Q. My church offers programs (for lack of a better word) on what I now understand is called contemplative spirituality. We have spiritual directors and there is a course on spirituality and also a deliverance ministry.
I am confused about the Spiritual gift of discernment. My church teaches that all people are “sensitive” but some are more so and this is different than the gift of discernment. I am what they call very sensitive and they recommend I attend something called “soaking prayer”. Do you have any experience with soaking prayer and what do you think of it?
I want to know with confidence what gift the Holy Spirit has given me and then I want to serve the Lord and His church with that gift.
A. Soaking prayer is a form of contemplative prayer that’s popular in some parts of the Church today. The objective is to clear your mind of everything until you feel a tingling or warmth that followers say is God’s Spirit. Then you just “soak it in.” The methodology used is very similar to that found in Kundalini Yoga. It’s sometimes called serpent power in Hinduism.
Nowhere in the Bible are things like this described. We’ve all had moments when we’ve experienced the presence of God, but when the need for experiences like this takes precedence over everything else it becomes dangerous because it can open us up to other spirits, as I believe you already know.
The Gift of Discernment is the supernatural ability to intuitively know when something is from the Lord or not. It doesn’t sound to me like you have it .
If you want to know for sure what your Spiritual Gift is and how the Lord would like you to use it, you don’t need to tinker around with various New Age techniques or Eastern mysticism. Instead, begin applying Romans 12:1-2 in your life. Present your whole being as a living sacrifice to Him, and learn to follow His leading. The Bible promises that you’ll find God when you seek Him with all your heart. Romans 12:2 says you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.