The subject of speaking in tongues has always aroused a great deal of curiosity among Bible students. Sadly, it is often seen through the eyes of negative stereotypes of people swinging from chandeliers, foaming at the mouth, and playing with rattlesnakes. In any movement, there are extremists, of course, but as a rule, this is not true at all. Christians from all races, denominations, and nationalities have had their lives totally transformed by praying in tongues. In fact, you probably know some of them!
In this series of messages, I have attempted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about speaking in tongues. In this, the third and final installment, I will deal with the question that all the others have been leading up to:
WHY SHOULD I SPEAK IN TONGUES? HOW WILL IT BENEFIT MY CHRISTIAN LIFE?
The Bible gives a number of reasons why every Christian should pray in tongues, and many ways that praying in tongues will tremendously benefit any Christian who practices it.
Praying in other tongues will edify you (1 Corinthians 14:4.) To edify means to build up, strengthen, recharge.
Praying in other tongues is evidence that the Holy Spirit resides in you. (Acts 10:45-46)
Praying in tongues builds up your faith, and helps you trust God more fully. (Jude 20)
Praying in tongues is a great way to give thanks to God. (1 Corinthians 14:15-17)
Praying in tongues helps us to yield our tongues, as well as the rest of our bodies, to the control of the Holy Spirit. (James 3:8)
Praying in tongues helps us to pray God’s perfect will, even when we don’t know what or how to pray. (Romans 8:26)
Praying in tongues brings us into God’s rest and refreshing. (Isaiah 28:11-12; 1 Corinthians 14:21)
Praying in tongues has been humorously compared to Popeye eating a can of spinach! Just like the spinach gives him an immediate boost of strength, so will our prayer language strengthen and build up our spiritual lives. We are only beginning to discover the wonderful benefits that come through communicating with God in our Heavenly languages. In fact, if we are going to receive the fullness of God’s promises for our lives, then it is absolutely essential.
For example, lets look at one of the most beloved promises in the entire Bible, which is found in Romans 8:28: “…And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” This passage has been a source of comfort and encouragement to countless believers facing trials in their lives. However, in order to fully grasp the impact of this verse, it is vitally important that we read it in its proper context. In order to attain the benefits of Romans 8:28, we must first look ahead two verses at verse 26: “…we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself (Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (literal Greek, “Uttered in articulate speech.”) In other words, God will take the things that we pray out in our prayer languages, and turn them around to our good. Once I learned this truth, I gained a new appreciation for just how wonderful this promise is. No matter how tough or complex life may seem, God will work through our prayer languages to bring it all into focus and bring good out of even the most difficult circumstances.
As we complete this study, I will now ask that you take some time and reflect on what you have read here. You may have seen some concepts that are very new to you, and coming from a denominational background myself, I can certainly understand that. I honestly do not know where I would be spiritually if not for my prayer language. It is as natural to me as breathing. I encourage you to get your Bible and carefully review the Scriptures we have shared. As you will recall, the underlying them of this teaching has been “How intimate with Jesus do you want to be? Now, it is time to personalize that question even more. Consider the wonderful possibility that there is an avenue to greater intimacy with our God, an avenue which will build your faith, increase your awareness of God’s presence, and make you a more joyful, productive Christian than you’ve ever been before? Best of all, what if it is only a prayer away? a simple matter of asking and receiving? Wouldn’t you want it? Is there anything that is worth missing out on it for? May God richly bless you in your journey toward this new adventure in Him.
For Further Reading:
- Concerning Spiritual Gifts by Donald Gee-Scholarly and edifying, Dr. Gee’s classic works are an ideal starting point for denominational Christians who want to learn more about Spiritual gifts, including tongues.
- Who’s Afraid of the Holy Ghost? by Stevan Williamson-Pastor Williamson’s book is a very helpful resource in explaining the fullness of the Spirit to Christians who have been frightened or intimidated to their initial exposure.
- How To Receive the Baptism In the Holy Spirit and Share It With Others (Video) by Harald Bredesen-A Spirit filled Lutheran, Mr Bredesen gives a thorough, step-by-step teaching on the different facets of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Ideal for group study