The first time I spoke in tongues I was in a Pentecostal Church. I was 16 years old and I had only heard about the gift of tongues about a month prior. I was a young teenager going to a Christian school and didn’t know much about spiritual things.
Even as a teen I was hungry for encounter. I had two or three dreams in which I saw God’s destiny for my life, but I never operated in spiritual gifts.
The pastors of that church told me that I needed the gift of tongues as evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe that now and to be honest I never believed that only those who spoke in tongues had the Holy Spirit. I remember reading a book about Charles Finney when I was 18. He had an amazing conversion and baptism experience. When I read his account I was overwhelmed by how similar his experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit was to my own. I don’t know if Finney ever spoke in tongues.
But like Paul I am glad that I have the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18). It has helped my prayer life like nothing else.
I do believe that everyone can operate in this gift and I believe that those that do will have special times in prayer. There are days that I have found myself praying in tongues and wasn’t even aware. I can be walking in the streets praying in tongues without realizing it. Underneath the surface there is a constant whisper to heaven between my spirit and the Holy Spirit.
I love these two scriptures. 1 Corinthians 14:14 says, “If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays and, “for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26)."
These two scriptures have formed my understanding of prayers in tongues more than any others.
Praying in tongues is a unity between flesh and spirit. The mind may not understand what is being said but there is a perfect communion between heaven and earth. I have always imagined that my prayers in tongues have accomplished great things that I wouldn’t be able to even comprehend. I am a conduit through which the Holy Spirit prays, and every prayer that I pray accomplishes God’s objectives on earth.
God uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish great things in the spirit. As we pray in tongues we are opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit to pray and, he understands our lives and needs much better than our own. I believe many of the deliverances and healings that come to our lives is because of this kind of prayer.
Moreover I have imagined that our prayers in tongues have been used to bring salvation of loved ones, complete strangers, cities, states and nations. God will use your prayer to accomplish great things that you can’t even imagine.
There is a great bowl in heaven filled with the prayers of all the believers (Revelations 5:8) that is carried by the 24 elders. I have imagined my prayers in tongues moving from my spirit like a light up into that bowl and being poured out as an offering before the Lord. My intercession will accomplish great things.
There is a fire that comes to me when I pray in tongues that is hard to put into words. But there are times, especially when I am fasting and praying in tongues, when this fire moves out of my chest and touches my head and is accompanied by the greatest sense of well-being and peace. It is a divine communion between God and me. It is an amazing experience.
I pray for you today that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit to overflowing and that you will begin to operate in the gifts of the Spirit as they outlined in 1 Corinthians 12-14. I pray that you will have an encounter that shifts your prayer life into a new glorious state. And may God give you dreams and visions to show you what you are accomplishing for his glory.