How do I pray properly in tongues

These two gifts are closely related and are therefore treated here together.

Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus informed his disciples that certain signs would follow those who believe. This includes speaking in new tongues. (Mk. 16:17) In Acts. 2,4 we can read how the gift first manifested itself. (Pentecost Event)

Also in Acts. 10.46 (in the house of Cornelius), or Acts. 19: 6 (Church in Ephesus) we read of this gift.

When considering these gifts, the text from 1 Cor. 14 useful. However, a few notes are very important:

Paul writes this text to a church in which the gift of speaking in tongues has obviously been misunderstood. It is likely that the Corinthians tried to preach and teach in tongues. They believed that any sincere Christian would understand this by the Spirit.

Paul opposes this abuse of the gift. So if Paul in 1 Cor. 14 criticizes, we have to see it against this background. If we do so, we will also be able to find out from this chapter what is positive about these gifts.

Paul himself makes it clear in V 18 that he is not against speaking in tongues, but that he is grateful to speak more in tongues than all the Corinthians.

In 1 Cor. The expression GENE GLOSSON used in 12.10 indicates that there are different kinds of speaking in tongues. We can distinguish two main types:

    1. Man's speech to God
    2. God's speaking to people

1. Human speeches to God

1st Cor. 14.2 "Because whoever speaks in tongues speaks ... to God"

Talking to God is nothing else than "praying". So, in the gift of speaking in tongues, God has given us a gift that is specifically dedicated to prayer.

Who actually prays in tongues when praying? The Holy Spirit or Man?

1st Cor. 14.14 "For when I pray in tongues, my spirit prays ..."1. Cor. 14.15"How should it be now? I want to pray with the spirit and also want to pray with the mind ..."

The expression "I will" indicates that the use of this gift is an active decision of the will.

Anyone who has received this gift from God should not wait for a new impulse and a request from the Holy Spirit before each use, but should willingly decide to pray again and again in new tongues.

Especially in times when one is down, when one is exhausted and tired after a long day at work, when one does not actually feel like prayer, then we should deliberately make use of this prayer language. We can then also experience how new power flows into us, as it is predicted in the Holy Scriptures: 1. Cor. 14.4: "He who speaks in tongues edifies himself ..."

Just as the prayer life unfolds on different levels, so too can the gift of speaking in tongues be used in the different types of prayers:

1.1. Worship in tongues:

Worship is not synonymous with request, intercession, thanksgiving, etc., but praise to God. In worship, the focus is not on people with their needs and experiences, but on God. God is to be praised and glorified.

By looking away from ourselves and concentrating entirely on God, we also free ourselves from many inhibitions and anxieties. Our narrowed horizons become wide. Many problems take on a different face, darkness is illuminated. In this way we can experience how God serves us when we worship and glorify him.

1.2. Hymn of praise in the spirit

1st Cor. 14.15: "... I want to sing psalms with the spirit and also want to sing psalms with the understanding".

Just as we sing songs (psalms) in our normal language, using our minds, we should also sing songs without our minds, singing with the spirit (tongues).

The use of the gift in this form is also an active decision of the will ("... I want ..."), just like singing songs with the mind.

Through the use of the gift in this form, we can experience how we, according to 1. Cor. 14.4 are self-built.

1.3. Thanksgiving in tongues

In 1 Cor. 14: 16-17 we read of thanksgiving in tongues. If you understand correctly God's blessing and Jesus' work of redemption, or if you have received special help from God, then you often feel that your own words are not enough to express the thanks that is in our hearts. In this case, too, this gift - here as a prayer of thanks in tongues - helps us further.

Since thanksgiving prayer, when practiced in the church, also has a strong testimony character, it is good if these thanksgiving prayers are interpreted. (cf. 1. Cor. 14: 16-17) Either someone else has the interpretation, or you can express the reason for thanking yourself in normal language.

1.4. Prayer and intercession in tongues

When we bring prayer and intercession before God, there are cases when we ourselves do not know how to solve the problems. We often don't know what to ask for. Then prayer in tongues will help us:

Rom. 8.26: "... Because we do not know what to pray, ... but the Spirit itself represents us with unspeakable sighs."

Prayer in tongues also gives us the opportunity to bring intimate, personal prayer concerns to God in fellowship with others. The prayer remains a secret to the man next to you. (1 Cor. 14,2)

1.5. Power of attorney in tongues

As mentioned above, Jesus told his disciples before his ascension into heaven that certain signs would follow those who believe. (Mk. 16: 16-18)

The signs that he mentions here are "acts of authority" e.g. driving out evil spirits, grabbing snakes with hands, drinking deadly things without suffering any damage, healing of the sick. In the midst of these powers of attorney, he also mentions speaking in tongues.

This is not a coincidence, rather it becomes clear that prayer in tongues is also an act of authority. We are allowed to use this power of attorney in prayer battles, in prayer for the sick, in the liberation of the burdened and possessed, etc. Now a few thoughts on the second main type of speaking in tongues:

2. Speeches of God to the people:

1st Cor. 14.21 or Isa. 28.11: "... I (= God) want to speak to this people in different tongues and with different lips ..."

This type of speaking in tongues is not a prayer, but a special form of prophecy (cf. Script III, p. 34.3 d).

What is important with regard to prophecy in connection with the gift of speaking in tongues can be read again above and is not dealt with in more detail here.

In addition to this, we want to deal here with the interpretation of speaking in tongues. As in 1 Cor. 14, it would be of little use to the congregation to hear God's message only in incomprehensible language.

With regard to this type of speaking in tongues, what Paul said in 1 Cor. 14,13 writes: "So whoever speaks in tongues pray that he can also interpret it."

If it is not interpreted, then it cannot be used for building up the church. But this is what Paul demands in 1 Cor. 14.26.

As a rule, he who receives the message in tongues senses that God wants to communicate something. He will pass on this speaking in tongues in a different form than the prayer in tongues, so that the community feels that God wants to communicate something. After speaking in tongues, it is good to have a time of silence until God gives the appropriate interpretation.

Sometimes there are apparently "multiple interpretations" when interpreting the tongues, i.e. one interprets and another has an interpretation on his mind. As a rule, it is then that not one of the interpretations was wrong, but that one of the interpretations was in reality an independent prophetic message from God. It is therefore important that the second also bring his "interpretation".

Is there some way to check if an interpretation goes with a particular speaking in tongues?

In many cases, yes. If, for example, speaking in tongues has a praising, joyful sound and the interpretation brings an admonition, then it is good to wait for an interpretation that is "appropriate" to speaking in tongues. With regard to the interpretation of speaking in tongues, the same applies with regard to the examination of prophetic speech as already stated for the gift of prophecy.

Love and gifts of the spirit

In the letter to the Corinthians there is a chapter on love between the chapter listing the gifts of the Spirit (chap. 12) and the chapter on the application of the gifts of the Spirit (chap. 14). (Chapter 13).

This is not a coincidence!

Rather, Scripture shows us through this that love is indispensable for the use of the gifts of the Spirit in the church. However, love itself is not one of the spiritual gifts. The chapter heading in the older Luther Bibles for 1 Cor. 13th

- Love as the highest gift of the spirit-

is misleading here. In more recent Luther editions, this is more appropriate

- The Song of Songs of Love -.

Many who are opposed to the gifts of the Spirit try to play off the gifts of the Spirit and love against each other. That is spiritually wrong. You don't say: I have lungs, so I don't need a heart (or vice versa). Only when everything has its right place and function is the body (and also the community) properly functional.

Selfless love (AGAPE) is not a gift of the spirit, but a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22). This is implanted in us during conversion and the associated reception of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5,5) and then grows through life and walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16 ff).

Love prevents spiritual gifts from being used unspiritually. It saves us from arrogance and it helps us to fit into the church with the service of gifts. Unspiritual separation and division are prevented by love.

Without this love, even those who are richly endowed with gifts remain a "... resounding ore, a ringing bell, a nothing "(1. Cor. 13.1-3)

In conclusion, it only remains to summarize:

Strive for love! Strive for the gifts of the Spirit ...! (1 Cor. 14,1)

Baptism in the Holy Spirit = speaking in languages?

Normally you will find that God gives you the gift of prayer in new languages. We have seen in our contemplation from the Acts of the Apostles that this sign often accompanied the filling with the Holy Spirit. God does not give us speaking in tongues as an "ID" or as a special assignment, but it is simply the gift of God that enables us to pray in new dimensions. Use this new possibility of prayer! Expand them! It is primarily intended for your own edification. The Holy Spirit represents you in prayer.

However, we must not make the mistake of saying that speaking in tongues and being baptized in the Spirit are identical. Speaking in tongues is a sign of Spirit baptism, but not Spirit baptism. Filling with the Holy Spirit, or being baptized with the Spirit, means that we receive strength from God. This power moves us to better serve our service as witnesses of Jesus Christ. Wherever we suffer from human limitations, the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome these limitations. In addition, great joy and intimate relationship with Jesus is also an accompaniment to being filled with the Holy Spirit. We will begin preaching the great works of God, just as we did on Pentecost and other occasions.

Can I "learn" to speak in tongues?

On several occasions I have already heard people being spoken three syllables "in tongues". People were then asked to repeat them and practice speaking in tongues. This is, of course, not a very credible form of speaking in tongues, and there are legitimate doubts. Usually when we ask for the Holy Spirit from the Father, He gives it to us without measure (John 3:34). This means that speaking in tongues is triggered by an initial spark in our life. However - and this is the difficulty with many people - we have to start with pronouncing the language given to us.

When we speak in understandable language, our brain will control our language center. But when we speak in tongues, it is speaking from our heart. A lot of people struggle with this because at that moment they feel foolish to say such things. You are afraid to do something of yourself. Also, because they do not understand what they are saying, they are afraid of saying something wrong. At this moment, however, we can completely trust God and ask him to continue what has been begun in us. Then it's good to just start and see what develops from it. In most cases God will give prayer in tongues spontaneously and without "practice".

Don't be discouraged if it doesn't "work" for you as it does for others. Perhaps you have prayed for it before. Trust God that he gives you from his riches and believe "that you have received." This experience has to be released in you. Many people have experienced praying in tongues in the most impossible situations. I heard from people who got it in the coal cellar, others while cooking, the next in the shower, again someone else while driving a car or jogging in the forest. Sometimes it helps us to simply start praying in tongues in tongues at an unobserved moment when we are not with others. At the moment the blockage is not so strong that we feel that someone is listening to us who might then think something funny about us. So have a lot of courage! Let God give you gifts and just start!

The way to fulfillment in the Holy Spirit

What I have to consider myself if I want to experience the fulfillment in the Holy Spirit or if I want to convey the experience in the Holy Spirit to others: A schematic approach is not advisable, since God always acts differently in individual cases. However, experience shows certain areas that are worth paying attention to.

a.) A clear experience of rebirth is a prerequisite. There must be a clear certainty of salvation. In addition, it is good to have made a clear confession of sin including detachment and dissociation from occult and demonic influences. The Holy Spirit cannot enter an uncleaned vessel.

b.) I have to claim the promise for myself personally. For many believers who do not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the experience fails at this point. Either they do not believe that this promise is there for them personally, but think that it is only there for others, or there is the possibility of believing in this promise theoretically but not wholeheartedly claiming it for oneself personally to take. Any obstacle in this area should be removed prior to being baptized in the Holy Ghost.

c.) Say a personal prayer combined with a request for the Holy Spirit!

d.) Group prayer for the Holy Spirit in a group can help.

e.) Prayer with the laying on of hands is from the N.T. here a way to help.

f.) Count on God's spontaneous answer! The baptism in the Holy Spirit should not be seen as the result of our acrobatic prayer, but should flow into our everyday life as a completely natural experience. If a person does not experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit immediately, he may receive it in the near future. However, there can also be concrete obstacles to receiving the baptism of the Spirit:

    - disbelief

    - Proud

      It may be that someone is internally prevented from using tongues because they feel childish doing it.

    - Blockage through your own thinking

      Language speaking is not primarily formulated with the mind, but occurs through the mind. We are used to formulating our speech through the mind. Because of this, your own thinking can be an obstacle to receiving prayer in new languages.

    - unadjusted sins

    - wrong motivation

      See, among others, Simon the Magician (Acts 8)

Tips for overcoming obstacles:

a.) Reading out Bible passages leads to faith. Study together scriptures about the promises of the Holy Ghost and practical experience.

b.) Common praise, proclamation of the power of Jesus.

c.) Maintain a cleansed heart.

d.) Singing together in new languages.

e.) Ensure a relaxed atmosphere. One who wants to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit should not be pressured inside. It is also often good to break off the prayer after a certain period of time so that someone does not come under pressure to perform. The prayer can freely continue in another setting.

f.) Common loud prayer. Prayer together, especially in new languages, encourages the willingness to begin speaking in new languages. Those who wish to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost should not be the only ones praying aloud.

Thousands, millions of people have already been baptized with the Holy Spirit in this way. Why should it be any different with you? Open yourself to the sovereign action of the Holy Spirit! Do not let obstacles discourage you! You will experience how God answers you and how your prayer is answered.Don't wait years and then ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but start praying for it today if you haven't received it yet.

Different ways of speaking in tongues

If we study Paul’s letters carefully, we will see that he distinguishes between two types of speaking in tongues. At one point he speaks very clearly of speaking in tongues for personal edification. In 1 Corinthians 14: 4 it says: "He who speaks in a language edifies himself!" The moment I speak in tongues, I primarily edify myself. This speaking in tongues is also what Paul speaks of, that he practices more than anyone else. Namely for yourself privately and alone. This type of language speaking is primarily self-improvement. This is also one of the important dimensions that prayer has in new languages. God has given us an opportunity to build ourselves up.

The second type of speaking in languages ​​is public speaking in languages, loud and audible to all, in worship services. When I stand in the service and speak in tongues in such a way that everyone can hear it, Paul says in this context that speaking in tongues needs to be interpreted. So this is a different kind of speaking in tongues. This speaking in tongues with the following interpretation is intended for edification of the church. So when someone speaks aloud in tongues in the church, pray also to be able to interpret it. This type of speech in tongues with subsequent interpretation belongs to the field of prophecy. Paul even says that several people can speak in tongues one after the other and one should then interpret it (1 Corinthians 14:27).

The comparison of the last two statements does not mean that I am not allowed to practice speaking in tongues for personal edification in worship. Paul only objects to audible, for all audible, loud speaking in tongues in worship. If I do it in an appropriate way for myself personally, I am naturally and naturally allowed to pray in tongues in worship. It just needs its framework.

Speaking in tongues is not a MANTRA

Anyone who has dealt with meditation and other areas of supernatural opening may have been assigned a mantra. This mantra gives the person concerned the opportunity to enter a kind of self-hypnosis into spiritually open spheres. These spheres mean an opening for negative, dark forces. It must be emphasized here that speaking in tongues has nothing at all to do with a mantra. I can't learn, and I shouldn't just repeat one syllable at a time. Speaking in tongues is a language given by the Holy Spirit that helps us on our way to God in prayer. If you have ever dealt with a mantra from experiences of meditation or esotericism, and you still notice a blockage in the area of ​​speaking in tongues from it, then consciously separate yourself again from this mantra and the negative influences associated with it! At the same time ask God to renew your thinking!

Do I have to speak in tongues to experience the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit?

As a rule, when you experience the baptism of the Spirit, you will also speak in new languages. But I do not want to rule out that in individual cases it is also possible to have experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit without praying in tongues. However, it would then have to be clearly evident to you in other areas that you have experienced the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit. In any case, you should strive to experience this promise of speaking in tongues for yourself personally. I want to encourage you not to be satisfied with less. When you feel like you have been baptized in the Holy Ghost, you should also stretch yourself after speaking in new languages.

Taken over from the FCG ARCHE teaching material in Augsburg