At the age of 18, after being saved at the age of 10, I received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and prayed in tongues for about an hour. Further Bible studies proved to me that this “prayer language” is Biblical. Praying in tongues has been one of my greatest discoveries and has brought me through many crises in life. Like Job (Job 1:5), I arise early each day to offer sacrificial prayers for my family; also, for my extended family, the Church and the lost. Praying in tongues is an integral part of these prayer times.
The reason I am writing this article is that often people, including Pentecostals, do not understand the tremendous value of speaking in tongues. This practice is more than just “unexplainable & necessary baggage” which we tolerate because we are Pentecostal and Charismatic. Praying in tongues can bring us many blessings and help us through the most difficult times.
I have a vivid memory of one of our church members, in St. Frances Hospital, praying in tongues as he was dying, which must have brought him much comfort.
OUR BELIEFS MUST BE BASED ON SCRIPTURE (Ultimate source of truth):
- “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Eph. 6:18 NIV) “…if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays…” (I Cor. 14:14 NIV)
- “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 20 NIV)
- When we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit is interceding for us: “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Rom. 8:26-27 NIV)
PRAYING IN TONGUES IS SCRIPTURAL:
- Praying in tongues is a “prayer language” because you are speaking to God and not man. (Acts 2:11) “…anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.” (I Cor. 14:2 NIV)
- Praying in tongues bypasses the mind and lets your spirit communicate with God. “…the mind is unfruitful (does not understand)” when you are praying in tongues. (I Cor. 14:2 & 14)
- Praying in tongues brings personal edification (builds up your spirit, encourages and enriches your life) – “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself…” (I Cor. 14:4)
- Praying in tongues means that the Holy Spirit is making intercession for us. (Rom. 8:26-27)
- When praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit is verbalizing to God even our subconscious needs and we are edified and built up without conscious understanding of what we are saying. (I Cor. 14:2 & 4)
- Paul prayed in tongues very much in private. He stated that he spoke in tongues more than the Corinthians who spoke in tongues so much that he had to regulate the practice in I Cor. 14. He taught the Corinthians that they should not speak openly in tongues in church unless there was a person with the gift of interpretation present so that the church would be edified. Otherwise, he stated that they should speak in tongues to themselves and to God. (I Cor. 14:28)
ALL BELIEVERS CAN BE FILLED WITH OR BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- We are “saved by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)
- We are “sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:16 NIV)
- We are “filled with” or “baptized in” the Holy Spirit, which is just a greater dimension of the same Holy Spirit by whom we are saved & sanctified. (Matt. 3:11, Lu. 3:16, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:4 & 39, Acts 8:15-16, Acts 10 & 19)
Note – In verse 12, the people of Samaria “believed” and were “baptized” which means they had already received Salvation. Peter and John then prayed for them to receive this greater dimension of the Holy Spirit which is called the “infilling” or “baptism” in the Holy Spirit which happened after their Salvation.
- Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit is “with you” and shall be “in you.” (John 14:17) He also stated that this dimension of the Holy Spirit would be given after his “glorification.” (John 7:39 and Heb. 1:3, 8:1, and 10:12)
PRAYING IN TONGUES HELPS IN THE DIFFICULT TIMES.
- When your mind is troubled.
- When you feel inadequate.
- When the situation seems impossible
- When you feel weak.
- When you feel sick.
- When faced with difficult problems.
- When there are various urgent needs.
- When you are facing death.
- Even when everything seems to be going well & you just enjoy the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit.