Praying in tongues is one of the most misunderstood gifts of today. It also is one of the most complicated for some people to grasp, when in all actuality, it is so simple if you can get past wrong teaching. In order to do this subject justice, over the next few days, I will be writing almost completely from Bro. Hagin’s Book “Prayer Study Course”. I need reminding and refreshing in this area of knowledge myself! So, grab your Bible and let’s dig in!
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
Amplified Bible (AMP)
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.
8 To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;
9 To another [[a]wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight ([b]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.
11 All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.
“In this post we will discuss praying in tongues. Believers receive the gift of tongues when they receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 are the nine gifts of the Spirit, or the nine manifestations by which the Holy Spirit demonstrates Himself. Three of these gifts of the Spirit are utterance or inspirational gifts. These gifts, which are sometimes called the vocal gifts, are designed to be an inspiration in public worship.
Of these vocal gifts, the gift of tongues is the most predominant. Speaking with other tongues is important to the believer because tongues is the gateway into the supernatural.
Denominational people sometimes ask, “Why do Pentecostals emphasize tongues so much and to such a great extent?” The answer is “We don’t!” The Bible discusses the importance of tongues and the prominence tongues is supposed to have in the life of the believer.
The reason it seems we sometimes overemphasize tongues is because folks are always asking us about this gift of the Holy Spirit and compelling us to discuss it. In discussing it, we always stand ready to give an answer according to the Word of God.
Speaking in tongues is always manifested when believers are baptized in the Holy Ghost. In fact, speaking in tongues is the Bible evidence for receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). But once the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is to maintain a continual experience of speaking in tongues which will enrich his/her life immeasurably.
Also, there is a private use of speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14: 13-14 says,
1 Corinthians 14:13-14
King James Version (KJV)
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
In other words, as the believer communes with God. And there is a public use of speaking in tongues in the public assembly or group. 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 says,
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
In other words, there is a difference in purpose and use between simply speaking with tongues in one’s private devotions, and in ministering in tongues in a public assembly or group.
On the other hand, the essence of tongues is the same, and the source of the tongues is the same. The gift of tongues comes from the Holy Ghost. If people are being filled with the Holy Ghost in our midst, then we are going to have people talking in tongues. Not only that, but the Spirit-baptized believer does not have to stop speaking with tongues after his/her initial experience. He/She can continue to speak in tongues, although they may not be used to publicly minister or speak forth a message in tongues in a church assembly. Tongues can and should continue to be used by the Spirit-filled believer in prayer and in their worship of God.
I quote from Howard Carter, a well-known Pentecostal Bible teacher and found or the oldest Pentecostal bible School in the world:
We must not forget that the speaking with other tongues is not only and initial evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, but speaking with other tongues is a continual experience for the rest of one’s life to assist in the worship of God. Speaking one’s life to assist in the worship of God. Speaking with tongues is a flowing stream that should never die out, and that will enrich the life spiritually.
Tomorrow we will delve more deeply into the “Evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit”! Blessings to you, dear reader! See you soon!
*Taken from “Bible Prayer Study Course” by Kenneth E. Hagin