Soaking Prayer and Hearing God
What do you mean by "soaking prayer?"
Soaking prayer is simply positioning yourself to express your love to God. It is not intercession. It is not coming to God with a list of needs. It is the act of entering into the presence of God to experience His love -- and then allowing the love of God through the Holy Spirit to revolutionize your love for Him.
From Catch the Fire Ministries:
A peaceful environment on the outside helps us to come to peace on the inside. When we soak we simply put on some quiet instrumental or worship music and lie down. At first our minds will be whirring with thoughts, but we don’t try and wrestle them. We just wait for them to settle, submitting our mind to the Holy Spirit. Meditating on the fact that the Lord is in our spirits, we believe He is right there with us. If we get distracted we don’t become frustrated, we just simply turn our attention back to the Lord.
Soaking is a dedication: “God this is time just for you.”
Soaking is an invitation: “God do what you want to in me.”
Soaking is an expectation: “Thank you Father for what you are accomplishing as I rest in you.”
We come to Him like little children believing that He has good things for us. “If you then…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him.” Mat 7:11
Soaking is a Psalm 23 experience. He makes us to lie down in green pastures and He leads us by still waters. He restores our soul. As part of the restoration process we may find ourselves responding physically or emotionally. We might laugh, cry, or shake as the Holy Spirit works in us.
The Holy Spirit might give us a vision or bring a memory to our mind that He wants to heal. Often we enter into a deep rest. Perhaps we may fall asleep. Even if we don’t feel anything happening, by faith we believe that the Lord is working in our spirit.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (John 15:6-8, NASB)
The key to bearing fruit as a Christian is by abiding in the Lord. Soaking prayer gives you an opportunity to "abide" in Jesus, allowing His words and His Spirit to abide in you.
What is "Personal Prophecy?"
Personal prophecy is a prophetic word given by a Christian to another person. It is a message from the Lord to that individual pertaining to something in that person's life. The Apostle Paul tells us that prophecy in the New Testament is given to build up the individual and the Church.
But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. (1 Corinthians 14:3-4, NKJV).
Personal prophecy can bring tremendous encouragement to the believer. But it can also be a tool in God's hand to bring the lost to Christ.
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you. (1 Corinthians 14:24-25, NKJV).
The Apostle Paul instructs the church to "desire earnestly to prophesy." The Greek word for "desire earnestly" here is Zeloo, meaning "to have great desire for, to be jealous over and to be zealously affected. The root word is Zelos, meaning "fervency of mind." We are to be zealous in our desire to prophesy, because New Testament prophecy brings edification, exhortation, and comfort to the hearer.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul also warns us not to "quench the Holy Spirit," and immediately he mentions personal prophecy.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21, NKJV).
The word "despise" here is the Greek word exoudenoo, meaning "to make utterly nothing of." We can make "utterly nothing of" prophecy and the moving of the Spirit in our lives by how we respond to these things. The Lord wants us to embrace personal prophecy as one of the ways that He will communicate with the New Testament believer.
But Paul gives us a way to guard against a false word in verse 21 when he declares, "Test all things; hold fast what is good." There is an implied message in this verse that is important for us to understand. If we are to "hold fast to what is good," then Paul is saying that not everything is good. We determine what is "good" and what is not good based on whether the prophecy lines up with the Word of God, and then, whether we have peace in our spirit regarding the prophetic utterance.
If there is not an initial peace, however, it is not necessarily an indication that the word is not from God. It may be that it is not yet the right time for the word to come to pass in our lives, or that we need further clarity on the matter from God. We can gain that clarity through a thorough study of the Word of God on that issue, through godly counsel, and through waiting on the Lord for confirmation that the prophecy is actually of Him.
Scripture tells us, "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed (Matthew 18:16, NASB). We are instructed to seek God for confirmation of His guidance through a prophetic word. And personal prophecy can also bring confirmation of that guidance -- though it should not be the only way a particular direction from the Lord should be confirmed.
What is a "Word of Knowledge?"
A word of knowledge is one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that Paul speaks of:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit… (1 Cor. 12:7-8, NKJV).
A word of knowledge is a prophetic word of God's overall knowledge of a person, group, or individual. Like all the prophetic gifts it is intended to bring edification, exhortation, and comfort to the hearer (1 Cor. 14:3).
The Bible is God's special and unique revelation of truth. Nothing can be added to or taken from it. However, God also gives what we call "subordinate revelation" to His people, including the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and personal prophecy.
In Ephesians 1:17, Paul prays "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him." Paul also writes in 1 Corinthians 14:26, "When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation."
The word of knowledge is a gift given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8), and thus is a revelation from God. But we must ways remember that the Bible remains the ultimate authority in all truth.
Order Craig's book: Seven Keys to Hearing God's Voice
Related: Led by the Desires of Our Hearts?
Related: The Harness of the Holy Spirit
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Image by Derek Steen - © 2020. Used with permission. Licensed under Creative Commons