The Gift of Tongues
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to believers for many purposes. The gift of tongues is the only gift that is given to strengthen the individual. The rest of the gifts are given to strengthen the body of Christ:
“He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”
1 Cor. 14:4
When I first began speaking in tongues, I heard in my mind words that were softly spoken in a language I had never heard before. As I’ve said in other chapters, one way in which you can know revelation is from God is when it sounds unlike anything you would normally think. The words I heard in my mind were completely foreign to me. I assumed they were the words the Holy Spirit wanted me to speak, so I said them to the best of my ability. I have a friend who said the first time he spoke in tongues was when he was riding his motorcycle. His motorcycle was hit by a car and he went flying through the air. He said as soon as he was airborne, he began speaking in tongues.
When I pray with people for healing or deliverance, my wife often prays alongside me. I begin by praying in English as I’m led by the Spirit—most often through visions. She rarely prays in her native language, but rather as she is led by the Spirit, in tongues. She’s become so accustomed to praying in tongues that today it’s easier for her to pray in tongues than it is to pray in English.
Occasionally someone will pray in tongues and an interpretation will be given, but not always. When an interpretation is given of something that was said in tongues, it is usually a word of encouragement to an individual or group. In that respect, the interpretation of tongues is similar to the gift of prophecy.
The apostle Paul said that the main problem with speaking in tongues is that our natural mind doesn’t understand what we say:
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
1 Cor. 14:14
There are times when it isn’t necessary to know what we are praying for. Paul discussed this in the eighth chapter of Romans:
“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.”
The gift of tongues is like any other gift. The more we exercise it, the more proficient we’ll become at it. If you want to operate in the gift of tongues, pray for it and believe that you will receive it. Speaking in tongues is not something the Holy Spirit does to you. Rather, it’s a way that He operates through you as you speak or pray. The key is that you must initiate the process.
Those who are experienced with speaking in tongues report that their spirit is strengthened the more they pray in tongues. It also seems to open up a clearer channel of communication between them and God. Praying in tongues is a way in which the Spirit of God can inspire our prayer when we aren’t sure how we ought to pray. The Holy Spirit is our helper, our comforter, our intercessor, and faithful friend. Praying in tongues empowers us when we are weak, comforts us when we are sad, and through it, He intercedes for us according to His perfect will.
This is an excerpt from my book Hearing God’s Voice Made Simple.
Oh wise one, via Lisa Perna, I’m gonna be speaking on this so if you have anything to add to this, it would be great.
How can I be baptized in the Holy Spirit so I can have this gift? I had my good friend who speaks in tongues pray ove me and put hands on me and her hand started feeling warm but I think we stopped to soon as I haven’t received anything except a slightly warm head, lol. I ask God for this gift every day.
It took me two years. Finally my wife prayed literally 3 hours laying hands on me until I got it. Don’t give up!
Thank you so much. That really helps to hear that.
We receive by faith the baptism of Holy Spirit. I received 45yrs ago I read everything about the subject first. Once I knew it was for me, I orgainised a time where there would be no interruption. I then asked God to baptise me in the Holy Spirit. Immediately I spoke in tongues. Since then I have also been baptised in his love & his fire!
I am in the same boat. I want to speak in tongues. I am told to make sounds, but I want a flow from HS.
I love praying in tongues and have also been granted the gift of interpretation of tongues. I find the biggest reason people do not pray in tongues is because of the wrong perspective about how God works through them.
People do not understand that tongues has a great purpose. When I understood this purpose I was able to help many who for years could not breakthrough! I am a great intellectual and thinker. These are the people who sometimes struggle the most, due to trying to understand things through logic!
Praying in tongues is also called praying in the Spirit! Praying in the Spirit does not come from your logical mind – the frontal part of the brain. Tests have now proven that it comes from the subconscious part at the back of the brain.
Consider this awesome verse in the Old Testament: Isa 28:11 for with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people. 12 To whom He said, This is the rest; cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing. Yet they were not willing to hear. When God speak to us through tongues or a strange stammering lips something amazing happens! The mind enter into the REST of God and we receive refreshing from God!
The Amplified translation reveals something very interesting about what God’s intention is also with speaking in tongues through us: “Isa 28:11 No, but [the Lord will teach the rebels in a more humiliating way] by men with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people [says Isaiah, and teach them His lessons]. 12 To these [complaining Jews the Lord] had said, This is the true rest [the way to true comfort and happiness] that you shall give to the weary, and, This is the [true] refreshing–yet they would not listen [to His teaching]. Through tongues our minds get humbled. Speaking in tongues is actually in the beginning a very humbling yet awesome experience, because for the first time, like a child we must loose control and allow God control over our minds!
The next difficult thing for people to overcome is “speaking” in tongues! We must speak by FAITH! We must start by faith, which might at first seem like human effort, by we must start to speak.
It is like putting a key into the ignition of a car. The car will NOT start by itself. YOU must turn the key in the ignition! Then the started kicks in and the car starts. Afterwards the alternator take over the charging of the battery! You must open you mouth and speak! It is like walking over the edge of a cliff and believing you will not fall! You net to take the first step to walk over the edge!
The last and the most liberating revelation I want to give you! Since you have been born again by faith. You ALREADY have the gift of the Holy Spirit in you! Thus ALL the other gifts is ALSO ALREADY in you! Now all you have to do is to initiate what is already poured out IN YOUR HEART, by God’s Spirit!
Glory to God.
Hope this will make many free!
Keep up the good work praying medic. I’m enjoying reading your books.
Don’t go for quality but the content of videos. I was able to speak in tongues after I watched the video below. The misconception most of us have is that “I will start speaking in tongues when the Spirit like a dove will rest upon my shoulders” but the Spirit is already inside us the day we accepted Christ. In romans 8 it says that those that are not in Spirit cannot! Please God. I could write more and more but I hope this helps. God bless.
I recieved the Bapstim of the Holy Spirit almost the same time ad my salvation. I have been saved since 1981. I had been raised Catholic & didn’t know how 2 “pray” other than repeating prays like the Hail Marys’ other wise I wise clueless. And the Lord didn’t want me to be in confusion about about negative things that are said about Tongues. So I need to Pray, & not the same prayer over & over. But one that would tell the Lord the desires of my Heart! And also before I could be confused by the lies of the world of people who speak in Tongues. God KNEW what I needed b 4 I even knew what it was!Tongues is my Power & Strength. When U don’t Know HOW 2 pray the Spirit does! And with that can’t ever be Wrong!
IF SOMOENE PRAYS IN TONGUES,HOW DO THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SAYING? I HAVE COUNCELLEDA FEW PEOPLE,WHO HAD GIFT OF TONGUES,AND WAS IN A MESS, SPIRITUALLLY.I WAS LED TO THE VERSE ” TEST THE SPIRITS AND SEE IF THEY ARE OF GOD,IN 1 JOHN ” WELL, THIS, PERSON SPOKE IN TOUNGES,AND WAS ASKED, TO SPEAK IN ENGLISH,WHAT WAS,IT JUST COMING OUT OF HER MOUTH,WELL IT WAS TOTALLY EVIL,BLASPHEMING,JESUS OUR SAVIOUR,OBVIOUS DEMONS AND AFTER BATTLE THE DEMONS LEFT HER,AN SHE WAS BACK TO HER NORMAL SELF, LOVING,PRAISING GOD!
Please pray that I can operate in this gift, as well as the other gifts. Not sure what the stumbling block is for me, but it gets frustrating not to be able to use one of the basic gifts that would edify me.
Thank you for sharing about your wife: when she prays it is almost always in tongues. I have the same. when I pray in my dutch language ,its a matter of very short time that I continu in tongues., knowing that I pray the right way.
I love this so much! My mom trained us at a young age to speak in tongues at a young age. It really opens me up to receive from the Father! I love it! Thanks for sharing!
I’m finally speaking in tongues after waiting MANY years! For me it was fear of looking foolish and fear of doing it in my own strength. I wanted it to be something God did TO me (despite myself, so I’d be sure it was Him). It didn’t happen that way. I now realize it’s something He wants to do through me and it requires my cooperation. I have to open my mouth and speak! I also only recently came to understand how my own spirit knows things my conscious mind doesn’t and is able to pray if I let it. I have had to put away all my insecurities and step out in faith. As he said in the post, just start practicing. Even if you feel like it’s just “you spouting jibberish” keep at it and things will eventually start to flow. Hope this helps someone out there to break through.