Prayer (2)

Course:  Different Forms of Prayer

Lesson 9

Lesson Title:  Praying in Tongues


Text:  ‘…I will pray in the Spirit and with the understanding’


Introduction:  What is praying in tongues?


What is the difference between praying in tongues and the Gift of divers kinds of tongues? ' another divers kinds of tongues;' 1 Corinthians 12:10.


Two functions are associated with speaking in tongues.

The gifts of the Spirit operate as the Holy Spirit will, but speaking in tongues serve two functions.

They are:

1) personal – for the believers personal prayer life and for building up his or her spiritual life.  No interpretation is necessary.

2)  public – a direct message in tongues followed by interpretation of tongues.

The public manifestation of the gift of tongues is different from the personal use of tongues.


The tongue speaks from the heart.

To speak with a new tongue under the control of the Holy Spirit a person must have a new heart born again of the Spirit of God.

Prophecy is the moving of the Holy Spirit upon the mind of the believer. 

Divers kinds of tongues is the moving of the Spirit upon the heart of the believer.


Tongues can originate from three sources

1)     Out of our own minds – repeating sounds that have no meaning

2)     From a wrong spirit – the words may or may not have meaning but they originate from an evil source and consequently bring an evil presence.

3)     From the Holy Spirit – edifies the believer and glorifies the Lord


Tongues communicate prayer, praise and worship.

Communicating in prayer – what the Lord has promised He will do.

Communicating in praise and worship - what the Lord has done (victory).


Tongues edify (build up) the believer.

Tongues build up the spiritual man - our spirit becomes stronger through communicating in tongues.



Introductory Story:  Prayed for my pastor in hospital.

The pastor of my Church, George Franklin, always used to pray in tongues.

He had Parkinson’s disease for many years and later had a stroke. 

I went to the hospital to visit him after he had the stroke.  He couldn’t speak and had little awareness of what was happening.

I put my arm around him and said ‘George, I am going to pray for you’.

When I began to pray he immediately started speaking in tongues.

Although George’s body was dying (he died some months later) – the spiritual man was very much alive.



Main Points 

1.   Praying in tongues in scripture.

The Gift of different kinds of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues are given to edify the Church.

Speaking in tongues is given to believers to build up the spiritual man, and to speak mysteries to God in prayer.


1 Corinthians 14:12-19

The spirit prays when we speak in tongues.

My mind is unable to understand but the Holy Spirit is in control.

1 Corinthians 14:14,  ‘For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.’


Pray with the spirit (tongues) and with understanding (15)

Sing with the spirit (tongues) and with understanding (15)

Paul spoke in tongues more than the Corinthians (18)

But in the assembly he sought to build up the believers (19)


There is great power in praying in tongues.

It is not surprising that Satan has fought hard to stop believers moving in the realm of praying in tongues.

Believers should pray in tongues at all times. 

The Lord is able to do great things through prayer and it is not necessary for the believer to know what he or she is praying.

The Holy Spirit is in control.  He is able to pray through us even when we do not know what to pray.

Romans 8:26Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.’


We are in a spiritual warfare.  People are bound by sin and Satan.  The warfare is spiritual.  Paul puts prayer with the spiritual armour of the believer.

Ephesians 6:18, ‘ Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;’

Although this verse does not directly refer to speaking in tongues, praying in the Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 14:15 includes praying in tongues.



2.   Testimonies concerning the operation of the gift.

Speaking in tongues will bring the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit will come with the gift of speaking in tongues.

This is because tongues will help the believer

§         To pray continuously

§         To keep the spirit in communion with God

§         To be anointed for ministry in our daily lives



3.    What is the benefit of speaking with other tongues?

Speaking in tongues is very important because:

a)   Tongues edify the believer

The inner man is strengthened as the believer speaks in tongues.

b)   Tongues empower the believer in prayer

Holy Spirit helps the believer to pray (Romans 8:26)

Speaking in tongues brings the anointing – power in prayer; power in witness.

A person who speaks in tongues speaks mysteries to God – effective prayer.

c)   Speaking in tongues lifts the believer into anointed worship

On the Day of Pentecost the 120 worshipped as they spoke in other tongues.  Those who understand them said they spoke of ‘the wonderful works of God’. (Acts 2:11)


Testimony:  The promise of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is given to all believers

I have known people who desired to be baptised with the Holy Spirit but they never came into the experience and never spoke in tongues.

They waited for God to move when He already has given the Holy Spirit to His people.  We need to enter into this wonderful experience.

The promise of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is given to all believers in every generation.

Acts 2:39,  ‘For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’

Believers should take God at His word and begin to move into the Holy Spirit.

Let the Holy Spirit take control of your prayer life and begin to speak with other tongues.

The wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit will bring an abundance of love, joy and peace.