QUESTION: WHY SHOULD I PRAY IN OTHER TONGUES?
STUDY REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 14:14-15, Romans 8:26, Jude 20
Apostle Paul wrote and spoke much about the subject of speaking in other tongues, and he apparently practiced what he preached, for he said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Cor. 14:18).
The Word of God teaches that when we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we speak with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance. Speaking in tongues is an initial evidence, or sign, of the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Praying or Speaking in tongues is a means of spiritual edification, or building up. The Bible says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.” (1 Cor. 14:4).
Paul also stated in First Corinthians 14:14, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my Spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” The Amplified Bible says, “My spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays.” God is a Spirit. When you pray in tongues, your spirit is in direct contact with God, who is a Spirit. When you speak in tongues, you are talking to Him by a divine, supernatural means.
Praying in tongues keeps us continually aware of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling Presence. Not only is speaking in tongues the initial sign or evidence of the Holy Spirit’s infilling but continuing to pray and to worship God in tongues helps us to be ever conscious of His indwelling Presence. And if you are conscious of the indwelling Presence of the Holy Ghost every day, that is bound to affect the way you think and live.
Speaking in tongues eliminates the possibility of selfishness entering our prayer life. For instance, if I pray a prayer out of my own mind and out of my own thinking, it may be unscriptural. It may be selfish. Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Rome, “We know not what we should pray for as we ought.” (Rom. 8:26). He didn’t say we didn’t know how to pray because we are instructed to pray to the Father in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:23–24).
Just because I know how to pray doesn’t mean that I know what to pray for as I ought. So Paul said, “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” (Rom. 8:26). The Holy Ghost is not going to do our praying for us. He is sent to help us pray. Speaking with other tongues is praying as the Spirit gives utterance. It is Spirit-directed praying. And it eliminates the possibility of selfishness in our prayers.
Praying in tongues helps us learn to trust God more fully. It builds one’s faith to speak in tongues. The Bible says, “Building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20). Speaking in tongues stimulates faith and helps us learn how to trust God more fully. For example, faith must be exercised to speak with tongues because the Holy Spirit supernaturally directs the words we speak. You see, we don’t know what the next word will be, we have to trust God for that. And trusting God in one area helps us learn to trust Him in another area.
James 3:8 says; “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison,” Yielding your tongue to the Holy Spirit to speak with other tongues is a big step toward being able to fully yield all of your members to God; for if you can yield your tongue, you can yield any member of your body to God.
Speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. God has given us this wonderful spiritual gift to bless us, edify us, and refresh us throughout our lives on this earth. Let’s receive what God has provided and enjoy the benefits of speaking in tongues!