‘Soaking worship’ has become a familiar term in church life today, but what do we mean by it?
As the name suggests, soaking worship has two aspects.
- Worship speaks of the giving of our adoration, honour and love to God
- Soaking speaks of receiving and drinking from God
Soaking worship means that we are simultaneously focused on both giving and receiving. At first glance, this appears to be a contradiction.
It has often been said that worship should be a one-way giving of our adoration to God, not expecting anything in return. However, the Bible reveals that God’s desire has always been for communion, relationship and encounter.
The tabernacle was an early place of worship that God referred to as, ‘the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you.’ (Exodus 30:36) 
The key elements of soaking worship are:
- An attitude of worship
- Being positioned to encounter God
- Spending quality, unhurried time.
‘As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.’ (Ps 42:1)
The Psalms give us glimpses of the worshipper’s heart. In Psalm 63, David expresses both his longing and thirst for God and his worship of God. The two go hand in hand.
There is something in our hearts and spirits that can only be satisfied in the place of worship.
How Soaking Worship Takes Place
Soaking worship can take place either privately or publicly. However, by its very nature, soaking worship is personal.
I sometimes lead into a type of ‘soaking worship’ session when ministering in conferences and camps. This enables individuals to encounter God and gives the Holy Spirit room to minister and take the teaching of God’s word deeper—from heads into hearts.
When our hearts are open in worship and an attitude of surrender, we are open to receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit more than any other time.
Methods have arisen to facilitate worship soaking in groups or publicly. There is even a ‘soaking’ sub-genre of worship music.  Whilst these can be helpful tools to assist us, it is important to remember that soaking worship is not about a formula, style, or method.
Each of us encounters and worships God in a very unique way—and we also have individual tastes as to what type of music touches our hearts and connects us in worship to God.
4 Benefits of Soaking Worship
Here are 4 benefits of taking intentional time for soaking worship:
1. Soaking Worship Fosters Intimacy with God
Taking time in God’s Presence to love, worship and appreciate Him as well as to receive from Him helps develop our intimate relationship with Him.
We open our heart’s door and welcome Jesus in to commune with us. (Rev 3:20)
We catch a revelation of the Father’s heart, His grace and His love. In the light of His grace and favour, we can open up the innermost places of our soul, where we have been hurt and damaged—and in that space, the experience of His love can heal us.
2. Soaking Worship Facilitates Encounter
Soaking worship encourages individuals to have a personal encounter with God. We set aside intentional time to worship and meet with Jesus.
3. Soaking Worship Allows the Prophetic Ministry of the Spirit to Flow
Soaking worship times encourage us to hear from God for ourselves as we open our hearts to Him. As we position in His Presence, our Father births His dreams in our lives and speaks of what is on His heart.
4. Soaking Worship Provides Replenishment
During times of soaking worship, we receive an impartation of the Holy Spirit into our hearts and lives. We intentionally surrender and yield all of our hearts and lives to Him—and what we present to Him, He takes and fills.
Soaking worship also has natural benefits. As we physically and mentally relax in God’s Presence it helps relieve us from stress, pressure and anxiety.
The above are personal benefits to the worshipper. However, God Himself delights in and benefits from our times of encounter and worship of Him. ‘I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.’ (SOS 7:10)
Personal Soaking Worship
Soaking worship is something that we can incorporate into our personal times with God. It is especially helpful during seasons when we have experienced weariness, dryness or are at a crossroads when we need to hear what is on our Father’s heart.
It is important to remember that soaking worship is not a replacement for our devotional life, although it can complement it. Our experience of God should always be grounded in His Word and these times of encountering God should always be balanced with times of Bible study.
Leading Soaking Worship Sessions: Suggestions and Guidelines
If you are involved in leading public soaking worship times, here are some important things to remember:
- Be intentional about creating a safe environment for people to encounter God.
- Have a plan to minister to anyone who responds emotionally or who has a spiritual manifestation during a worship soaking time. Creating a safe environment may require you appointing leaders to—on the rare occasions it may be needed—take individuals aside and minister to them separately from the group.
- Provide for those who have physical needs or limitations to have a comfortable place to sit or rest.
- Acknowledge that some people are at different places in their relationship with God, and have different comfort levels of opening their hearts to Him. Allow people some different options in how to position and respond during a soaking time.
- Because this is a time when individuals hear from God, it is important to foster an environment of prophetic integrity. Encourage people to talk with their leadership about any personal guidance or spiritual experience they receive during a soaking worship time. 
- Being under spiritual oversight is vital for any prophetic endeavour and a safety net for those who are ministering in soaking worship sessions.
 See articles under ‘related posts’ below on the topic of prophetic worship.
 For those who are on Spotify, I have just set up my own ‘soaking’ playlist. Search for ‘Helen Calder Soaking Worship’ on Spotify.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family