What are the benefits of praying in tongues? Why pray in tongues? Questions I had when I was a young Christian. As my church is charismatic, I was encouraged to learn how to speak in tongues early on. But it was a strange practice to me. I see my friends speaking in tongues and it was a bit scary. What does it do? Is it compulsory?
According to Wikipedia, speaking in tongues is the ability to utter words or speech-like sounds, languages unknown to the speaker. It was first mentioned in the Books of Acts 2
Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.Acts 2:1-4 WEB
“They” referred to Jesus’ disciples who had gathered together on the Day of Pentecost (also the Feast of Weeks), the 50th day after Jesus ascended to Heaven. The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples like tongues of fire and they began to speak with other languages.
So, when man is filled with the Holy Spirit, he can speak in tongues. It is an ability given by the Holy Spirit. My church used to call it baptism by the Holy Spirit.
I received the gift shortly after, but I didn’t pray or speak it often. I didn’t quite understand the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and praying or speaking in tongues? I did not know the benefits of praying in tongues until I heard Joseph Prince’s teaching on it.
Benefits of Praying in Tongues
26 In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered.Romans 8:26 WEB
Have you ever felt that words fail you when you want to pray? You just can’t put words to the feelings you have? I have.
Now I know that this is the time to pray in tongues. In Romans 8:26, Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit could intercede for us when we do not know how to pray. How does the Holy Spirit pray? I believe it is in tongues.
I’m sure the Spirit pray against dangers aimed at me in tongues. Because, if I knew the kinds of dangers I put myself in, I might faint.
Intimacy with God
2 For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands
14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.1 Corinthians 14:2 and 14:14 WEB
These two verses in 1 Corinthians define speaking in tongues as speaking to God and praying in another tongue as my spirit praying. Both agree that neither men or the person praying understand the prayer.
One thing stood out for me. Leaving understanding behind or in other words, leaving the brain or mind out of the picture. I don’t know what I am praying and neither does other people. In a sense, praying in tongues is a personal and private practice. It is between the Holy Spirit and my spirit. I think that’s intimacy. I don’t have to worry about what to pray and whether I miss anything. I don’t have to worry about the words I use. Appropriate or not.
Leading and teaching by the Holy Spirit in daily life
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.John 14:26 WEB
From 1 Corinthians 14:14, I learned that praying in tongues is my spirit communing with the Holy Spirit. Coupled with John 14:26, it is not hard to believe that the Holy Spirit will teach, remind and lead me while I pray in tongues.
I decided to try praying in tongues throughout the day whenever I remember to.
I started praying in tongues when I woke up and in the shower. I prayed in the car while driving to work. I prayed in tongues under my breath when I caught myself idling in a queue. There is no pressure. As long as I remember, I pray in tongues. When I did something or say something I shouldn’t, I pray in tongues believing that God still love me and hear me.
I don’t know what I am praying but I don’t care. I trust the Holy Spirit to pray on my behalf. I believe this is how I am activating and engaging the Holy Spirit that is indwelling me. By taking my brain out of the equation, I am taking out the part that I’m proud of. And because I am proud of my intellect, it is a stumbling block.
Healing for the body
4 He who speaks in another language edifies himself,1 Corinthians 14:4 WEB
I always think of this verse as spiritual edification, but Joseph Prince teaches that the word “edifies” also refer to the physical body.
I’m excited that by speaking in tongues, my body, together with my soul and spirit, can rest and be refreshed.
There are many more benefits of praying in tongues that I have not caught yet. As Abba God reveal to me, I will record them here. With this knowledge, I can pray in tongues often, knowing I benefit from it in many ways.
We have come to the end of this post. I hope you have found what you are seeking. If not, keep looking. For Jesus said,
9 “I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.Luke 11:9-10 WEB
For God so loved you, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for you. You are precious to Him.