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:
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 35 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!
Do you have a testimony to share, about how praying in tongues has aided you on your spiritual journey?