lovely and inspiring piano and some electronic keyboard songs. Very pleasing music that gives a restful background. I would call it quietly energizing.

Meditation and Soaking Prayer Are Not Synonymous

Prayer is communication with God. Meditation are thoughts aboutGod.

Both might produce meditative states of mind.

July True – Heaven’s Embrace

Julie True Interview

One Of My Favorite Musicians Is Julie True

I had researched ways to de-stress as part of the plan to lower my blood pressure and generally improve my life (stress is the number one factor in exacerbating diseases and interferes with relationships and well being.) While doing that, I happened upon “relaxation music”. This genre of music is composed of all sorts of styles and sounds, but with the goal of calming the listener.

Julie True was one of the musicians who produced music for “soaking times”. I listened to some samples and bought an album, “Spirit to Spirit”. I now own other music of this type as well, but this is what I like to listen to when having trouble going to sleep, wanting to have a background to create, etc.
It isn’t just this album or artist, there are other interesting types of music that have the type of meditating atmosphere I wish to rest within to “re-create”.

Spirit to Spirit

Filled with uplifting lyrics done in Julie True’s inimitable style. I bought the CD rather than the mp3 download. But I think anyone who wants quiet, healing, background music will appreciate this album.

Good Vibrations

Music’s Effect

Almost all of us feel the effects of music. In some of us it reaches to our deepest core, and for most of us it certainly is a mood enhancer. But what has science discovered about music?

  • It decreases anxiety
  • Music heals
  • It enhances intelligence
  • Improves concentration
  • Helps you to be more productive


Music produces vibration, is vibration, and the universe is full of it.


What does string theory have to do with prayer? Not being a scientist, I can’t draw conclusions, the import of it all is that there are real reasons to engage in this kind of prayer and meditation. I am a Christian, but you don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from the way things are set up. If certain sounds and vibrations are conducive to healthy bodies and peaceful minds, we can recognize those facts and maybe gain some benefit.

If music is deliberate vibrations of a certain type, and if it can both affect us mentally and physically, I am theorizing that its inclusion in the prayer process is also aiding us spiritually. If you are a believer in the Bible, it would not take much study to find reasons to accept that idea. If not convinced about that source of spiritual information… you could go with the physical and consider the effect of “good vibrations”, or destructive ones.

photo by SteveR-
photo by SteveR-

What Do You Do?

Do you pray or meditate regularly?

  • I often practice soaking prayer
  • Meditation and prayer are often a part of life
  • I meditate as a regular practice
  • I don’t do either of these things
  • Spiritual things are not important to me

What effect does this information have on you?

Does it make you curious to discover more about prayer, or how meditation and prayer influence your brain and general health? Are you considering practicing it in a personal way?

What about the effect of music or the use of music as a way to relieve stress? Are you interested in exploring more about that?

Are you a religious person? If so, do new ways of worship or prayer make you uncomfortable or are you interested in it?

What do you think is the answer to stress from modern life and mental distress?

Hesed: Connecting Mercy to Covenant

Resuming a look into the deeper meaning of God’s steadfast love, or “hesed”, now in terms of what it means to covenant and how seriously God takes this agreement. As Christians, we unthinkingly refer to covenant all the time, after all, we talk of “New Testament” and “Old Testament”, we speak of the “covenant in my blood” when joining in the act of taking communion in our churches. But what is Covenant? What sort of agreement is this, anyway? And why should it matter to us?

In modern day language covenant is a legal term. Take a look at the fine print in legal agreements and you are likely to find the term in there somewhere. It is the same in the Biblical context, but given the solemnity of this act, it is usually much more binding and far-reaching than in today’s “evolutionary” law. In certain cases it was the most sacred manner in which people could promise to align themselves together, or to their God. Or in this case, God to them. Marriage is a type of covenant, and the closest to picturing God’s covenant with man. The sharing of lives, and mingling of all future directions and considerations.

There were many types of covenanting, but the most serious was that of “blood covenant“. The sharing of one’s very lifeblood, life force. This sharing meant one could call upon the other even to the point of life, if necessary. And there were usually consequences in the event that one party failed to live up to his end of the agreement. So it was never entered into lightly, nor taken lightly. Yet, there were such special privileges in those covenants that the less powerful party, especially, was eager to enter into them.

Covenants could, by nature of there being two parties who both had responsibilities in that agreement, be broken.
Continue reading Hesed: Connecting Mercy to Covenant

Matins Meditation

This morning my scripture reading was Ephesians 4. I wanted to share the part that stood out for me, in particular:

4 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of [c]unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

15 Rather, let our lives lovingly [d]express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

16 or because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

17 So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.

18 Their [e]moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is [f]deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].

19 In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].

20 But you did not so learn Christ!

21 Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],

22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;

23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],

24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.(B)

26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.

27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

28 Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

The version I read was the King James, which is what I prefer for reading the Bible, but the version copied here is the Amplified. People have their own ways of meditation, but for me, I simply read slowly and sometimes sit and re-read a part several times over -just letting the words sink into me. This is different from the way I actively study. Meditation is more of a soaking experience, with concentration on the reality of the words before me, sometimes it involves self-searching, as in this morning’s reading.

This passage appears to me to be the standard by which we can determine our mode of delivery of owrds and preaching, as well as the style of our evangelism. It outlines our goals and motivations for all of our communications with each other. It also corrects and gently admonishes us so we can better determine what our position is in relationship to God and His desired outcome for us:Christlikeness.

I found it an edifying way to spend my morning reading time.

The Family Altar

If you’ve read my posts lately I mentioned our Advent tradition of the Advent log, a couple times. I was thinking about how this is one form of the idea of a family altar- an ancient and venerable custom. I don’t hear much about it nowadays, but in the early years of my Christian walk, in the seventies, we often heard it mentioned. The time we spend as a family centered formally around the table to worship God and consider scripture is what is meant by “family altar”. Too many times we isolate our experience of worship to church buildings and officially constructed services or meetings, but stretching back through time it was an accepted form to have a private altar in ones own home- you might see it in movies that depict life in Medieval or Renaissance castles, in M’Lady’s private chambers.

I think it is an idea to consider again.

In our own history of trying to have family worship time, there have been many starts and long pauses. It is especially difficult for passive men, men who leave the religious leadership to the moms, to incorporate this into their days- but to the degree they do, it becomes one of those pursuits that are looked back upon as a truly worthwhile use of effort and time. Who couldn’t use more of those times in their lives?

During the year if you find yourself successful even a quarter of the time- one week out of four- it builds a great deal into the life of the whole family and cements relationships. It doesn’t have to be fancy, either. Simple Bible readings from Proverbs and Psalms are what our family normally utilizes. Although like everything else, the more you put in, the more productive the outcome. That is why it is apparent during our Advent season, we put more time and focus into gathering around the Lord.

I know it can be challenging. It is not easy to start new things, especially when you have ideas of how uplifting it will be…only to be faced by distracting toddler fidgety-ness or sullen teenage “I don’t want to be here doing this”-ness. But if you persevere you can find creative work-arounds that end up making it something everyone eventually appreciates. And you get a little more practical-minded about what real spirituality is, as well. Don’t underestimate that lesson!

A few of the ideas that work with toddlers is to keep it short- and involve some entertainment. Something like teaching the nursery-toddler class at church. Puppets, felt boards, or just having some songs. The key? Habit, really. When children have the habit of listening and sitting quietly for something… it isn’t so much work. That takes making a habit. Someone somewhere said it takes twenty-one days to form a habit. So there you go- try to have family altar time for twenty-one days in fairly close proximity.

If we once get some believing prayer as part of it- I think it really takes off. But like other types of exercise ( this is sort of like spiritual exercise) you have times when you …fall off the wagon? Is that a good phrase for it…hm… You just get busy, actually. And then you start over, forgetting those things and moving on ahead. I’m sure there are some disciplined people who don’t do that… but they don’t live at my house. Anyway, the best recommendation is always success in action. The “just do it” approach. So if you are having an Advent time of family worship, maybe you could consider working that into your year. This is probably more important for those of us not in the mainstream denominations, since they have regular church calendar activities through out the year that (traditionally anyway) used to encourage families to have meditations and readings at home. It could end up being the best gift that you give to each other this year: More of Jesus.

Loving the Unlovely

A long time ago I saved this in my drafts- time to publish, albeit without comment from me.

A Place For the God-Hungry: And Now a Word From Johnny Cash

So what do I communicate to the people in the church I serve?

* You really don’t measure up. (“A real Christian would be doing_________”)
* I really don’t value you as much anymore because of what you said or did.
* Your relationship with me is dependent upon your performance.

Could it be the Lord would like to use you in your church and community to communicate his love?

Perhaps you need to reflect upon one of the following questions:

* How do people feel when you have been around them for a little while? Do they feel encouraged or de-valued?
* Could it be that some come away from a conversation with you feeling there is no way to ever measure up in your eyes?
* Do people see that you value their world? Or do they sense that you only value your world?
* Do people know and feel that even if you disapprove that you will love them anyway?
* Do you need to communicate to your husband/wife/children that you know them and that you love them anyway?

further on on penetrating questions :

So what do I communicate to the people in the church I serve?

* You really don’t measure up. (“A real Christian would be doing_________”)
* I really don’t value you as much anymore because of what you said or did.
* Your relationship with me is dependent upon your performance.

Could it be the Lord would like to use you in your church and community to communicate his love?

Perhaps you need to reflect upon one of the following questions:

* How do people feel when you have been around them for a little while? Do they feel encouraged or de-valued?
* Could it be that some come away from a conversation with you feeling there is no way to ever measure up in your eyes?
* Do people see that you value their world? Or do they sense that you only value your world?
* Do people know and feel that even if you disapprove that you will love them anyway?
* Do you need to communicate to your husband/wife/children that you know them and that you love them anyway?

via Hannah Im

The Virtuous Woman

I love how Joe Carter put the Proverbs thirty-one verse we know so well in a clarified order. Set up as character qualities that are universal- it makes some of the concepts much easier to grasp.

I think this verse has lasting application for us as women and it did me good to take a fresh look through Joe’s eyes…even if I didn’t agree with everything that was presented in the declarations of participants on the topic.
Read, enjoy, think, apply.

That is what it is all about.

the evangelical outpost: Don’t Marry a Proverbs 31 Woman

The Proverbs 31 woman is charitable, entrepreneurial, fashionable, financially astute, healthy, industrious, loving, managerial, productive, prudent, resourceful, responsible, reverent, self-confident, skilled, trustworthy, virtuous, wise, praiseworthy as a wife and mother, and married to a respectable husband.

According to Proverbs, the ideal wife is:

A woman who is…virtuous

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

A woman who is…trustworthy

11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

A woman who is…loving

12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

A woman who is…industrious

13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

A woman who is…resourceful

14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

A woman who is…responsible

15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

A woman who is…entrepreneurial

16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

A woman who is…healthy

17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

A woman who is…financially astute

18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

A woman who is…skilled

19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

A woman who is…charitable

20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

A woman who is…prudent

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

A woman who is…fashionable

22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

A woman who is…married to a respectable husband

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

A woman who is…productive

24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

A woman who is…self-confident

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

A woman who is…wise

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

A woman who is…managerial

27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

A woman who is…praiseworthy as a wife and mother

28-29 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

A woman who is…reverent

30-31 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Should you be interested, I have had my own commentary on this Bible passage. We wander around without any idea of what we want to accomplish with our lives, but we don’t need to, the Bible has lots of enlightening advice, such as this passage. We just have the problem of going all glassy eyed with our own presuppositions that we already know how useless it must be… or illusions that we will find better answers in what passes for women’s literature and magazines these days. Tsk tsk, no wonder we are all so very very confused and hurt and disappointed.

Sight Unseen … and other wars

Reading @ The Shape of Days I came across a short post ( I could learn a thing or two about that ) that sparked an analogy for me.

The invisible front

It’s often been said that we never hear about counterterrorism’s successes, only its failures. That’s not always true. Today in a speech to the National Guard Association here in Washington, the President disclosed never-before-heard details of one of the successes in our fight against Islamic terrorism.

In 2002, according to the President, the United States successfully prevented a group of Malaysian militants coordinated by terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed from hijacking an airliner and flying it into the tallest building in Los Angeles.

It’s a very strange war we’re fighting here. Our enemies are operating in secret, trying to slip through defenses which even our most strident government apologists admit are little more than formalities. When we thwart them — which, apparently, we’ve done several times in the past five years — we can’t advertise it, because we obviously don’t want to tell our enemies how we beat them. We want them to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, so we can keep beating them over and over again.

Today we got only the slightest glimpse into a side of the war on terrorism that we rarely get to see. It was one of those weird moments when I was both fascinated, wondering just what else has happened that I don’t know about, and mortified. Sometimes I think I’m happier not knowing, you know?

What it reminded me of is the fact that we are helped and protected every day. We have an unseen battle surrounding us, and just sometimes we get a glimpse of it.

For some reason this always takes us by surprise.

Jesus spoke of those who have ears to hear and eyes that do not see …. both referring to the fact that there is a spiritual reality and spiritual senses. Are we walking around unaware and is this why we have so little sense of balance in life?

Elisha asked the Lord to open the eyes of the servant…lots more was going on in a situation that looked like all the action was on the enemies side, rather like Jeff Harrell has observed here. And sometimes it disturbs us… as it does him.

Perhaps the open eyes and ears are a matter of habit. Making it a habit to run certain realities by our minds now and again.

I liked being in on Jeff’s revelatory moment because it reminded me of times – and not only my own- when the reality of God’s care and intervention, as well as the dangers out there, appeared on the viewing screen of consciousness.
other observations….
Continue reading Sight Unseen … and other wars