Prayer In the Spirit - Should Believers Speak In Tongues?
Holy Spirit Rain Down-Hillsong
Jesus says We Need the Holy Ghost
There are some believers who think that they can get by just fine in their Christian walk without getting involved in that "Holy Ghost" business.
Now, that may be right because many believers have lived and died without ever praying in tongues.
But, what does Jesus say about it??
As Jesus was preparing the disciples for His death, burial and resurrection, He explained to them that although He was going away, He was not going to leave them alone or comfortless. He told them that He would pray, [ask], the Father and the Father would send them another Comforter who would be with them forever.
"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— John 14:16
No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. John 14:16
NOTE: (notice Jesus says "I" will come to you... this suggests the as Jesus and the Father are one, so are Jesus and the Holy Ghost one. These three are one)
Who is The Holy Spirit?
Jesus said that the disciples knew the Comforter. He said the Comforter was already with them and would be inside of them. Again, this speaks of the oneness of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
The Comforter that Jesus said the disciples were experiencing was He, Himself, Jesus. But when Jesus physically left, He promised He would come again, by sending them the person of the Holy Ghost. (These Three are One!)
Why Would Anyone Need A Comforter?
Jesus told them that it would be better for them that He go away so that the Comforter could come. As long as Jesus was on the earth in a physical body, the Comforter could not come.
People would wonder why Jesus told them it would be better for them for Him to go away.
Well, Jesus, as God in the flesh was, in fact in the flesh. And, as being in flesh He was limited by His flesh. The Holy Ghost, when He came would empower each person that He filled and, each person that He filled would be able to do the works of Jesus.
This would multiply the works of Jesus many times over. Where Jesus had to go to one place at a time. Those who are filled with the Holy Ghost could be dispatched throughout the entire world, thereby having the presence of God in many places at the same time.
The Holy Ghost is the one who takes the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Jesus also said that the world, or those who were against Him could not receive the Comforter because they could not see Him and did not know Him.
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. john 16:7
He Is Needed
Up to this time, Jesus was everything to the disciples, He taught them, He consoled them, He empowered them; they were dependent upon His presence and all that came along with that presence. He could not leave them without filling the gap of His absence.
There was no way that they (or we) would be able to maintain their (our) faith, their (our), understanding and their (our), confidence without someone to replace His physical presence.
Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?
What is He Called?
Jesus calls the Holy Ghost the Holy Spirit, the Comforter as well as the Spirit of Truth. Jesus says that He, the Holy Ghost, would lead them in the way they should go; would guide them into all truth, would teach them all things and, would reveal the Father to them.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 16:13
"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13
What Does This Have to do With Speaking in Tongues?
You are right to ask... The Holy Ghost is much more to us than "other Tongues". However, speaking in Tongues is the language of the Spirit. It is the initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost.
Think About How You Pray....
Just take a moment and think about how you pray in your native language. Are you praying in faith? Are you consistent with the Word of God or are you praying amiss? I am not coming against praying in your native language, not at all. I am simply asking you to examine your prayers.
How often do you find yourself groping for the right words when you pray in your native language? How frequently do you become frustrated and finally say, "Oh, Lord, you know the need, Amen." Of course He knows the need. He knew the need before you began to pray.
And, if it were sufficient to say, "Oh Lord, you know the need", then why are we praying anyway? It is because God knows the need that He asks us to pray. Don't be confused, there is as much need for us to pray in our native language as there is for us to pray in other tongues.
Thank God for giving us a way to communicate with Him that bypasses the weaknesses of our thought life. Thank God for the Holy Ghost and thank God for other tongues.
What Does Paul Say?
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 1Corinthians 14:2
When you are praying in other tongues, you are using your personal prayer language. You are not talking to men, and, you are not talking to yourself. You are praying to God. Your spirit, the part of you that is born again is praying.
You decide... if you are communicating with God when you pray or speak in tongues, don't you think you should pray or speak in tongues? I think you should. Talking to God is a good thing. We often cannot gather our thoughts together well enough to talk clearly or effectively to one another, so, how effective is our communication with God when we pray in our native language? We say, "But God knows my heart." He most certainly does, but He is a God of speech, not a God of thought.
The book of Genesis shows us God's method of creation, of order, of operation and it is through speaking. And God said, Let there be light... And God said, Let the waters above and the waters below... And God said, Let us make man in our image and likeness.... And, God said...
He Says More....
He who speaks in a [unknown] tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.1Corinthians 14:4
When a believer speaks or prays in other tongues, he or she is building themselves up. There is a scripture that says, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Well, how are you supposed to do that? Can you "will" yourself to be strong? Usually in order to increase in strength you must exert some sort of effort. What kind of effort should you expend in order to make yourself strong in the Lord?
This scripture tells us that praying or speaking tongues edifies us. The term "edifies" means to:
- to build (up from the foundation)
- to restore by building, to rebuild, repair
- to build a house, erect a building
So, when the believer prays or speaks in an unknown tongue, he or she is building themselves up on the foundation of Christ, they are restoring themselves by building themselves up, they are rebuilding and repairing areas in their faith life as directed by the Holy Spirit in prayer.
Jude 1:19-20 tells us to build ourselves up on our faith, to make ourselves strong by praying in the Holy Ghost. Again, if it were not advisable for every believer to pray or speak in other tongues, we would not be admonished to build ourselves up through this method of prayer.
Tongues Today No Different Than Yesterday
Many things change, but foundational truths do not. My house is built on a particular type of foundation. I can remodel, paint, add on, and a lot of other things, but I am still working with the same foundation. The Tongues in the book of Acts is/are the Tongues of the 21st Century.
Paul said, "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. Yet in the church....". This is obviously letting us know that most of his speaking in Tongues is outside of the church.
His comment beginning with the words, "Yet in the church..." indicate to us that he is making a distinction regarding locations. He did not say that he does not speak in Tongues in the church... look at it clearly. He does not condemn speaking in Tongues in the church.
Read it again...He is making a comparison regarding what speech is best if you want to teach others.
So, What Should We Do?
The conclusion is that when desiring to teach others, it is best to speak in a language the hearer can understand.
Also, His thanking God is not to imply that God regulates the amount of time that he [Paul] spends speaking in Tongues. We know this because, in verses 14 and 15 he clearly shows that speaking in Tongues is a function of the human spirit and an act of the human will.
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit,* and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
What About this Interpreter Business?
There are two (2) types or rather categories of Tongues spoken of in 1Corinthians 12, 13 and 14. They are, The Gift of Divers Kinds of Tongues, and your individual prayer language Tongues. The confusion comes in because the scriptures surrounding speaking or praying in Tongues do not differentiate between these two types of tongues.
The Gift of Divers Kinds of Tongues is given only as the Holy Spirit wills and requires The Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues. They must work together. The person used to speak forth the Divers Tongues may also be used to speak forth the Interpretation of Tongues, or God may use one person to speak forth the Divers Tongue and a different person to speak forth the Interpretation of those Tongues.
You will see these two gifts operating together in church services, among congregations of believers, etc.This Gift of Divers Tongues is what Paul was referring to in 1Corinthians when He said,
No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27-28
Order in The Church
The instruction is for orderly operation in the church. If there is no one in the church who is used in the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues, the person who has feels he is to speak out a Divers Kind of Tongues should not speak out aloud to the congregation because there is no one to interpret.
He or she is admonished to speak to themselves and to God. Again, Paul does not say "do not speak in the tongue", he says to speak in the tongue to yourself and to God...(Remember in 1 Corinthians 14:2 Paul tells us that when you speak in Tongues, you are speaking unto God..).
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 1 Corinthians 14:2
In A Nutshell....
Like Paul, we should make it a practice to pray in Tongues regularly and for great lengths of time.
- Speaking in Tongues increases your relationship with God
- Speaking in Tongues clears your natural mind
- Speaking in Tongues builds you up so you can believe the Word of God
- Speaking in Tongues gives you boldness and confidence in God
- Speaking in Tongues keeps the love of God alive inside of you, both His love for you and your love for Him
- Speaking in Tongues helps you "know" the will of God for your life
- Speaking in Tongues gives you the necessary power to succeed in life
- Speaking in Tongues makes you a threat to the Devil
- Speaking in Tongues helps you pray God's will into the earth
- Speaking in Tongues brings makes you strong in the Lord... You can face any situation with the wisdom of God.
Do you pray in other tongues?
The Matter of Fact
Although we receive everything from the Father by faith which does not require any physical evidence; speaking in Tongues is Bible declared physical evidence of a person being filled with the Holy Ghost. Every account in the Bible of a person being filled with the Holy Spirit results in their speaking in other Tongues. It is the same in every single account!!! Why would that change in this day and age??? It wouldn't and it hasn't.
So, when any born-again Christian asks God to fill them with the Holy Ghost they should expect to speak in other Tongues and should act on their faith by simply beginning to speak...
Prayer to Receive Jesus
I come to you recognizing that I am a sinner in need of salvation. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for me and that He rose from the dead. Jesus I confess you as Lord and I ask you to come into my heart. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior according to Romans 10:9-10 which says, If thou shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteous and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. I thank you Father for saving me, for by faith, I am not saved. In Jesus' Name, amen.
Prayer to Receive the Holy Ghost with the Evidence of Speaking in Other Tongues
I thank you that I have confessed Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior according to Romans 10:9-10. I am saved and I am your child. Jesus said that the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost would be in me, that He would teach me all things and bring all things to my remembrance. Jesus also said that I would receive power after the Holy Ghost came up me and that He would guide me into all truth.
Well, I am asking you Father, to fill me with the Holy Ghost. I receive Him now by faith and, by faith I now have the ability to pray in other tongues. I understand that tongue are not the principle thing, but that they are the physical evidence of my being filled with the Holy Ghost.
I exercise my faith now Father, by opening my mouth and yielding to the Holy Ghost within. I thank you Father that I am now filled with the Holy Ghost right now, in Jesus' Name, Amen
- Prayer in the Spirit(part 1) -Speaking in Tongues
The question of Other Tongues being real has been debated for years. Science has stepped in and decided.
- Prayer In the Spirit (part 2)- What Are Tongues?
We have heard about "Other Tongues" as described in the Bible. But, what are they and what are they for?
- Prayer in The Spirit (part 3) - What is the Purpose of Tongues
We know that people speak in "Other Tongues", but why? What is the purpose for "Other Tongues"? Are they still valid for today?
- Prayer in the Spirit (part 4) How Do I Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
An explanation of how to receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in Tongues.
- Just What About The Holy Ghost?
Jesus prayed the Father and He sent us another comforter in the person of the Holy Ghost. Read more about the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers today.
- Holy Spirit - The Gifts of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit has given gifts to men. This hub gives an introduction to those gifts. What are they? What do they do? These questions and more are answered.