What Is Being “Slain In The Spirit?”

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Have you heard of the term, “Being slain in the Spirit?” What does it mean? Is it biblical?

Praying the Blood

Before a few years ago, I had never even heard about being slain in the Spirit, just as I hadn’t heard much about praying Jesus’ blood. That was new one to me. Those who pray in Jesus’ blood, not in Jesus’ name, say that it’s the most important and powerful prayer you can ever pray, but is praying Jesus’ blood biblical? Did Jesus or any of the other apostles pray like this? The fact is, I couldn’t find anywhere in the Bible where someone prayed Jesus’ blood over a situation. Not even once! So, where did this come from? It is simply from human tradition. One author claims in a book that praying through Jesus’ blood is highly crucial in spiritual warfare because the power in the blood of the Lamb is the ultimate power, and there is no power that supersedes it, but I’m sorry…that is wrong! Jesus’ name has all the power and all authority, not His blood. Jesus’ shed His blood for us, but the blood is not what we pray through…we are told to pray to the Father through Jesus, a Person, and not through a thing, meaning His blood. Even preaching the blood of Jesus as a special miracle working power cannot be substantiated from Scripture. It’s just not there! Yes, Jesus’ shed blood took away our sins, but it was not blood alone, but Jesus’ sinless life, death, and blood that we are cleansed. Nowhere in Scripture are we ever told, even once, to pray through the blood of Christ.

Why Christians Say Amen

Be praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

Praying in the Spirit

Since we are not to imitate human-based means of prayer (i.e. praying through Jesus’ blood), we must do what the Bible commands in prayer, and that is we should be praying in the Spirit of God through Jesus’ name. The Apostle Paul explains to us that since we “have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The [Holy] Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:15-16), and “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:26-27). Rather than praying in or through the blood of Jesus, we are actually commanded to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18). Jesus also commanded the disciples (and us) “that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Slain in the Spirit?

Jesus taught the disciples about how they ought to pray, and His blood is never once mentioned. If Jesus wanted us to pray through or by His blood, here would have been His chance, but instead, He tells the disciples that we are to pray to the Father (Matt 6:9), but He adds, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7), and that is “so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16). Answered prayer always glorifies Jesus’ name, but answered prayer in His blood? Who knows? Wouldn’t that glorify His blood more than His name? It must be in His name that we pray through. Jesus is our High Priest and Mediator and is the only One Who has access to the throne room of heaven. He is our only means to the Father, but it must be through Jesus and His name, and not by blood, which has no name before the Father. Jesus is the name above all names by which we must pray. It is not His blood that is above all names. And, neither is being slain in the Spirit. Being slain in the Spirit is unique to Pentecostal and charismatic churches, but it’s not found the Bible. When someone is supposed to be slain in the Spirit, they sometimes lose control of their bodily actions, they are overcome by the Spirit, they might fall to the floor, start twitching as if they’re not-quite-dead, and they claim that it’s because they are under the Spirit’s power, but again, that is not found in Scripture…anywhere at all! Being slain in the Spirit is not what some claim to have originated where at the Transfiguration of Jesus, after hearing God’s voice, “the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified” (Matt 17:6). We can be led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, but nowhere does the Bible mention being slain in the Spirit. Again, this is a human or manmade product of tradition that has no biblical support. You can quench the Spirit (1 Thess 5:19), and grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30), but not be slain in the Spirit.

Conclusion

Don’t you wish we could just get back to biblical basics and not try to conjure up human emotion or power by pleading Jesus’ blood, praying Jesus’ blood, or trying to be slain in the Spirit? We already have a model of what the church is commanded to do (Matt 25:34-40; 28:18-20), and in the Book of Acts we see the template of the first century church, where it says they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43). That’s why “the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47), but not once did they ever plead or pray through Jesus’ blood or were said to be “slain in the Spirit.” They simply studied the Word of God (the apostles’ teaching), had fellowship, observed the Lord’s Supper, and were dedicated to prayer. They already knew the biblical way to pray because Jesus had already taught the apostles how to pray (Matt 6:9-13), and the apostles’ teaching must have included Jesus’ teaching on prayer, so we need to stay biblical in our prayers and stop attributing Jesus’ blood as having special powers while neglecting the Name above all names (Phil 2:8-11). We should count it a high privilege to have direct contact with the Father through Jesus. We don’t need to add anything more to it. We can pray to the Father through the Son. Maybe that sounds boring to some charismatics, but I rest on the Word of God and not on human teachings or the traditions of man.

Here is some related reading for you: Is Praying in Jesus’ Blood Biblical?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Rhoades March 10, 2018 at 9:42 am

Right on!

Reply

Chuck Mitchell March 14, 2018 at 10:10 am

I do agree with the article about praying in Jesus’ blood. It’s simply not biblical.
I’m a Pentecostal, who believes in all the gifts of the spirit. I’ve heard the term slain in the spirit or drunk in the spirit for many years. So I decided to do some research. Many that I asked pointed to Acts chapter two as the basis of their belief. But when you look at the scripture, what where the people doing on the day of Pentacost? The Word tells us that when the Holy Spirit fell on them, each person began speaking in tongues. Meaning they were speaking in the native languages of the different people who where in Jerusalem about Jesus (Acts 2:1-15). So I prayed for God to show me. My spirit wasn’t satisfied. What constitutes someone to believe in the term drunk in the spirit or slain in the spirit? After digging deep into God’s Word, God showed me a scripture that validates the term “drunk in the spirit”. In the book of Jeremiah chapter 23, Jeremiah is consumed by the Holy Spirit over what the prophets of Israel where doing. In verse 9, Jeremiah explains how he feels being consumed by the Holy Spirit. “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord , and because of the words of his holiness.” (Jeremiah 23:9).
Some may disagree with what I truly feel God showed me and that’s alright. My spirit bares witness to God’s truth.

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Bill Crowell March 15, 2018 at 9:32 am

Very interesting article and terrific point of view. I also had assumed that slain in the spirit was an incident from the book of Acts where the husband and wife who were phony Christians and stole from the church and then lied about it were slain by the spirit. They were knocked dead. But if that is one of the origins of the slain in the spirit idea it really is not logical. Because these people were killed by the spirit for apostasy. So I have often wondered about that angle of it!

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Joe Sewell March 15, 2018 at 8:04 pm

Whenever I’ve seen someone allegedly be “slain in the Spirit,” it reminds me more of a faint caused by excessive amounts of adrenaline, pumped up by the hyper-emotion and noise. In other words, it’s a panic attack.

Reply

Jeri Williams March 17, 2018 at 11:31 am

I often ,when I pray, say something like, since Jesus she’d his blood to save us and forgive us, please wash me in his blood tonight and take away my sins of the day. Now, that you let me know we are not supposed to pray about blood, what other way can I word this while praying?

Reply

Jack Wellman March 17, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Praying to the Father in Jesus’ name is how Jesus said we are to pray. Does that make sense my friend.

Reply

LaRochelle Stribling March 24, 2018 at 5:53 am

Is the babbling I hear in churches today the biblical meaning of speaking in tongues,especially if everyone there speaks English???? Really need to know

Reply

Jack Wellman March 24, 2018 at 10:48 am

Hello my friend. No, likely many are not speaking in tongues because the word tongues used in the New Testament means “language” so it’s a known language, and not unknown babbling. I agree.

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