Praying in Tongues


“…when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:6 NKJV).

I was recently visiting friends whom we have known since the early 70s. My coffee was served in a cup  that read, “Charismatic gourmet coffee. It tastes good on all my tongues.” We laugh now, but there was a time when speaking in tongues was taboo. There were churches where you were not welcome if you prayed in tongues, and teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit was not allowed. Sadly, those subjects are still controversial in some churches.
My family and I used to rent cottages near McAllen, TX, which were available to missionaries coming out of Mexico to rest or renew papers. The cabins were comfortable and the rent affordable. We had stayed there occasionally, but once the organization that owned the cottages found out that we were part of a group who believed in speaking in tongues, we were no longer allowed to stay in their cabins.

Satan knows how powerfully effective the Holy Spirit works within those who receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and that is why he fights it. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit opens the door to the power of God and to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me…” (Acts 1:8).  This was spoken in the context of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5 quotes Jesus’ teaching: for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The gift of tongues is one of the most neglected and misunderstood gifts of the Spirit. I have spoken with many people who testify that in the past they received the baptism with the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues but do not do so now. But that was not the case with the apostle Paul who said, “I wish you all spoke with tongues,…” and, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Cor 14:5, 18). I have had the opportunity to teach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit in many different countries and cultures. On every occasion and in every place that this truth is believed and acted upon, the results are the same; people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, and with very few exceptions, begin to speak with other tongues.

The Holy Spirit has been admonishing me to pray more in tongues. The Bible exhorts us to edify ourselves (I Cor 14:4) and build ourselves up in the faith by “praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jud 20). Recently I was praying with tongues, and received the interpretation of my prayer (I Cor 14:13). I was praying, “I want more. I want more of God. I want more of His love and power. I want more of the fruit of the Spirit. I want more of Jesus.”

Those prayers were motivated by the Holy Spirit, and I believe I am receiving the “more” that I was asking for.

8 Comments on “Praying in Tongues

  1. Pingback: Praying in Tongues | World Indigenous Missions – speakingintonguesblogs

  2. Great blog Chuck! How very true , “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit opens the door to the power of God and to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” More Lord, of your indwelling Spirit that Your power and Your gifting may be manifested through us to others. — Morris

  3. I believe in speaking in tongues and have spoke in tongues. I have also found to be suspect with others’ interpretations other than the interpretation from myself. I find that some may try to edify the person speaking in tongues and while not really understanding, give a incorrect interpretation.

    How would one know whether the interpretation from another is correct? Shouldn’t the one speaking in tongues be the one interpreting the message that God has given?

    Brother Bob/Texas

    • Tongues can be a known language or the language of Angels (I Cor 13: 1). I have known of tongues being interpreted two different ways. First, when the one speaking does not understand what he is saying, but the hearer understands because he speaks the language being spoken (Acts 2:5-12). Second, the one speaking interprets or another person in the group interprets (I Cor 14:13, 26-28) . In this case the one speaking does not understand what he is saying in tongues (I Cor. 14:2,14-15). He/she is building himself up or edifying himself, because ” in the spirit he speaks mysteries” to God (I Cor 14:2,4). The gift of interpretation works much like the gift of prophesy. The person interpreting has a general understanding of what he is is saying, rather than understanding it word for word. Or the person receives two or three words from the Spirit. Then as he speaks those words forth, more words are given him. Interpretation, like prophesy is subjective, and should be judged by those present (I Cor 14:29).

  4. Great word Chuck. We are entering into days of renewal and perhaps revival again. I’m praying that this new generation will also experience the blessing of the Father. More, Lord!

    • Yes, Eddie, I pray that God will pour out His Spirit and power on this younger generation like He did in the past.

  5. I was asked about tongues today from a friend. He is a believer but doesn’t quite understand tongues (when it should be used and why people use it in small group settings to pray over people). Direction on this in studying would be great. Thank you.

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