It was actually quite funny one day in seminary. I was the one always making pentecostal jokes. I only make fun of what I’m a part of, but I guess this one guy didn’t pick up on it. He had three guys from the pentecostal Bible school in a corner laughing at them because they were pentecostal.
I came up on them and he said to me, “Can you believe these guys thinks tongues are still for today?”
“Awesome” I replied. That stopped his laughter.
“I pray with them every day. What do you do to build yourself up?”
He walked away.
I know the power of praying in tongues daily. I’ve studied the Scriptures around speaking in tongues and can tell you what I know about it…[thrive_headline_focus title=”What is speaking in tongues?” orientation=”left”]
- It’s a gift that builds us up.
- It’s a starter gift that launches us into greater gifts.
- It’s a powerful tool for strengthening us so that in turn we can strengthen others.
When we speak in tongues we:
- Build ourselves up, (1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude 1:20),
- Speak to God directly without any pretense (1 Corinthians 14:2)
- Fulfill a command to pray in the Spirit on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18)
- Have words to continue praying when our words run out (Romans 8:25)
- Pray confidently knowing we intercede for others according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27)
- Have a sign for unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22)
When we pray in tongues it’s not like we shut down our minds and go into rote prayer. This can actually lead to unfruitful prayer. When we pray in tongues we need to be aware that our Spirit is communicating with God’s Spirit (See 1 Corinthians 14:14-15). It’s true that at times we may be establishing in prayer things that our mind cannot even grasp. In fact if our intellect could grasp the vastness of some of our prayers in the Spirit, we probably wouldn’t even believe what we are establishing in the Heavenlies.
However as we exercise this gift we can become a lot more aware of what we are praying in tongues for. We may even at times know exactly what we’re praying if we receive the gift of interpretation of tongues.[thrive_headline_focus title=”How to Pray for the Gift of Tongues” orientation=”left”]
Ask for it.
If you are a believer in Christ then you have the Holy Spirit within you. It’s your Inheritance. So:[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Mat. 7:7)[/content_container]
Eagerly Desire it.[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]
Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit… 1 Corinthians 14:1
Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12[/content_container]
Step Out In Faith.[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).[/content_container]
I’ll explain these by going over how to overcome common obstacles.[thrive_headline_focus title=”How to Overcome Common Obstacles” orientation=”left”]
What if I’m lead by the wrong Spirit?[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Jesus said “…when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. (John 16:13-15)
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil,know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)[/content_container]
I open my mouth but nothing comes out
It’s true that some people will open there mouth and words will just gush out without any effort on their part. While this is a wonderful testimony of many people who receive the gift of tongues, it doesn’t always happen this way. Remember we can’t put God in a box or designate a strict formula to the way the Spirit of God wants to operate.
Often people expect to be literally possessed by the Holy Spirit. But remember God has given us a free will to choose. Chances are the Holy Spirit will not overtake you and move your mouth and tongue for you.
You are in control: the spirits of the prophets are subject to the control of the prophets (1 Corinthians 14:32)
But you are to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God.
Speaking in tongues is often just like speaking a foreign language. The words sound strange and they can seem very unnatural when forming them with our mouth!
It’s our responsibility to speak the words as we heed the instruction of our Language tutor – the Holy Spirit.
At time, for some people it may even feel extremely uncomfortable. That’s O.K. This is why the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. Be encouraged that God is in the midst of your learning experience to comfort. It’s what he’s promised!
What if I’m making it all up?
Is it your heart’s desire to speak in your God given Spiritual Language? If yes then you will have to operate in Faith. Another way to spell Faith is RISK. Open your mouth and speak out the sounds that are formed in your mind and your heart and remember that:[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).[/content_container]
So what if some of the words are made up by you. Never mind, if you are operating in faith be encouraged in that God is pleased with your faith. He will help you get things right!
So form the sounds, speak them out loud. You may only have one or two syllables. Wonderful! Say them in every possible way you can say them. Don’t despise the days of small beginnings. Overtime you’ll grow in confidence and vocabulary.
Paul wished that we would all speak in tongues (Jude 1:20) and every Christian can speak in tongues. Not everyone is a “speaker of tongues”(the office) (1 Corinthians 14:4-5), But all are encouraged to pray in the Spirit to build ourselves up (1 Corinthians 14:4-5). When you’re alone in prayer, tongues can be the greatest gift because speaking in tongues builds you up (1 Corinthians 14:4-5).
So will you eagerly desire it?[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:39[/content_container]
I know this is controversial and I have a lot more I could say about it. Appreciate your comments below.