By John David Hicks, Evangelist © 2003
“Soaking Prayer” or “Soaking in the Lord” is when you have a time of concentrated prayer and waiting in the presence of God. It conveys the idea that something is dry and needs to soak in moisture to be refreshed. Like “soaking in a tub, you are saturated and surrounded by warm bath water; you are peaceful and relaxed.” On the spiritual side, “Soaking Prayer” is the prayers of other Christians that “penetrates and saturates you completely with the peace and power of God in your body, mind, and emotions as you rest and soak in the Lord.”
Jesus talks about this kind of prayer in Luke 11:9-13, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Literally, ask, and keep on asking, seek, and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking). “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
The Lord is saying: Ask and it will be given—this is faith for something only God can provide. If you are seeking something that is lost, or there are circumstances that are beyond your control, God will help you find it or take hold of it. I assure you if you boldly knock on a closed door, you will obtain admittance. I promise you that everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened to your request. You can ask for what you don’t possess; you can seek for what is not apparent; you can knock so that the obstacles can be removed. This is essence of persistent prayer. Jesus illustrates this by saying that a father naturally gives good gifts to His children. Your Father God is available and eager to respond with earthly and heavenly gifts to His children. The greatest gift is the Holy Spirit, the gift of God Himself. You are to pray with confidence.
Importunity—in the Greek means “shamelessness and boldness;” it’s refusing to go away and boldly refusing to take a denial. Importunity in prayer will overcome apathy. Persistence changes the hearts and minds of those who are praying and examines the sincerity of your request.
To understand this principle of prayer Jesus gives two parables on importunity, persistence in prayer: The Friend at Midnight; when friendship will not get a friend up at mid-night, persistence will. Jesus goes on to tell of a widow who cannot get justice from the unjust judge, but persistence will get her justice. “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:7-8).”
With a delayed answer Jesus encourages us to continue to cry out. He then ends this teaching with a question of sadness. “When there is a delay, when you have to wait; will you lose your faith in the power of God to help you?”
The temptation for those who are not healed right away is to question God’s faithfulness to them. Some things take time. I know if we could have spent more time with some, conceivably they would have been completely healed. But there was not enough time in the larger prayer service. With the delay, many lose faith in the power of God to heal them. However, there is a time ingredient in most healings.
There is a difference between a miracle and a healing. A miracle takes place in a moment and a healing may take time. Jesus said, “they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover (Mark 16:18 NRSV).” “Recover” implies future action. The healing may have begun and be completed in a future point in time.
The answer I believe to partial or incomplete healing as well as to those who have lost their healing is “soaking prayer.” Persevere in prayer. Don’t hesitate to have friends and family pray for you at greater length. Some pray for ten minutes every night; others pray once a week. Some will give an hour for prayer. Severe illness at times takes more time. As long as you are seeing improvement, keep on praying. Many prayer teams have seen outstanding results with just a few hours of persistent praying.
Some have received healing by taking daily Communion. “Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you… Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him (John 6:53, 56).” We are to partake of the life of God. The Lord’s Supper is a symbol of our salvation and the covenant that was sealed with Jesus’ broken body and shed blood. Ask the Lord to heal you spiritually, emotionally and physically according to His covenant.
When you are praying and the healing stops; ask the Lord why? God will speak and reveal your heart (Revelation 2:7). Ask the Lord to show you the “root problem.” Have the person pray: “Lord, I give you permission to show me what is blocking my healing.” Be quiet before the Lord. Then ask, “Are you hearing, seeing or sensing anything?” God will give you a word or impression for you to ponder (Jeremiah 17:10). If you don’t understand, ask Him to clarify it. People receive much more healing when they get their answers from the Lord.
Some have “lost their healing” because they “felt better” and thought that the healing was complete; but something in the sickness was still there and it came back later. When there is “peace with freedom in the body,” that is a good indication that the healing process is done. To be sure, have some doctors verify that the person is cured. God will get more glory and the person will have a persuasive testimony that God has healed them.
A lot of healings will take place in time with persistent prayer and “soaking.” Our problem like Abraham is the waiting for the fulfillment of the promise. Yet it was the process that made him the “Man of Faith” and the “Friend of God.”
I know of a 38 year old man who got the news that he had cancer and had 3 months to live. He had a wife and five children. He believed that God wanted him to raise his kids. He called for “the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14).” The doctor said he still had cancer. The next week he asked the elders to pray again. They declared that they had already prayed. But he persisted that they prayed again. They did. Again, he would see the doctor and then insisted that the church pray again. He did this for eight weeks. On the eighth Sunday he knew that God had healed him and that his healing was complete. The doctors confirmed it. That was several years ago and the cancer has not come back.
Doug Sheets says that he prayed every week for a year for a girl in a coma before she came out of the coma and God healed her. I know of several who were partly healed but with soaking prayer were completely healed in a few days or weeks.
Teresa Patino, a 19 year old girl from Colombia, South America came for prayer for her withered leg. When she was five she stepped on a sharp object in a swamp and infection set in that went to the bone. It developed into osteomyelitis that warped her right leg and shortened it. The leg was six inches shorter than the other and twisted as well. There was a deep scar where an unsuccessful bone graft had been attempted.
When she was prayed for by the pastor and a prayer team of seven, her leg grew an inch. They took a break for supper and came back to pray again. The leg grew another inch and was gradually straightening out. They measured the length every ten minutes. The next day they prayed for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon and their was only a two-inch difference between the legs. Remarkably, the right foot which was flat and had no arch grew and changed shape until it was a normal. The toes that were deformed, that were about half the size of her left foot, doubled in size to become normal.
Twice the healing stopped and they asked the Lord why? They discovered in the morning that she needed to forgive her mother for abandoning her. Her family was poor and could not give Teresa proper medical treatment so they gave her to another family that offered to help. For a child this seemed like rejection. After she forgave her mother, inner healing took place and her leg again started straightening and growing.
The second time healing stopped was in the afternoon, so they asked the Lord “why?” They found out that when Teresa’s brother was severely injured in an accident a few years ago, she offered her crippled leg to God if he would spare her brother’s life. So she felt guilty about her healing taking place, since it seemed she was going back on her promise to God. The pastor helped by using his authority to set her free from the effects of such a vow and to break its bondage. Once again her leg started to heal and the deep, deep scar on her leg came together and healed. The right leg had now become normal and for the first time since the accident she did not need crutches, but it was still painful to stand on it.
A doctor examined Teresa and said the bone was still broken and weak and counseled against walking on it. Further prayer was given. There was no more pain. A few days later she saw two doctors and both confirmed that her bone had welded together and she was completely healed. Now, for the first time in 14 years, Teresa is walking again because of soaking prayer. Tears of gratitude flowed as she praised God and thanked her friends for their prayers. (I revised & edited this article by Frances MacNutt in the New Covenant magazine).
Without the persistent prayer of her friends, I don’t think this healing would have taken place. At times we do not make the effort or pray long enough. The question is not, Will I receive, or find, or have the door open? The answer has already been determined. The real issue is, Will I keep on asking, seeking, knocking in prayer until I witness it?
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him (Hebrews 10:35-38).”