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What Happens When We Speak in Tongues

By Hans Craycraft

[Note from Micah: This article was adapted from posts in a Crosswalk.com forum by Hans. He has generously given me permission to make an article out of them. As those of you who know me know, my background does not include speaking in tongues. However, it is important to see what the Bible has to say on the topic, and I think Hans has done a good job of that. The only changes I have made to this article are fixing some typos, making the style consistent with the other articles on this site, and changing the Scripture quotes to the WEB.]

1. Speaking in Tongues Helps us Pray According to the Will of God

The Holy Spirit also helps us to pray according to the will of God. We may have promptings to pray for something, but we're not certain how to approach the issue. The Holy Spirit wants to help us formulate our prayers according to the will of God.

In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can't be uttered. He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit's mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God. (Romans 8:26-27)

When we do not know what to pray, the Holy Spirit always does. Many times I don't know what to pray about concerning certain things. At those times, I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to pray, and he always does. Notice, it doesn't say we don't know how to pray, because we do, we pray to the Father in Jesus name. It says we don't always know WHAT to pray. Let's say, I feel lead of God to pray for our soldiers in Iraq, but I'm not sure exactly how God wants me to approach it. I ask the Holy Spirit for help praying concerning that which is on my heart and then I pray in the spirit.

Many times things come up in our lives that need prayer and we don't know what to pray. At those times, we can ask the Spirit to help us to pray according to his will. The Holy Spirit will help and comfort us, if we ask him .

Now, concerning groanings, people often find this phrase confusing.

My experience is this, I'll be praying in tongues and have a regular level of anointing, and it will sound like a regular language, but then at certain times, it seems like a stronger anointing comes upon me and it gets a lot heavier. This is when I go into the "intercession" mode. At that point, I seem to lose the "articulate" tongue I was speaking and go into a more "groaning" mode. When the intercession is over, I'll go back to a regular level of anointing and my tongue then reverts back to it's normal articulate style

This groaning in the Spirit is a strong spirit of intercession that seems to go beyond the range of normal articulate language. Often, the cry of the heart, goes beyond that which can be expressed in terms of language. In everyday life this also happens, a parent's cry of anguish upon the death of a child, even when we see a tragic accident, we often will make sounds, like "awww" or "ugh," instead of using articulate language words. Sometimes, a moan or groan or cry can actually express the inner most state of the heart better than "articulate" language.

There is an old song that says "inner city blues, make you wanna holler." Sometimes a moan says it best. When the kicker in the football game missed the last second field goal many people just moaned and that said it all.

2. Speaking in Tongues Edifies the Speaker

He who speaks in another language edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the assembly. (1 Corinthians 14:4)

I looked up the term "edifies" and it seemed to convey the same sense as to a battery being charged. In a way, you could say "He that speaks in tongues charges himself, that would convey the same sense of the scripture. I have a cell phone/walkie-talkie and it has a three part power meter. When the power gets down to only one bar out of a possible three, it is time to recharge. I can recharge off a power cable in my vehicle.

Speaking in tongues seems to provide a type of "spiritual power recharge."

I think that is the sense that Paul is conveying in the above mentioned Scripture. Is your battery running low? Well, pray and get the flow of the Spirit going.

I also noticed, that the more a person prays in tongues the more they experience the other gifts of the Spirit, and that the less they pray in tongues the less they experience the other gifts. Maybe, that has to do with "spiritually charging yourself up." It seems like, the more a person prays in tongues, the more of the miraculous they experience, and the more sensitive they are to the subtle promptings of the Holy Spirit.

This has been my experience, that doesn't mean that others don't experience it a little differently, just that this is what I've noticed in my life.

3. Speaking in Tongues Allows us to Pray out the Mysteries of the Divine Plan

The next aspect of tongues is very similar to principle one, yet there is a subtle difference. In principle one, tongues was shown to help us pray for a known situation that we didn't quite know how to approach. Suppose I want to pray for the Sunday service, but I'm not sure how to best approach the topic in prayer. I can ask the Holy Spirit to help me pray for the service in tongues.

The Holy Spirit always knows the best way to pray and He lives in us to help us with such things. The next principle shows that tongues helps us pray for an unknown situation.

For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2)

John Wesley made the statement that "It seems God is limited by our prayer life - that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him." We see echos of this principle in Jesus' statement that we should pray that the Lord of the harvest send out laborers into the field. It seems that God asks us, to ask Him to do that which He wants to do. Why doesn't He just do it as an act of divine Providence? The answer to that takes us back to John Wesley's statement. It seems that God uses His people to pray out the divine plan.

There are some things that need prayer that we don't think about, but God does. Praying in tongues helps us pray out the mysteries of God's plan. He can help us pray for those things that need prayer that we don't know about. Sometimes, the Spirit of God will simply prompt a person to pray and they may have no idea about what they're praying. Sometimes, at unexpected moments the Spirit may strongly urge a person to pray. The person only knows that they need to pray. They may not even be aware of what they are praying about, they are speaking mysteries in the spirit to God.

So, my brothers and sisters, give yourself to prayer, both with the spirit and with the understanding, that His will may be done. The more that we give ourselves over to praying in the Spirit, the more God can and will use us in this area.

4. Speaking in Tongues gives us Spiritual Refreshing

But he will speak to this nation with stammering lips and in another language; to whom he said, “This is the resting place. Give rest to weary;” and “This is the refreshing;” yet they would not hear. (Isaiah 28:11-12)

In these days of hectic stress, time constraints, busy schedules, and all the other pressures that time saving devices bring us, we often need that inner refreshing that only time alone with God can give us. Praying in tongues refreshes, recharges and reinvigorates us spiritually. If a person is feeling a little down spiritually due to perhaps the general turmoil of life, let them put in a good session of praising God in the spirit. The Word tells us that this is refreshing for a person.

5. Speaking in Tongues Magnifies God

For they heard them speaking in other languages and magnifying God. (Acts 10:46)

When we magnify something, we make it bigger. Yet, we know that God doesn't change, God is not going to get any bigger. It is our perception of God that is altered, God remains the same. Speaking in tongues alters our perception of God.

When I was young, I would go into the forests around our house and collect insects. I often took a magnifying glass with me. I loved watching the ants work under the magnifying glass. When I magnified the ants they seemed so much bigger to me. I could see things about them that I'd never known before. I became much more familiar with their actions and behavior. There was so much about the ants that I would never have guessed if I had not observed them under magnification. To my perception, the ants were bigger, yet, they didn't change size at all. How big is God to you?

Sometimes, we can have too small of a perception of God. As children of God, we have a great big God, but at times we act as if we have a "small" God. Those are the times that we need to magnify God in our lives. Speaking in tongues and praising God helps make God "bigger" to us.

Sometimes, we meet people, and it seems like God is just so real and a constant vital part of their lives. To them God is "big." Then we meet others, and they act as if there is no God at all or at best a very small God who doesn't seem that concerned about their lives. To one group God is magnified to the other group he is not. Same God, different perceptions.

Some people, when the cares and struggles of this life rain down on them start magnifying the problem. They will talk about how big, how bad, how hopeless etc... the situation seems to be. They magnify the problem. Instead, that's a good time to look unto the Lord and start magnifying God.

When we "up" the magnification of God a couple of factors in our life, those concerns we had get much smaller. What seemed like a big problem, now by comparison, is nothing. It is in such an atmosphere of praise and magnification that God moves and does amazing wonders. Speaking in tongues helps us to magnify God.

6. Speaking in Tongues Keeps us Conscious of the Spirit's Indwelling Presence

I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,— the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)

The Holy Spirit does not speak in tongues, rather, He helps us to speak in tongues. In the realm of the spirit, He inspires our spirit on what to say. Both parties are involved in speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit gives our human spirit the words, and then we as a conscious act of the will, by faith and courage speak.

Many times people seeking this blessing will expect the Spirit to manipulate their mouth and take control of them and speak, that is not how it works. The spirit of the prophet is always subject to the prophet, God will not over ride a person's free will. The just will live by faith, therefore we speak and walk and talk by faith.

Much of the Christian's walk in this world involves training in teamwork with God. We need God to give us the words and God needs us to pray. The Scriptures tells us that "The Lord worked with them and confirmed the Word."

In a way, the spirit-filled believer can view the situation as tag-team wrestling. In speaking in tongues, we directly experience this working together with God. This keeps us conscious of the Spirit's indwelling presence.

A living, vital awareness of the Holy Spirit's abiding presence us, will greatly affect how we live. Tongues is a God-given means of supernatural communication with God. When we speak, we go into direct tag-team mode with the Holy Spirit.

The more conscious I am of his presence, the easier the Christian walk becomes and the more effective I am for Him.

7. Speaking in Tongues Exercises, Activates and Stimulates our Faith

Just as our bodies need exercise to function properly and effectively, our faith also needs daily workouts. Through exercise you can build up your body. Exercising your muscles develops and builds them up. Faith is the same way.

Exercising your faith develops and builds it up. When we pray, sing, talk, worship or praise in tongues it is by faith. By faith we speak out, by faith we trust the Holy Spirit for the next word. Speaking in tongues is a faith workout.

But you, beloved, keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. (Jude 1:20)

When we pray in tongues, we have to lean upon and trust the Holy Spirit for the next word. Learning to trust God in one area has a carry over effect and helps us to trust him in other areas. Learning how to step out in faith and speak in tongues helps us to step out in faith in other areas.

Experiencing God helping us by faith, builds our confidence, and emboldens our faith. This helps us to develop that bold faith, whereby the Lord calls us to enter into His throne room of grace in time of need.

Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

It takes a certain amount of boldness to speak out in tongues by faith. God seeks to develop within us a bold faith of action and courage. Therefore let us build ourselves up into that spiritual edifice that God has called us to be. Speaking in tongues helps us to develop that bold action based faith.

8. Speaking in Tongues Helps us to Develop a Relationship with God in the Spirit and Makes us More Sensitive to Spiritual Things.

But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

Earlier, we mentioned the difference between the ministry gift of tongues and the devotional gift of tongues. Much confusion has been brought into the church due to the failure to understand these two distinct variations of speaking in the spirit. The ministry gift is given to a few, the devotional gift is meant for all believers.

Tongues, therefore, can be said to be primarily a private devotional aid. It is given to the born-again child of God as a supernatural means of communication with God. God desires to lead us by the spirit. Yet, if I have a difficult time identifying the spirit, that can be tough.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. (Romans 8:14)

Often, people will say something along the lines of "I keep getting these thoughts or impressions, is this just me or is this God?" The voice of our spirit is referred to as a "still small voice." How do I know If God is quietly trying to get something over to my spirit or "it's just my own natural mind." Tongues helps with this.

It strengthens our spirit and makes it easier to identify. I've noticed that the more a person prays in tongues the more other gifts of the spirit manifest.

When you pray in tongues pay attention to where the words are coming from, that's your spirit. That's the part of you where God by the Spirit dwells. When God seeks to lead you it will be by that part of you. Learn to identify that part of your interior make-up.

9. Speaking in Tongues Helps us to Silently Focus on God, while in the World.

To understand this aspect of tongues, we need to bear in mind two spiritual principles. One is that the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet and the other is that communication with God is by faith. While, both of these principles are widely agreed upon, I've found that in practice, people frequently don't follow them.

Many people believe that you can speak in tongues only at certain times and that under special promptings from the Spirit of God. Yet, Jesus says that we should pray always. Speaking in tongues is an act of the will. We can choose to speak or remain silent.

What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. (1 Corinthians 14:15)

Paul states that speaking or singing in the spirit is by choice. I don't have to "feel" specially inspired to speak by faith, although I may "feel" inspired, the point is "the just shall walk by faith."

Feelings will come and go, yet we walk not by feelings but rather by what is written in God's Word. Our spirits are subject to us and we can thereby choose to speak in tongues.

This also implies that we have control by faith on the "volume knob." I can speak in tongues loud, softly or even silently. I can by faith, courage and an act of the will choose to sing in tongues loud, softly or even silently.

But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the assembly, and let him speak to himself, and to God. (1 Corinthians 14:28)

While this verse refers to the manifestation of the ministry gift of tongues and not the devotional gift, the principles of control and choice are the same. The believer chooses to speak or not, the believer also chooses how loud they will speak. This brings us to the main point of this aspect of tongues.

I can choose to silently focus on God, while in the world. I may be at the gym and the T.V. may have something on that is junk. It's hard to eliminate all bad worldly influences. At that point I can silently speak to myself and God.

God has called us unto Holiness. While there are many aspects of Holiness, I've found that a good working definition of Holiness is "separated unto God for His use and purpose." While others may choose to watch questionable T.V. while at the gym, I can choose God. When I make such a choice it reminds me that I am separated unto God for His purpose and His Glory. Using the gift of speaking in the spirit helps us to walk in separation unto God.

10. Speaking in Tongues Allows the Spirit to Help us Give a Blessing.

Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn't know what you say? For you most certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up. (1 Corinthians 14:16-17)

This point has some of the same principles in operation as the previous example, namely, that "the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet" and that "the just shall walk by faith."

This means that the person who is communicating in the spirit has control over the "on-off" switch and also over the volume knob of their spiritual language.

When we use our spiritual language to give "thanks" God says "you most certainly give thanks well." If God says that using our spiritual language to give thanks is a good way to say "grace" then it's a good way to say grace.

What I wanted to point out was, the level of control that a person has to have over their language in order to say "thanks" over a turkey sandwich. In order to follow this Scriptural principle, you'd have to be able to turn "tongues" on and off and at the volume of your choice at will.

Notice the He also says that if somebody is present who is unlearned that we should choose to give the blessing with our understanding.

Many Christians are unlearned when it comes to communicating with God in the spirit. When we are around those who are in the room of the unlearned we should do the wise thing.

If we go to Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws house and are called upon to give thanks, it might not be the wisest move to say grace in tongues. However, if later that night you're making posts on a Christian web page and decide to stuff your face with a big fat turkey sandwich, then it would be good it say a word of thanks in tongues.

If God declares that "you give thanks well," then it would seem that God encourages using the spirit to give thanks.

Just a couple of days ago, I read a statement that we can not speak in tongues except by special inspiration. At times, God does gives us a special prayer burden and with that burden a spirit of prayer and intercession will come upon us. However, that is a different aspect of tongues and is closer to the principles mentioned in point three.

If we have received the infilling of the Holy Spirit then we can declare along with the apostle Paul "I will pray with the spirit." We pray by faith and our spirits are subject to us.

11. Speaking in Tongues Helps us in the Area of Boldness

When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were gathered together. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)

Praying in tongues builds and fills us with God's Spirit. Instead of thinking of the infilling of the Holy Spirit as a one time experience, think of it as a daily ongoing event.

We should be seeking and getting filled daily. A daily filling of the Spirit will inspire a person towards boldness. Many times, I've heard people say that they need more power in their life, yet if they have received the Holy Spirit, then lack of power is not the problem. They are not effectively using what they already have. The key to supernatural signs and wonders is boldness.

If you are a born-again, spirit-filled child of God, and are not experiencing the miraculous and supernatural then it is because you're not boldly proclaiming the Word.

Signs, wonders and miracles follow the proclaimed Word. When we hold forth the Word of God faith comes to people whereby God is able to bless them.

Blessings follow the Word. Faith follows the Word. Signs follow the Word. Wonders follow the Word. Healings follow the Word. If you want to see the supernatural power of God in action then hold forth the Word with boldness.

So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

It is because of the principle of "wonders follow the Word" that I strongly believe that whenever there are "healing" services, the Word on healing should first be proclaimed. This allows people's faith to be built up to the point where it is easier for them to receive. It also gives God something to confirm.

God loves to confirm his Word. That's one of the reasons so many wonderful things follow his Word. In Mark 16, Jesus tells the church to go out and "preach the gospel" and that signs and wonders will follow those that believe those words. To the extent that a person boldly gives forth the Word to that same extent will the supernatural follow in their wake.

They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen. (Mark 16:20)

What did the Lord confirm? His Word. Signs, wonders and miracles follow the Word. My point is that it is not so much power that spirit-filled Christians needs to focus on, instead focus on boldly proclaiming the Word. God confirms His Word.

It isn't just those who have special ministries, who can pray for a miracle. God is no respecter of persons. Any child of God can hold forth the Word. While God is no respecter of persons, He does respect faith. He does respect His Word.

Therefore, give out the Word, and watch God work with you to confirm His Word.

To sum this up, praying in tongues helps us stay full of the Spirit. The Spirit inspires us to "boldly speak the Word." This gives the hearer faith and gives Jesus something to confirm.

If we don't hold forth the Word, then what exactly is Jesus supposed to confirm? Nothing, but some will then sit there and bemoan their lack of power. Yet, we know that the preaching of the gospel is the power of God.

"Now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus." When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were gathered together. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31)

Please notice, that the believer's boldness was a result of them asking for boldness in Act 4:29, and not an automatic result of speaking in tongues or the infilling of the Holy Ghost.

I do not believe that tongues automatically give us boldness.

I do believe that, just as the early church prayed for boldness so should we. I believe a daily filling of the Spirit will inspire a person towards boldness. I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the church to pray for boldness in Acts 4:29, and that He will also led us to pray along similar lines.

I believe that a born-again, Spirit-filled Christian doesn't need to pray for faith or power, but that they should pray for boldness and the opportunity to speak.

Saint Paul who prayed in tongues a lot and certainly was full of the Spirit in a real big way asked the Ephesians to pray for him "that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly."

Paul did not receive the boldness that he knew he needed as a result of all his praying in tongues. He had to ask in prayer for that boldness just as the church in Acts 4. I do, however, believe that the Holy Ghost will inspire us to pray along the lines of asking for boldness.

Speaking in tongues helps us stay full of the Spirit and the Spirit will then inspire us to ask for boldness from our Father. Notice the character of the early church before the infilling on the day of Pentecost and after the day of Pentecost.

Boldness and power were two of the major changes in its nature. I think that if I had to write out a short profile of the personality of the Holy Ghost, boldness would be a part of that list. Is the Spirit in and of Himself bold? I think so. I think that is why when he fills us, He will then inspire us towards a similar character of boldness.

12. Speaking in the Spirit Helps us to Understand the Things of the Spirit

I've noticed that the more I pray in the spirit, the easier it is for me to understand spiritual things. The fuller I am with the Spirit the easier it becomes to grasp spiritual principles.

We do have to study, yet, spiritual understanding is more of a matter of being filled with the Spirit, than of intellectual growth.

It is because of this principle that I believe it is a good idea to pray and get charged up on the Spirit before we read our Bibles.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you. (John 14:26)

I first noticed this when I first got filled with the Holy Ghost. I had a very intense weekend of praying in the spirit, then I went to church and it was glorious and I just got saturated with His Spirit to overflowing. Then when I got home I took out my Bible and started to read and WOW! it was almost like the words came alive and stood up on the page.

It seemed to me that reading the Word full of the Spirit made a huge difference in my ability to understand the Scriptures. The infilling made the Scriptures come alive to me to an extent that I had never before experienced.

But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God's Spirit. But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one. "For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?" But we have Christ's mind. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)

One of the purposes of the Spirit is "that we might know." Our spiritual understanding is not so much a result of our brain power and study, rather it is a consequence of being filled with the indwelling Spirit.

13. Speaking in the Spirit can give us something to "give" when we assemble together for worship.

Notice that the apostle Paul also says something along this line in the "tongues" section of the New Testament.

What is it then, brothers? When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has another language, has an interpretation. Let all things be done to build each other up. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

It seems like they were coming together not primarily to "get" but to "give," what they, "have".

My point is that spending time alone praying in the spirit can give us something to give to others when we do get together.

Try and show up at church with your tank full, instead of half empty. Plan on going to church to give rather than to receive. Make it a point to be a blessing and to give a blessing.

Imagine what a difference that could make, suppose that the whole congregation showed up on Sunday, not so much to get full of the Spirit, but rather to give of the fullness that they had received during times of private prayer during the week.

14. Speaking in the Spirit is a valuable tool when it comes stirring spiritual things up.

Speaking in tongues certainly isn't the only way to stir things up spirtually, yet it is one way and a very good one at that.

God does sometimes move in a sovereign way, yet for the most part spiritual things don't just happen automatically, we need to do some stirring. Praying in the spirit is a wonderful way to do that.

I've noticed that the more that I pray in the Spirit, the more supernatural things seem to happen around me, conversely, the less I pray in the Spirit the less supernatural things seem to happen around me.

For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6)

God expects us to do some stirring. If we don't stir up the gift that is in us it won't get stirred. There are sometimes when God in His sovereignty will make a preemptive move, but I've noticed that for the most part, God has a tendency to "sit on the bench" of our hearts until we call on Him.

The gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us have a tendency to stay unstirred unless we stir them up.

Let us not bury the gifts and talents that God has given us, rather, in the Spirit let us pray and stir them up.

15. Speaking in the Spirit helps us to identify our spirit

When we speak in tongues we are speaking out of our spirits.

As Christians we need to pay attention to what is going on inside of us. Many people are very sensitive to what is going on around them, they are very aware of their body, of their emotions etc. ,but they seem to be a little less aware of what is going on in the spirit.

We often pay so much attention to what is going on in the world around us that spiritual things become less distinct.

Yet, Christ, by the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, as Christians we need to focus on what is going on inside of us. Often, I've heard Christians say something along the line of, "I keep getting this impression, or sense, is God trying to get something over to me?"

Or, "I don't know if this is God or my own natural thinking, but whenever I pray it seems like?".

My point is, how do I know if God is quietly trying to move me in a certain direction or if it's my own carnal mind?

Is it the Spirit, or is it my own thoughts? The promptings of God can be very gentle and require sensitivity to the spirit.

I believe that we need to develop sensitivity to our spirits. Our spirits are the part of us that was born-again. Our born again human spirit is the part of us where the Holy Spirit dwells.

For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays... (1 Corinthians 14:14a)

Praying in tongues can be helpful when it comes to identifying our spirits. When you speak in tongues, pay attention to where within you the utterance is flowing from, that's your spirit.

God at certain times will give a person the interpretation of their tongue, that also will flow out of their spirit.

Learn to distinguish between your own natural thinking and your spirit. Learn to recognize the stirrings of your spirit.

When God leads us it's by the spirit.

The spirit of man is Yahweh's lamp, searching all his innermost parts. (Proverbs 20:27)

Learn to recognize the promptings of your spirit, that's where the Holy Spirit resides.

16. Speaking in the Spirit helps us to minister to God

It's good that we minister to each other, but we should also minister to God. I'm not saying that singing or speaking in the spirit is the only way to minister to God, yet it is a good way, and the Holy Spirit will help us minister to God.

When we listen to Christian music, ask yourself, who is audience? Who are we ministering to?

Some songs address people, while some songs address God. I think both types of songs are good, yet I believe that when we worship our singing should be unto the Lord.

Earlier [Crosswalk forums user] Rapturefish asked concerning the manifestations of the other gifts. I believe that the other gifts have a greater tendency to manifest as we spend time ministering to the Lord.

Yes, it's good to minister to each other, bur first, minister to the Lord. It's in an environment of ministering to the Lord that the Spirit will manifest.

As they served [ministered to] the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said... (Acts 13:2a)

Notice, as they ministered to the Lord the Holy Ghost suddenly manifested. How do we minister to the Lord? There are lots a different ways, and tongues can be a wonderful way to sing unto Him, to praise Him, and to minister to Him.

Focus on ministering to God first, then when you minister to man it will be with much greater power.

The second principle in this verse concerns fasting. Implicit within fasting is the idea of time. Fasting takes time. It takes a serious amount of time in prayer for this type of anointing and manifestation.

A lot of people don't experience these things because they don't spend enough time in prayer.

A person couldn't say, "Hey, guys, I fasted today." When asked when they reply, "Well, I fasted today from 0800 till 1000, that's no fast, there wasn't enough time.

To experience God's best, takes serious time. Time spent ministering to the Lord.

Spend time ministering to God in the Spirit and the other manifestations will come forth as the Spirit sees fit.

17. Speaking in the Spirit is a good way to make yourself available to God

God is on the look out for people through whom He can manifest Himself.

He is looking for an outlet of His wisdom, glory, power, mercy, etc., and it's through His people that He looks for that outlet.

Speaking in the Spirit is an excellent way to give yourself over to God, and to give His Spirit an outlet.

But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. (John 4:23)

God is seeking people to worship Him in the Spirit, let us help God find among us that which He seeks. Let us give unto God the outlet for His Spirit that He seeks.

For the eyes of Yahweh run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (1 Chronicles 16:9a)

God is looking for a people to manifest His glory through. He wants to find people through whom He can do mighty works. He eagerly searches for people on whose behalf He can show Himself strong.

Praying in the Spirit gives God a greater influence on your prayers and allows the Spirit to more closely guide your prayers, thus making those prayers "high impact" prayers.

18. Speaking in Tongues helps us understand the flow of the Spirit

There is a flow to the Holy Ghost. It is one thing to talk about it, yet it is still another thing to experience it. Getting sensitive to the flow of the Spirit takes time spent in prayer.

Praying and singing in tongues helps us to understand the flow of the Spirit.

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water." But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given... (John 7:37b-39a)

It takes some time to get used to the flow of the Spirit, speaking in the Spirit helps alot with this.

Sometimes, when praying in the Spirit, He will want you to sing, or change the rhythm. We need to learn to be sensitive to His leadings.

Some times in prayer, I'll be praying, when suddenly the spirit of intercession will come upon me, that's a very different flow, it's a bit heavier.

When praying, sometimes it just seems like waves of glory are sweeping over me, there is a very definite flow to the Spirit.

He will let you know how long to pray, whether to sing or not, whether intercession is involved or not, whether to interpret or not.

Learning to become sensitive to the flow of the Spirit is very important if a person were to move on to interpretation and prophecy.

19. The Infilling of the Holy Ghost Satisfies the Basic drive towards Transcendence.

I'm not sure that I'm saying this in the best possible way, but to me the Infilling fills the inner longing to experience a greater reality.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. (Acts 1:8a)

We have all heard about basic human drives, food, shelter, recognition etc. One we don't hear so much about is the drive towards the transcendence of everyday reality.

I think we often see elements of its out working in daily life, but often don't recognize it for what it is, a basic innate cry of the human heart.

Have you every as a kid played "spinner" where you held your arms out and spun like a top and then suddenly stopped? The world whirled around and perhaps you laughed or yelled "Whoa." In a small way that was an experience of transcending our normal everyday reality.

I believe that within humanity there is an innate drive to reach out to a greater reality.

In a large extent it is this same drive that fueled the explosion of the drug culture. People wanted to experience an altered reality.

At the same time that the drug culture took off, so did interest in the supernatural, another element in humanities desire to experience something greater than everyday reality.

I think that the rejection of the Infilling by many of the mainstream denominations, helped lead to the establishment in America of much of Eastern spirituality.

I remember that so many of my friends when I was young would go to church and complain that there just didn't seem to be any reality to it.

At best, the church seemed to be presenting a system of moral checks and balances, yet, void of any real experience of the supernatural. In response, hordes of my friends drifted into drugs, alcohol and Eastern philosophies.

In the use of drugs, a person would experience a world beyond normal perception, a false world, but many didn't know better. They were looking for an experience of greater reality. They were being driven by the basic human drive towards transcendence.

In Eastern thought, meditation also provided an experience of what was perceived of as spiritual transcendence, something that so many seemed to find lacking in church.

There didn't seem to be the reality of the supernatural in any of the churches I went to when I was young. Even today, most Christians that I know, do not have the Infilling of the Holy Ghost, and to be totally honest, the reality of the supernatural seems very vague to them, even though they are born again.

When I discuss supernatural matters of the Spirit with them, it seems like a blank gaze comes over many of their eyes and they have no experiential clue as to what is going on.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost, opens the door to the supernatural realms of the Spirit.

I've noticed that the more I speak in tongues, the more the miraculous and the supernatural just seems to happen. The mass of Christians I know, are totally surprised when I share some of my experiences .

Those that have the baptism are not surprised at all. They share their experiences.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost, opens the door to the supernatural realms of the Spirit, makes us more sensitive to the things of the Spirit and fulfills our basic drive for the experience of a greater reality.

20. Interpretation of Tongues is not a Tanslation

Recently, concerning the interpretation of tongues, somebody stated:

"My understanding of an interpretation is to say exactly what's being said in one language, in another."

This is not quite accurate, interpretation is a little different than translation. They do have a certain amount of overlap yet, they are not the same. What you're defining is more like translation, rather than interpretation.

English is my second language and I've often had to interpret or translate. Translation is a closer word for word rendering of a text, while interpretation is more of a conveying of the meaning of a message. Because of this, the length of a "word" in tongues and the corresponding interpretation can vary greatly in length. It is the gift of interpretation, not the gift of translation.

There is also a natural affinity between interpretation and prophecy . Sometimes, when the person giving the interpretation finishes, they seem so inspired that they go right into prophecy without hardly breaking stride, when this happens you should be able to sense a shift in the level of the anointing. The anointing upon a person who is prophesying is just a touch higher than when they interpret. This tendency also accounts for some the normal variations in message length.

We see this same pattern of interpretive message length variation in Scripture. Remember, when Daniel interpreted the "writing on the wall", he wasn't called to translate, they didn't need a translation the writing was in a well known common language. They readers knew what the words signified they just didn't know what they meant. Daniel was called to interpret common words.

This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and brought it to an end; TEKEL; you are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. PERES; your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. (Daniel 5:25-28)

Compare the word count of the divine message with the word count of Daniel's interpretation. Daniel uses about ten interpretive words for every one word of message text. Interpretations can be much shorter or longer than the original message.




All Scripture is taken from the World English Bible (WEB).