I have defined prayer, talked about components of prayer, who should pray, reasons for prayer, time to pray, places of prayer, occasions of prayer and how to pray.
From article ten, I have been talking on types of prayer and I shall continue with the types by talking on the importance of praying in the Spirit in this article.
(VII) Importance Praying in the Spirit
In this article, I shall write on some of the importance of praying in the spirit. When we do not know the use neither the importance of something we may not value it well.
1. Establishing One's Feet
Praying in the spirit helps our spiritual feet to be established in the gospel and the Lord.
“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…” (I Cor. 14:4a)
Greek word for edify is “οἰκοδομέω”, Romanized form is oikodomeō (pronounced as oy-kod-om-eh'-o) which means confirm, embolden, building.
When we speak to the Lord in the spirit we are building ourselves in him, establishing our relationship the more with him. It is like the prayer Jesus prayed when he wants to bring Lazarus back to life, before he commands Lazarus out, he at first established his relationship with his father, and our father.
“…. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
“And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” (Joh 11:41a-42)
These words were spoken in the spirit and they are words that established his relationship with the father.
2. Words Not Understood
Speaking in the spirit we speak what the enemies do not understand, what the demons do not understand, because they are mysteries being uttered in the spirit.
“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” (I Cor. 14:2,4)
Greek word for mystery is “μυστήριον”, Romanized form is mustērion (pronounced as moos-tay'-ree-on) this word is derived from μύω muō (to shut the mouth); which means secret, silence. In our land such words is like speaking figuratively, speaking in parable, speaking in a language that outsiders cannot decode which the person you are speaking to alone can decode.
It is like when lovers communicate with each other through their eyes (or faces) or like when force men or other disciplines were speaking to themselves, anyone who does not belong to that discipline may likely not understand what they are saying.
That is how it is when we pray in the spirit we communicate with him in the language which he only can decipher.
3. Utterance Can be Interpreted
Sometimes what we speak in another tongue could be interpreted by people who have the gift of interpretations. And in some instances it does not need the spirit of interpretation before knowing what those people were speaking in tongues with.
In some instances we have heard of people who have not been to Africa continent speaking an African language and there are people who have not crossed borders of their town in Africans who speak in a language of a European nation when they were praying.
They do not know what they were saying but those around and who come from such town or country and or those who understand that language marvels at what they were saying and would afterwards ask them whether they have been to the country before, only to discover that they have not been there before and then they would be told that they were praying in so and so language and would tell them what they were speaking, speaking mysteries in that language when praying to God.
The ready example of this happened when the gift of speaking in tongues first manifested in the bible with the apostles during the Pentecost day, and the bible says, those who have come to Jerusalem from other countries heard the apostles speaking in the languages of the countries that they had come from praising the Lord. (I Cor. 14:13; 12:10)
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
“And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
“And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
“Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
“Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
“Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Act 2:4-11)
The people were perplexed because they heard them speak in the languages of the countries from which they have come from for the Pentecost. Some of the names of the countries and the languages were listed in the book: Egypt, Libya, Asia etc.
The disciples do not know what they were speaking, but those people knew, and they were able to say what the meanings of what they were uttering were which was talking about the wondrous works of God.
4. It is a Sign to Unbelievers
Speaking in tongue is a sign to unbelievers as it had become a sign to the people who came to Jerusalem to worship those days. When they heard the disciples speaking in the language of the country from whence they had come, their minds were moved to know what is happening with them. Thus, many people could be gathered to be speaking to by the disciples. (I Cor. 14:22; Acts 2)
“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:” (1 Co 14:22a)
5. The Utterance Cannot be Monitored
Because the utterance is spontaneous out of the hearts of the speaker it cannot be monitored. It is not like speaking common language whereby one would first say “good morning” to his parents before uttering another thing. In this case, the speaker could jump to requests without saying good morning to his father. In this way it cannot be monitored, it cannot be preempted, thus our opposer would be caught off guard in this wise.
6. The outcome cannot be gloried on because what you are saying you didn't know
Since you have little knowledge about what you are uttering, you cannot glory on it, saying “don’t you hear what I am saying? I never knew I could say that”. I have heard preachers and some christian leaders say that after preaching or leading prayers in congregations. But when speaking with this language, you cannot say that because you do not know what you are saying, only God knows.
On Angelic Tongues
I need to add here before wrapping this up that some the kind of tongue they were given is the tongue of the angels.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1 Cor 13:1)
Such people, ordinary men would not be able to say the meaning of what they were speaking except those who are given the gifts of interpretation of tongues.
In the next article I shall be writing on uses of praying in the spirit.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN