Soaking - Dr. John Arnott and Dr. Mark Virkler

Mark Virkler's picture

Question: I have some problems with soaking. First of all, what is it exactly? Why would I want to do it, and how do you? I don’t even know how to slow down to receive from God, I just fall asleep! So for me soaking seems like a distant impossibility and doesn't even really make sense. Can you help?

John Arnott Has Brought “Soaking” as a Practice to the Church 

John defines soaking this way:

“Although 'soaking' includes waiting on the Lord, in this present move of the Spirit it means much more than that. To 'soak' in God’s presence is to rest in His love rather than to 'strive' in prayer.

As the person receiving a touch from God begins to connect with the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence, he often responds by falling or simply lying on the floor. As he rests expectantly in God’s presence, often the Holy Spirit hovers over the person to reveal more of God’s love and to renew and repair areas of a person’s life. As the believer soaks in God’s presence, the Lord takes control and begins to draw his attention to God’s word either in the Scriptures or through internal audible impressions or pictures he sees in his mind’s eye....”

Soaking Is Making a Conscious Decision to Enter into God’s Presence to Experience Him

It is two lovers sharing love together. He is the Divine Lover of the universe. We are His espoused bride. In soaking we enjoy His love and share love back to Him. It is divine encounter which utilizes the senses of our hearts and spirits.

Sometimes lovers simply sit together doing nothing but enjoying being in one another’s presence. Other times we are hearing His voice, seeing His vision and feeling His heart of mercy, love and forgiveness. We often receive His revelations and insights and an inner renewing as His Spirit illumines our spirits, souls and bodies, transforming us from the inside out. Soaking is also called “abiding in Christ” (Ps. 15, Jn. 15).

Soaking May Include Becoming Intoxicated by God’s Love

"He brought me to the house of wine and His banner over me was love" (Song of Songs 2:4 Literal Translation of the Holy Bible). Wow! This is not way I memorized this verse. I learned it as “he brought me to his banqueting table," not house of wine! Which is correct?

Well, the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance number for this Hebrew word is “H3196.” It appears in Scripture 139 times, and is translated “wine” 135 times, “vine” once, “winebibbers” once and “banqueting” once. The meaning of this word is fermented wine which results in intoxication. That reminds me of Acts 2:13-21, where the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, appeared to be intoxicated.

Some people will act intoxicated while they soak, and that is fine and biblical. They are drunk on the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. This has got to be the best way in the world to get drunk! Others may not get drunk, as everyone’s personality and constitution is different. That is fine. We accept and celebrate our differences. We enjoy the way God has made us, without demanding others match our experiences.

Soaking Involves…

Quieting Yourself Before His Presence: This can be facilitated by getting into a comfortable position, relaxing, slowing down your breathing, putting a smile on your face, lifting your eyes up to Him as you worship Him in spirit. Often soft soaking music can assist in this quieting process as can a journal at your side where you record your dialogue with God (i.e. as in Psalms and book of Revelation). What we’ve found to be best is when soaking music is played quietly, barely audible, with no crescendos. Simple instrumental music without words and without melodies you know the words to, so you don’t end up singing along in your head, is ideal. You will find that you, too, can enter God’s throne room as you worship!

Seeing God with the Eyes of Your Heart: You fix the eyes of your heart upon Him as David did. Using godly imagination, you picture the Lord present with you (Acts 2:25; Ps. 16:8). You pray that the eyes of your heart be enlightened (Eph. 1:17,18) and tune to flow. Flowing images bubble forth as you step from a godly imagination into a vision of yourself and Him together.

Hearing God with the Ears of Your Heart: You ask Him to speak, and then tune to His voice which is received as flowing thoughts, keeping your eyes fixed on Him (Heb. 12:1,2). It is good to record His words in your two-way journaling. Write (or type) in faith, knowing you can test them later. Let Him speak to you about the things on His heart. Biblical meditation can be experienced as you soak. You may want to review this short blog on the four keys to hearing God’s voice.

Feeling God’s Love with the Emotions of Your Heart: You experience and pick up his heart of compassion by experiencing His deep love for you, which heals and restores love, joy, peace and laughter to your heart at its deepest levels. This may be felt as spontaneous emotions bubbling up from deep within. They are God’s emotions. You radiate this loving touch with those whom you encounter.

Experiencing Divine Energy: Your spirit feels the anointing/power of the Holy Spirit. God’s miracle working power (Greek word is Energeo) may be experienced in any or all of the following ways: heat, tingling, shaking, emotional and/or physical release.

Interestingly, when I surveyed 100 people who had soaked at Catch the Fire in Toronto, I found the greatest proportion felt Him. The next greatest proportion, heard Him. And the lowest proportion of people surveyed saw Him. I suspect this is because most people have not been trained that they can purposely present all faculties and senses of their hearts to the Lord to be moved upon by Him.

What God Says About Experiencing His Presence

What you need is to come and drink from My love, the well of life that is always available. Quench yourself as often as you can in it. Just like food and water you will have to keep coming back to it again and again. I love you. Remember the spirit man doesn’t need healing. He has all the solutions. My spirit is flowing always. Love, joy and peace are always flowing.

If you don’t give a person the chance to love you, they can never love you. I am a person, the person of the Holy Spirit. If you treat Me like I don’t exist you can never experience Me. Do things with Me for I have always desired to be in you and love you. That is why I am in you. You can only experience Me when you fellowship with Me and My Word.

I am not far away. I am in you and with you. Let’s play and have fun together, dance with Me, talk to Me, love Me and you will see I will love you back. When one is loved they will always love back. I am love so when you fellowship you are fellowshipping with Agape love.

How much I can love you is dependent not on Me but you. Worship Me and in that presence I will manifest myself to you, it is true. I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek me.

Received in two-way journaling by Leslie Alista Kgorane - Botswana, Africa

What Do I Take Away from My Soaking Encounter?

I have just been in God’s presence, so I expect to be saturated through and through by His Spirit. I expect to be changed because I have just exchanged my weakness, cares and challenges, for His strength, faith and grace. And indeed, I am transformed!

I have experienced His peace and power and faith permeate me. I have received divine wisdom and revelation concerning the challenges I am facing. I now step forward with His creative ideas, His empowering and His grace leading and guiding me. I have been transformed by being in His Spirit.

Comments from the Catch the Fire Leadership Team

Steve and Sandra LongDan Slade


Steve and Sandra Long - Soaking is active rest!  It isn't always easy as it takes effort!


Dan Slade - You never know what you're going to get when you're soaking!


Additional Resources

4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice – Trains you how to quiet down, see yourself present with Jesus and easily recognize His voice, vision and healing touch as flowing thoughts, flowing pictures and flowing energy.

The Great Mystery – Christ Within – Guides you through the New Testament revelation that Christ lives within you, is joined to you and releases to you all you are and all you need.

Naturally Supernatural – Teaches you how to live naturally supernatural as you live out of the indwelling Christ.

The Treasure Chest – Spirit-Led Prayer Organizer: Devotionals to Meet Your Specific Needs

(Sunset photo by Charla,

Go Deeper - Get Healthy!

Check out this entire blog series on Vibrant Health! - Miracles PLUS Gifts of Healings. Working through this series on health is ideal for both individuals and groups. The more we take responsibility for ourselves - spirit, soul and body - the healthier we become! Won't you join me in living to at least 100 in vibrant health?


Related Blogs: 

Gifts of Healings   
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