Why Christians Should Say No to Splankna and Centering Prayer

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What happens when a church loses its salt and light?

What happens when Christians, and Christian leaders, are so in love with the world that they no longer realize that their lampstand has been removed?

The Holy Spirit is grieved to the point that while they have a form of godliness, through their actions and their words they deny His power.

They have to turn to alternative methods to infuse power and life in their meetings because without it, they are dead, dried up, religious meetings with no purpose or direction.

And this is where we find ourselves today.

woman in white dress in a field of yellow flowers

Just a couple of weeks ago a reader wrote to me asking about Splankna. If you’ve never heard of Splankna, you’re in good company because I’d never heard of it before either.

Curiously, only shortly before receiving her email, I had landed on a post about “centering prayer”.

And I knew that I needed to address these two topics, and I chose to do them together because they stem from the same root.

New Age.

Why Christians Should Say No to Splankna and Centering Prayer

The church is rapidly sinking into a swamp of New Age ideology and witchcraft.

Like a frog in the proverbial pot, the church slowly warmed to the ideas she is now not only eagerly embracing but parading, celebrating, and glorifying with books and seminars.

It began slowly with humanistic ideologies that we are all basically good.

That our children are born blank slates.

We slowly began to chant the phrase “believe in yourself” and “follow your heart”.

Pretty soon, it was not only the fringe parents who were teaching their kids safe sex and giving them condoms, but it was the majority of parents in the church who claim abstinence is far to high a bar to set for their teenagers.

Now, young people aren’t just listening to the questionable lyrics of Mariah Carey, but they listen to Cardi B and Nicki Minaj with explicit words that have made their way into their everyday speech.

And indeed, the Christian home is very often laced with words the church would have blushed at this side of 50 years ago.

We find ourselves now in a boiling cauldron of wickedness.

Church after church and denomination after denomination slowly bows its knee to political correctness and perceived tolerance.

Leading evangelical voices are growing distorted as one by one they claim that the Bible is no longer the final authority for Christian living…

That we need to “unhitch” ourselves from the Old Testament.

Refusing to call homosexuality a sin and failing to be a clear voice of biblical morality in the fog of confusion our culture finds itself in today.

And because they’ve lost the power of their salt and light, they now turn to alternative sources of power and life — something so grievous to Almighty God.

Rather than repent, they’d rather embrace an even further depth of wickedness.


When I first read this word, it almost seemed like a joke.

Splankna was developed nearly 20 years ago by Christian counselor Sarah Thiessen, who, despite her reservations about alternative forms of therapy being New Age, felt God leading her to become trained in them.

Taking what she felt was the Christian approach to “energy healing”, she developed what she calls Splankna and trains Christians all over the world in Splankna Therapy.

The problem with Splankna Therapy is that is in direct violation of God’s Word.

“When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

Deuteronomy 12:29-32

God clearly told the Israelites they were not to borrow practices from other religions and use them to worship Him.

He calls the worship of false gods an abomination, and you cannot take an abomination and make it pure by stripping it of whatever you believe to be wrong with it.

You can never purify an abomination to the point that it is pure enough to be used in worship of God.

And that is why God gave us His Word. In His Word, He tells us how He wants us to worship Him.

Nowhere in the Bible do we see any form of energy healing, Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Neuro-Emotive Techniques, or any other New Age form of alternative therapy.

The healing power of the Holy Spirit is strong enough to heal to the uttermost and the Word of God is powerful enough to heal and cleanse body, soul, and spirit.

Mingling the New Age with God’s Word doesn’t purify the New Age, it defiles God’s Word – and that is displeasing to God.

Centering Prayer

Also referred to as “contemplative prayer” or the more modern term “soaking”, this type of prayer is not new, it dates back to the Dark Ages and has its roots in ancient mysticism and Neo-Platonism.

However, as the church moves more mystical in its worship, contemplative prayer is growing ever more popular.

Centering prayer uses forms of Buddhist meditation combined with prayer as a way to be “present with the Lord”.

A person is to sit quietly with their eyes closed, choose a word – like a mantra – and make that word their focus, forgetting everything else that comes to mind…even devotional thoughts.

But once again, we find this to be a mingling of New Age, mystical, and pagan practices with worship of God.

But is this really prayer?

Whenever prayer is mentioned in the Bible it is an action.

Even in Romans when Paul talks about the deep groanings of our spirit that do not have words, he says the Spirit prays through us. 

It isn’t silent or inactive. It is active and verbal.

The church is in delusion

There is one statement I continue to see as I have done my research into these New Age practices infiltrating the church.

That is those who have chosen to embrace them express how they felt uncomfortable or cautious at first because they knew these things were rooted in New Age.

But they somehow believed it was God leading them.

And here is where the delusion lies, because God will never lead you to do something that violates His Word.

He will never lead you to a form of worship or ministry that mingles pagan worship and witchcraft with the worship of Him, because any worship of Him that is mingled with worship of Satan is defiled worship.

And defiled worship is an abomination to Him.

Dear sister, I know this series has been heavy. My dad and I have addressed some heavy topics and have opened our hearts to you in grief and sorrow over the deception the church has bought into.

Our hearts are burdened to see the church once again arise with the true power of the Holy Spirit, in purity and righteousness, to be a bright light in the world.

My prayer is – as we finish our series – that you will be wise Bereans.

That you will search the word.

That you will eagerly receive it with joy and openness.

That you will surrender to it — even the difficult passages that call you to full surrender and submission.

But most of all, that the light of Jesus will shine through you, unhindered and unfiltered. Because this is what the world needs today!

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  1. I don’t disagree with 99% of what you shared except for how you’ve lumped Splankna in the same category with the comparisons you listed.

    If you took the time to read the Splankna book, then you would know it has absolutely nothing to do with New Age. God made everything, and He said that it was good. Satan counterfeits. He does not create. People have used what God meant for good, and they twisted it, however, they didn’t create anything for us to be trying to make good in and of ourselves, as that is not possible.

    Also, read about the disciples casting lots in the New Testament to choose a replacement for Judas, or Peter’s shadow healing people, or Jesus telling the man that his daughter was healed without ever touching her. Those things cannot be explained without acknowledging that God is the one that created us to be able to these things.

    If something is New Age, then it needs to be stated, but assuming things and people are and lumping them with things that are ungodly when clearly they aren’t, and there is plenty of material to support why it isn’t helpful.

  2. I LOVE splankna!! My friend who does this work has a gift of prayer and it has blessed my marriage and me as an individual. This is not another god but yet focus’ on our God! I didn’t even read your entire article because I didn’t agree with the headline.

  3. Energy healing is science based. You would know that if you researched it. Did God not create all things? Including energy? Just because we don’t know much about it in western medicine doesn’t mean it has no value or is demonic. I find it so disheartening that Christians jump on some new age witchcraft bandwagon on a topic they know very little of. Especially when those who practice it are trusting in the Lord for direction and guidance. The Bible does in fact have a lot of strange healing practices that we would call new age today. Don’t be so quick to slander your brothers and sisters in Christ. This is certainly not the mission you are called to.

  4. Splankna in and of itself is not bad. Just be judicious with who your practitioner is. Splankna is not new age and it is actually biblical. The author criticizing splankna never actually proves her point. Please rethink what you are doing. I’m sure someone from the institute would be glad to answer your questions and address any of your concerns

  5. What stands out to me is the spirit of honor in which each of these replies who know Splankna reflects the heart and truth of the leadership in Denver. That in and of itself speaks to the good and solid work they do there. Bravo.

  6. After experiencing some Splankna sessions myself what I felt was healing that was completely lead my the Father. The way that we were working through struggles was incredible but even further yet the gentle correction that the Lord will guided me in ( the Correction of love and still you understand the wrong you chose and yet you want the correction.) Splankna has been amazing and planning on attending a training class this year. I hope that you can do some more research on you topic to gain better understanding and dont just write it off because you think it is weird just proves some ignorance and not fully researched out.

  7. From Confronting Powerless Christianity – Evangelicals and the Missing Dimension by Charles Kraft: “The inventory” of God, spirits, rituals and sacrifices is largely the same for animism (new age, etc.) and biblical Christianity BUT the focal point for Christian’s is God while for animists it is Satan. Satanic healing leads sooner or later to captivity and misery whereas God’s healing leads to freedom and peace.” The techniques may be similar but the source of power is starkly different.

    Do your homework!

    Ed Pfohl
    [email protected]

  8. It’s pretty cool to see all these replies stick up for Splankna!!
    And I wholeheartedly disagree with this article’s claims on splankna and would encourage anyone to at least try one session! I’m so happy and blessed that my church pointed me to my practitioner. When I tell you that I am changed and closer to God than I have ever been!! I feel like a lot of people, even devoted Christians raised in the church, go through the motions hoping to hear and feel God, and though he is always with you, it’s difficult to trust, listen and obey – and be sure that it’s God your listening to!!! With splankna, I feel better equipped to recognize when God is speaking and guiding me, and to recognize when he isn’t. When I’m getting all sideways about something that has upset me and tempted me to do some toxic things – I pray! Something that I never enjoyed and only reserved for Sundays – if that, I now do on the daily! It’s just different, I am different, God has moved throughout my life and I gained better awareness with splankna. It’s not scary or evil – lol, it’s really just a guided prayer.

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