What Is Grave Soaking?

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In the realm of spiritual practices, there exists a controversial and debated phenomenon known as “grave soaking” or “grave sucking.” This practice, which has gained attention in certain religious circles, involves individuals seeking spiritual experiences by laying on or interacting with gravesites, with the intention of absorbing the spiritual anointing or power of deceased individuals. While some view it as a legitimate form of spiritual connection, others criticize it as misguided and potentially disrespectful. In this blog post, we will delve into the origins, beliefs, and controversies surrounding grave soaking.

What Is Grave Soaking?

Grave soaking finds its roots in a charismatic Christian movement, often associated with the Bethel Church in Redding, California. Proponents of this practice believe that the graves of certain influential or anointed individuals, often referred to as “generals” in the faith, contain residual spiritual power. The idea is that by lying on or praying over these graves, individuals can receive a spiritual impartation, gaining the gifts or anointing of the deceased.

The concept is closely tied to the belief in the transference of spiritual anointing, a notion derived from biblical stories where individuals received blessings or anointing by coming into contact with a spiritually powerful person. Proponents argue that grave soaking is a modern manifestation of this ancient principle, a way for believers to tap into the supernatural power left behind by those who were considered great spiritual leaders.

Controversies And Criticisms:

Grave soaking has faced substantial criticism from both within and outside the Christian community. One primary concern revolves around the potential for the misinterpretation and misapplication of biblical principles. Critics argue that the practice lacks a solid foundation in scripture and may distort the original intent of the passages used to justify it.

Moreover, opponents question the ethics and respectability of grave soaking, asserting that it can be perceived as exploiting the deceased for personal spiritual gain. Some argue that it reflects a misguided approach to spirituality, potentially veering into the realm of superstition and magical thinking.

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Theological debates have also arisen, with many mainstream Christian denominations distancing themselves from the practice. The emphasis on seeking spiritual power from specific individuals, rather than from a direct connection with the divine, raises theological concerns for those who adhere to more traditional interpretations of Christian doctrine.


Grave soaking remains a polarizing and contentious practice within the broader landscape of spiritual beliefs. While some individuals find meaning, connection, and empowerment through this controversial ritual, others see it as a deviation from orthodox Christian teachings and a potential disrespect to the deceased. As with many spiritual practices, the interpretation and acceptance of grave soaking largely depend on individual beliefs, values, and cultural contexts. Ultimately, the debate surrounding grave soaking prompts reflection on the diverse ways people seek spiritual connection and the boundaries of acceptable practices within religious communities.


What Is The Controversy With Bethel Church?

Some critics allege that Bethel leaders, including senior pastor Beni Johnson, have in fact practiced and promoted grave soaking. Beni Johnson posted photos to Twitter and Instagram of herself lying on or hugging the graves of Christians such as C.S. Lewis. The posts were later removed.

What Does It Mean To Soak In The Bible?

Soaking is a way to receive from God. In their book, Preparing for the Glory, John and Carol Arnott, founding pastors of Catch The Fire, describe soaking as, “…intentionally getting into the presence of God by faith, and just being with Him.” ( p155)

What Is A Soaking Night At Church?

It is a time of stillness and quiet reflection upon the Lord where we can commune with Him and enjoy His Presence. If you stop focusing on all the instruments, the singing, the words of the songs, the worship leader’s exhortation and simply focus on intimacy with Jesus; that is soaking.

What Is A Soaking Service?

Psalm 37:7 “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” This essentially is what “soaking” is. When we soak in God’s presence, we are in a place of rest where we wait upon Him. The old timers spoke of tarrying. This is where they would spend long hours waiting on the Lord.

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