|The reason we pray in our native tongue or in the Spirit is to change situations and people's lives."|
ONE THING God's children can know is 100%. The enemy cannot understand words prayed in the Spirit. Prayer in the heavenly language goes directly from the speaker to God, bypassing the words of the mind. Often called "tongues" or "praying in tongues," it is a Holy-Spirit-inspired language which speaks precisely what He needs God to hear. He is in control of it, and you can't mess it up.
Many in the church have written it off as passé, or they have decided it is not God at all. But there is too much evidence to the contrary. First, because I speak it. You cannot convince me I do not have what, at times, has kept me alive. Did I bake the cake and eat it too? Yes, evidence is the empty plate. You cannot remove from me my experience of it. Second, because it is in the Word. The apostle Paul said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all. (1 Corinthians 14:18)" Here is the man who wrote much of the New Testament saying He prayed in tongues. He went on to speak of its use in services and its place beside prophecy and the other gifts of the Spirit.
Don't set aside what makes you uncomfortable. No one who receives their Spirit-led language is required to proclaim it with signs and hashtags, nor to stand amongst believers and make a lot of noise. Remember, the Bible says the Holy Spirit is like a whisper. He can make a lot of noise, and there is a time for that, but He works with you where you are at. I pray in tongues alone at home more than anywhere else, and when in public, I pray quietly.
But having this Spirit gift is to our benefit. When the Spirit fell at Pentecost in Acts 2, it sounded like the wind and appeared as tongues of fire. It spoke from them in words of the Spirit, but those in Jerusalem heard it in their own language. Though what Peter and John and Jesus' mother, Mary said, she was in attendance, were words only God could understand, the Spirit placed them in the ears of those listening as the language of Parthians and Medes and those of Mesopotamia. The Holy Spirit speaks every known language, including the dead ones, and when it is needed, can bridge the gap between people of different languages. When we all get to heaven there will be no language barrier. Why do you think this is? Churches downplay this event out of sincerity, but the Spirit did something miraculous that day to spread the gospel, and over 3,000 were saved as a result.
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Jude 1:20 also tells us that when we pray in tongues, we build ourselves up. Our prayer language strengthens us because our mind is not in play. What you think about when you are praying in your heavenly language is not always what the Spirit is saying. He can interpret your words to you, but that comes as you grow close to Him. Speaking in tongues, speaking the language God gives you in the Spirit, is a natural part of your relationship with Him. You are giving Him your tongue and the authority of your words to speak His mysteries. You are giving up your thoughts to dedicate your time and energy to something He desires. And this is the purpose of prayer itself. Because praying in tongues is not for show or to make a scene and draw attention. It can do this, and the apostle Paul spoke of it in 1 Corinthians 14:22. Hearing our heavenly prayer language can draw in unbelievers. But the reason we pray in our native tongue or in the Spirit is to change situations and people's lives. The purpose of prayer itself.
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
The Spirit can say what we cannot. When we run out of words, He knows all facets of that person's situation, their family’s opinions, their personal fears, the doctors involved and what they are thinking, what training they have and what they might diagnose, their job circumstance, their boss’s position. He knows the future, and if we will pray in tongues, we will affect it for God. The question is asked, Why would God need us to pray for something He can just do? Well, whether your prayer is in your native tongue or in Spirit words, the same answer is given. The issue is not how we pray, but that we pray. God works through people to change people. When Jesus rose again, He gave God’s authority to men (Luke 10:39), and praying in tongues goes where my English does not.
There is another wonderful benefit. We speak to God in tongues, but He also speaks to us. It is a two-way communication and as such should come from the heart. We would not pray carelessly in English. We do not pray mindlessly in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the source of God's anointing. He is God's power living within us. He is God's wisdom, and He knows everything. Our relationship with Him is a gift from Jesus which connects us to the Father. We speak of heaven's throne room with thoughts of the future, but heaven's throne room is here with us today. As we mature in our awareness of Him, we will know His voice, and He will speak wonders to us. Because we pray in His language, His presence becomes tangible every day and not just now and then, on special occasions. When His voice is known to us and His language flows from us, when we combine our heavenly authority with His Spirit-led words, then we become carriers of His glory. Then the God in us can change the lives we pass without us saying anything at all.
Don't let fear stop you from spiritual growth. And don't only take my word for it. But study the Scriptures and ask Him for revelation of this. Then with a willing heart ask Him to come upon you in power and to work through you. Because tongues is the evidence of His baptism. Those in the upper room were baptized in the same anointing that fell on Jesus in the Jordan River and could not help but proclaim in their new heavenly language the wonderful works of God. Such is His gift to us as well, and I will have all of Him. All of Jesus. He is my everything. All of the Father, who loves me and disciplines me. All of the Spirit, who only speaks what He is given. Not robotic but as assurance that what He does in me is what the Father and the Son desire as well.
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44-46)
“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” (1 Corinthians 14:2)
Suzanne D. Williams, Author