Praying in The Spirit of God
Praying in the spirit – sometimes referred to as praying in tongues – is a powerful form of prayer. However, there is much confusion in the modern church around this gift and its’ correct use. To help you understand what is meant by praying in the spirit (praying in tongues) we will go to the source of knowledge; The Holy Bible.
Is speaking in tongues the same as praying in tongues?
No, they are very different. The Bible talks about both speaking in tongues (during the assembled church) and praying, singing, giving thanks, and worshiping in tongues (during private prayer time).
We must know the difference in order to avoid confusion and allow the spiritual gifts of God to be used for the benefit of ourselves and other believers.
Speaking in Tongues
The spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is given by God to believers to be interpreted – as prophecy – within the assembly of believers. Speaking in Tongues should always be accompanied by interpretation. It is God speaking through a believer (by faith) for the edification of the church. This is what the apostle Paul is referring to in his letter to the believers at Corinth;
I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. – 1 Corinthians 14:5 KJV
This is God speaking in a known language – to be interpreted by another believer within the congregation – and once the interpretation has been given, the person speaking in tongues and the one interpreting do not retain the spiritual gift.
The purpose of speaking in tongues is to edify, comfort, strengthen and encourage the gathering – in the same way that prophecy should strengthen the church.
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. – 1 Corinthians 14:3-5 KJV
Praying in Tongues
The spiritual gift of praying in tongues is a personal gift, given to a believer for his or her own personal prayer life. It is for one-to-one prayer, worship, and thanksgiving and once given by God to the believer – remains as a gift to be used by them.
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. – 1 Corinthians 14:14-17 KJV
When you pray, sing, worship, and give thanks in this way you are praying in The Holy Spirit.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. – Jude 20 KJV
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. – Romans 8:26-27 KJV
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:18 KJV
Why do believers pray in The Spirit?
When we pray in the spirit (tongues) we are speaking directly to Almighty God. The Holy Spirit prays through us, addressing our needs – and occasionally the needs of other believers – in prayer. We don’t need to consider our needs because our Heavenly Father has seen what is needed and has intervened on our behalf through The Holy Spirit.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. – Romans 8:26-27 KJV
Why do some believers pray in a known language and others don’t?
Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth tells us that there are tongues (languages) of both men and angels.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels – 1 Corinthians 13:1 KJV
God tells us we are to pray in spirit and also to pray and give thanks with our own understanding. His Word is our guide in all matters and His Will is for His children to be given power and protection through our trials and tribulations. Praying in the spirit is one way we can allow God to bring us what we need in our daily lives.
When should believers pray in Tongues?
We are given the personal gift of tongues to pray, worship, give thanks and praise, as often as we are led in private. While we are not forbidden from praying in the spirit when we gather with other believers, Paul makes it clear in his writing that this can cause confusion within the congregation and push people away from The Church.
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? – 1 Corinthians 14:23 KJV
How do I start to pray in Tongues?
When you receive the baptism of The Holy Ghost you will receive evidence as it is written in The Holy Bible;
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; – Mark 16:17 KJV
The power baptism (baptism of The Holy Ghost) typically comes after salvation. You can be saved and not speak (pray) in other tongues. If you have not yet received the baptism of The Holy Ghost (with evidence of speaking in tongues), ask your Father in prayer to bless you with this gift. Then speak in faith, believing He has given you the gift of tongues.