Prayer in The Spirit - What is the Purpose of Speaking in Other Tongues?
In part 1 of this series on Prayer in The Spirit, we attempted to establish that speaking in an unknown Tongue, as described in the book of Acts 2:4, is a legitimate,scientifically proven phenomena.
In part 2 of the series, we attempted to show the existence of two categories of Tongues, ie, the believers prayer language which he or she can access and utilize at will and, Divers Kinds of Tongues which is a Gift of the Spirit and only operates as the Holy Spirit wills.
In this, part 3 of the series, we will examine the Purpose of Tongues according to the scriptures.
Evangelism and Missionary Work
"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark16:15
The heart of God is for evangelism. Jesus came to redeem us back unto God. The preaching of the gospel is the method God has chosen to bring the knowledge of redemption to the world. In the book of Acts, we see where those filled with the Holy Spirit began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,* as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Acts 2:4
As we read further, we see that those who saw this were from many other nations.
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. Acts 2:5
Although those who were doing the speaking in tongues didn't know what they themselves were saying, these men from other nations did. These men understood because those who were speaking were speaking in the listeners native language.
"Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? " Acts 2:7"and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!" Acts 2:8
One of the divine purposes of speaking in Tongues is the supernatural ability to speak a language that is foreign to the speaker. At the turn of the 20th century there was a great revival which had an emphasis on being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues.
During this outpouring, many, many people received languages of men, Chinese, Russian, African, etc. This endowment was a permanent ability. Those who received in this manner would catch a boat or other transport, go to that nation and preach the gospel. This was a common occurrence as recorded historically.
We have not heard much of this in the present generation, but, God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. In not many days from now I am persuaded that these and other dramatic signs will be common occurrences throughout all Christendom.
Praying in Tongues has personal benefits for us to enjoy.
No matter what people say aloud, when given a choice to do or to not do something, most people want to know, "what's in it for me." This is a natural, normal attitude that applies to the things of the world and to the things of God.
When we peel back our "holy" facade, we find a real person who wants to know what benefit there is from flowing with the Lord.
God is smarter than any one of us and all or us together so, He already knows that we want something from our encounter with Him. In His infinite mercy and loving kindness, He always tells us of the blessings that He has in store for us whenever He gives us an instruction or promise.
In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39
- the need - thirst
- the solution - come unto Him and drink
- the instruction: -believe on him as the scripture says
- the promise - out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
Benefit #1 - Draw Me Nearer
Praying in Tongues helps improve our communication with.
God is a spirit; when we pray in Tongues, our spirit is praying. So, we are talking to God, from our spirit not from our head or from our flesh. Praying in Tongues helps us get right to the heart of the matter with 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
- you speak to God, not to men
- you do not understand what you are saying - since God has given you the ability and wants you to pray in Tongues, it shouldn't matter that you don't know what you are saying....you aren't talking to you; remember, you are talking to God.
- you are in the spirit [with the Lord]
- you are in control... you can stop and start at any time and in any place. Just like you would if you were praying in your native language.
Benefit #2 - Worship The Lord in the Beauty of His Holiness
Praying in Tongues gives us the most self-less way to worship and give thanks to the Lord. Truly every believer knows that the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. And, every believer knows that there are not enough words available to express the fullness of your personal love for the Lord.
We are spirit beings, but we function through a fleshly body, because of this our understanding is limited, our vocabulary is limited, and our ability to worship the Lord fully is limited.
But, when you pray or worship in Tongues, your spirit is worshiping. Your spirit knows things that your conscious mind does not know. Your spirit can express what your humanity cannot express, because your spirit is born-again.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.Psalm 96:9
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:11
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Acts 10:46
For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 1 Corinthians 14:17
Benefit #3 - Holy Ghost Stress Release
For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,"... Isaiah 28:12
Are you frustrated with the day to day confusion that we find in this world? Are there issues that confront you daily that you have difficulty sorting out. Or, do you have to re-iterate the same response regarding the same issue day after day with no noticeable change? If any of these things are even remotely true, you are stressed and you desperately need to rest .
Going to bed early doesn't give you the relief you need, because when you wake up the issue is still there. Exercising is a temporary fix, because when your heart rate returns to normal and your mind begins to think again, the issue is still there.
This is because your frontal lobes are bombarded with thoughts as you try to find solutions to your issues. (The frontal lobes of your brain are responsible for problem solving, language and several other functions.) However, when you pray in Tongues, your mind begins to clear and solutions begin to arise.
Praying in Tongues causes the activity in the frontal lobes of your brain to calm down and when this area is calm and uncluttered, you enter into a mental resting state. Your mind is clear, you can hear the Lord and be led to the solutions to your problems.
Benefit #4 - Strengthens You on Your Faith
Another benefit of praying in Tongues is that it is a way to build yourself up on your faith. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Once we have faith, the Bible tells us build ourselves up on our faith. Praying in the Spirit or praying in Tongues builds you up on your faith. The more we pray in Tongues, the stronger we are on our faith.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,... Jude 19:20-21
Benefit #5-Physical Health
"Here is an interesting health thought. Dr. Carl Peterson of ORU in Tulsa, OK. is a brain specialist and was doing research on the relationship between the brain and praying or speaking in tongues. Some amazing things were discovered!
Through research and testing, Dr. Peterson found that as we pray in the Spirit or worship in the Spirit (our heavenly language) there is activity that begins in the brain. As we engage in our heavenly language, the brain releases two chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems giving a 35-40 percent boost in the immune system. This promotes healing within our bodies.
Amazingly, this secretion is triggered from a part of the brain that has no other apparent activity in humans and we don't use it. It is only activated by our Spirit-led prayer and worship."
Benefits for Others
One of the benefits of praying in Tongues is for other people. Has your heart ever gone out for someone or some situation and all you could was, "Bless them, Jesus", or "Please help them, Lord".Well when you pray in Tongues for others, you are praying God's perfect will for their lives.
When we pray in Tongues, we [the speaker], don't know what we are saying; that being the case, we cannot pray our will or desire on another person. You know what I mean...
ex. Little Horatio is 21 years old and he wants to go into the service. But, you think he should continue in college despite the fact that he has a 1.5 grade point average and hates everyday of being there. So, here you go praying what you want on the boy.
You completely disregard what he wants. You don't even bother asking God for guidance, you just decide that you know what is best for him and so, you pray you what you want...not his will but yours be done. [note: praying against a persons will is witchcraft],
Well, when you pray in Tongues, you pray God's will for people not your will.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us* with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
Can you imagine the possibilities? If we would only pray God's will for others, not what we think, not what we assume and not what we have been told; just God's will. Hallelujah and amen.....
And the conclusion is....
With as much controversy that surrounds praying in Tongues, one could throw their hands up and say, "Without a good reason, I really don't think I want to be bothered with this Tongues thing." Who could blame them? But, seeing some of the benefits gained from praying in Tongues should give us more incentive to pray in Tongues.
Truly, when you begin to even think about praying in Tongues, the devil jumps up and does everything possible to distract you. He knows the benefits of our praying in Tongues. He knows when we pray in Tongues we make his work a little more difficult. He has to work harder, than he likes, he has to call out reinforcements and he has to be on guard. Prayer is a direct line of offense against the devil and his demons.
Think about it, if he fights against you when you pray in your native language , he surely doesn't want you to pray in your heavenly language ...which is Tongues!