Explore tools for critical reflection and spiritual practices to deepen your experiences.
Relaxing in God's love.
God’s is always and everywhere and is present in everything—in every circumstance, in every situation both good and bad. The ultimately unknowable mystery of God is that God’s presence suffuses even situations that, to our minds, represent the most difficult and challenging “realities.”
Tragedy? God is there. Suffering? God is there. Catastrophic loss? Horrific injustice? God is there. The fact of our difficulty, our sympathy and empathy, and even the depth of our our righteous rage over injustice—either real or imagined—does nothing to absent God from any situation.
The practice of what is called “Soaking Prayer” uses the metaphor of a kind of immersion in or infusion of God’s grace to help us to regain awareness of God’s “already always and everywhere” presence. It helps us to call to mind that “God is in this, too.”
Soaking prayer gives us both hope and trust, even as our grasp of the mystery of God’s plan is necessarily incomplete. It can also offer us insights, epiphanies, and clarity from which we can take inspired action.
When we bring this practice to our Encounters with issues of global significance we also submit to the idea that we are not separate from the issues under consideration. The issues are global issues, but they are also our issues. The world in which they exist is not a different world, the consequences not unrelated to us. They exist in our world and do, in fact touch our lives.
When we attempt Soaking Prayer we acknowledge that we’re immersed in God’s presence, but so is the issue we’re concerned about.
To soak in God’s presence, we simply rest together in God’s love, holding ourselves in conscious communion with the situation under consideration. This is not a time for intensive prayer or reading. Lay aside all of that for another day. Simply find a place to rest and relax—a comfortable chair, a hammock, a bed, or on the ground. Playing peaceful worship music may help you to quiet your soul and to bring you closer to God’s heart.
Be aware of the warmth of God’s love surrounding you. Imagine yourself in a refreshing pool of water or bathed in a soft golden light of God’s presence. Allow yourself to deepen into the experience, to begin to feel God’s presence within you and those people you know are affected by the issue of concern.
Let God’s presence slowly dissolve blockages to awareness, freeing thoughts, intentions and creativity. Let answers and insights bubble to the surface of consciousness.
Soaking prayer can last as long as you need, from fifteen minutes to an hour or more. If you are feeling overwhelmed by what you have seen or heard about in your Encounter, this may be the best way to deepen your experience toward spirited action.