Holy Spirit Empowered Listening

“What should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, but I will also sing praises with my mind” (1 Cor. 14:15, NET).

Are you hungry to hear Daddy God’s voice more and more? Today, I would like to share with you another way to enrich your connection with Him. It’s through the beautiful gift of praying in tongues.

If you already have this gift and use it, I am thrilled for you! If you don’t, I would love to share with you what an incredible help this could be for your spiritual journey and intimacy with the Father. “Praying in the Spirit,” another biblical descriptor of this gift, is something precious, desirable, and accessible.

When the manifestation of tongues first hit the newborn church, the Holy Spirit (through Peter) declared that this was in fulfillment of a critically important prophecy:

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…” (Acts 2:17, NKJV).

Now, I’m thinking, if those were the last days two thousand years ago, how much more are we now in the last days? How much more do we desperately need the Lord to pour out His Spirit on us, to empower us to face the immense challenges of the times in which we live?

Paul, expressing God’s own heart for us about this, wrote, “Now I want you all to speak in tongues…” (1 Cor. 14:5, ESV).

To confide in you a bit of my own experience, I have been praying in tongues for about 32.5 years. I received this special endowment from Jesus at a church camp in 1986. I don’t think I had any idea back then what a mainstay this new gift would become for me, but I did know I was overflowing with joy.

(This was the same week, the same camp where my younger brother was instantly and completely healed from acute severe asthma. All of his life up until then, he’d been hospitalized regularly with frightening asthma attacks. He hasn’t wheezed once, since. The power of God is real, active, and available today!)

Let’s fast-forward quite a few years from there, to when my prayer language became an absolutely indispensable lifeline. As a rookie missionary, I was walking through one of the most painful, difficult seasons of my life. Holy Spirit stirred up the gift of tongues within me during that time in a new way.

I would find myself walking down the street, praying in the Spirit, without even meaning to do so. My spirit was reaching out and connecting with His Spirit on the go, receiving the supernatural strength I needed to make it through that very trying time. This was often happening without my mind even being involved. I would just suddenly notice that I was praying in tongues under my breath as I went about my day. I also noticed that as I did so, I could sense His power recharging my inner being.

Ever since that first year in Iquitos, praying in tongues has become second nature to me, often as involuntary as breathing. And truly, as this gift flows in me, it’s as if my spirit were breathing in God’s vitality. This is for you, too, dear one!

You may wonder how praying in tongues could help you hear from God more, if by its very nature, this gift is a mysterious language unknown to your natural mind. I’ll explain. As you pray in tongues, you are actively engaging with the power of the Holy Spirit within your spirit. The life and energy of God is flowing through you in an enhanced way. I have frequently observed that as I pray in tongues, I find God’s thoughts popping into my mind, in English, at the same time. It’s like Holy Spirit is providing the interpretation to what He was already praying through my spirit.

Many times, those words in English are exactly what I need in the moment. They may be the answer to a question I asked Him. They may be the next sentence to type for this blog, as I pause and pray in the Spirit during my writing process. Oftentimes, they are His leading on how to pray for others during my time of intercession.

I’ll be praying with my mouth in tongues, and simultaneously in my mind, I’ll be lifting up different individuals as their faces pop onto the screen of my mind. He gives me very specific ways to pray for them. In those moments, I am keenly aware that I am praying His prayers; not my own: “Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain” (Rom. 8:26, NCV).

What do you think? Not sure how to receive the gift of tongues? Just ask for it. It’s not hard at all for God to give it to you. He delights in giving good gifts to His children! Recently I prayed with a precious young lady on the couch in my bedroom. Together, we asked Daddy to fill her in a new way with His Holy Spirit and give her this gift. A short while later when she went into the bathroom, without any fanfare, she began to speak in tongues for the first time! She came out laughing joyfully to tell me about it.

Try it! Ask with the simple faith of a child who knows how much Daddy loves you. Ask, precious one, and you shall receive!

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13, ESV).

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Do you have a testimony to share, about how praying in tongues has aided you on your spiritual journey?

31 thoughts on “Holy Spirit Empowered Listening

  1. Yes, Jennifer ! I was bewildered for many years after receiving this magnificent gift of God. In 1977, I became a child of God, through the leading of Chuck Smith in Calvary Costa Mesa. This church did not teach or instruct about tongues. A short time later, a friend in business asked me to pray for his wife that was ill in the hospital. I had never done this and was frightened. On the way, I sought God to help me. Immediately I found myself speaking in a manner I did not recognize ! This I did when praying, the woman recovered and I continued using my new gift to this day. This has many times been the focus of praying for others that are ill in their bodies. Though my dear wife continues to be plagued for 18 years, with heart issues and cancer, the Spirit has led me to release her to the Father and believe – ” Thy will be done, Lord “. Your grace and mercy is sufficient. Len Wisniewski

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    1. Wow! I never heard of anyone receiving the gift of tongues without having heard of it before! What a wonderfully rich story! I’m truly enriched, reading it. Thank you so much, Len. And amen, believing with you for His will to be done in Linda. That is a beautiful position of trust. 🙂

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      1. Many times, the Holy Spirit gives me the meaning, but many times He doesn’t. It would be very important to have an interpreter if the tongue were spoken as a message to the church in a service, but for private use, one often does not have one. If you would love to experience it, I would very much encourage you to ask the Lord to fill you in a special way with His gift! He loves to give good gifts to His precious ones 🙂

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  2. First, we must be truly saved, then we must seek sanctification. Some people believe that speaking in tongues is something taught (by man) and can also be turned on and off at will. No! It is a gift given by God. And it’s purpose varies. And it happens when the Lord has a need for it.

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  3. This has been frustrating for me. Speaking in tongues is a gift I’ve never received from God. Some older women at the Assemblies church prayed for fervently and tried to help me. I’ve prayed for it, as well. Now i feel condemnation for not being able to speak in tongues. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but the truth is that I feel bitter. I think I just now realized WHY I feel bitter, but I still don’t understand what God would withhold a gift from me. But that’s been a big question in general lately.

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    1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having this frustration, my dear sister. I was reading a book recently on the subject, and the author said something that resonated with me. He said, once you have asked, to simply believe that you have received it, with the simple faith of a little child who has been told a birthday gift is in the mail. Even though you haven’t experienced it yet, you know the One who promised has a heart full to overflowing with love for you and never lies. I sense that it will help you get into a restful place about it in your spirit, and then you will realize that Holy Spirit is flowing through you, just as you asked. Hope this helps <3. Lifting up a special prayer for you, that Holy Spirit would comfort your heart with the truth that He has heard and answered your prayer! ❤

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