One of the things that happened when the baptism of the Holy Spirit first came was that all the people who were there spoke in tongues. Acts 2:4 says that on the Day of Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Consistently all the way through the book of Acts, there was a manifestation of God's presence when the people received the Holy Spirit.
Of course, there is much more to the Holy Spirit than speaking in tongues, but it is one of the important manifestations. First Corinthians 14:13‑14 says, "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he might interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." When you pray in tongues, your spirit prays. Once you speak in tongues, pray that you interpret so your understanding will become fruitful.
I can give my own personal testimony that when I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and started speaking in tongues, it changed my life dramatically. I believe when I got born again, Christ came to live inside of me and deposited everything there, but when the Holy Spirit came upon me, it started to manifest to me and other people. There are a couple of things that happen. The first year I prayed in tongues, my mind told me it was crazy, that all I was doing was wasting time. It took faith for me to pray in tongues, which is the reason Jude 20 says you build yourself up in your most holy faith. It takes you out of natural thinking and reasoning and puts you into a supernatural realm of faith.
Another thing I experienced was that when I prayed in tongues, people I hadn't thought of for years would come to my remembrance. I'd start praying for them, and within a day or two, they would contact me and I'd find that something miraculous had happened. This happened so many times that I finally began to put these things together and realize that when I was praying tongues, I was praying with wisdom that went beyond my mental ability. My spirit that knew all things and had the mind of Christ was praying for people in ways that I could never do with my own physical understanding.
One day I was praying in tongues—as I said, it took faith for me to pray in tongues—and I was battling some thoughts like, You could be speaking in English and doing some good instead of speaking this gibberish. I had to deal with these thoughts and put them down, and I just kept praying. A guy I hadn't seen for four years knocked on my door. He came in, didn't say hello or anything, sat down, and began to cry and pour out his heart because he was having a lot of problems. I sat there thinking, Boy, I should have been praying in English. My next thought was, How would I have known to pray for him when I hadn't seen him in four years? Finally, it just dawned on me that I had been praying, and God had been preparing me. I had been interceding for him in a way that I couldn't have done if I were praying with my understanding. Suddenly, a revelation began to come to me and I told him, "I can tell you what your problem is." I finished his story for him and gave him his answer.
You have to understand that this was back when I was in a denominational church. He didn't know what had happened to me and I wasn't sure. It scared us both. But it was the power of God in manifestation, and He used it supernaturally. That is what this means: When you pray in tongues, it's your spirit praying. Your spirit has been born again, has the mind of Christ, and knows exactly what to do. It has an unction (anointing) from God so that you know all things, and there is no limitation in your spirit. If you could walk in the power and revelation of your spirit, it would transform your physical life. One way of doing that, though not the only way, is to just start speaking in tongues. Recognize and believe that when you do, you're building yourself up in your most holy faith, that your spirit is praying the hidden wisdom of God, and the perfect revelation of God is coming. Then, according to 1 Corinthians 14:13, pray that you can interpret. That doesn't mean you have to stop praying in tongues and pray in English to interpret; it just means your understanding becomes fruitful.
If you give a message in tongues in a church service, you have to stop and interpret in English. When you're praying by yourself, what I do is pray in tongues and trust that God is giving me revelation. Sometimes my attitude just changes. I don't have a specific word, but suddenly I see things clearly and get a different perspective. It may take a week before I get the full revelation, but I believe the time spent praying in tongues and believing I interpret is a part of it.
Speaking in tongues is important for many reasons, certainly more than to prove you've received the Holy Spirit. It should be a part of everyday life. It is a way to communicate directly from your heart to the Father, bypassing your brain with its doubts and fears. It builds you up in your most holy faith and releases the hidden wisdom of God. I just pray that all of you will be able to flow in this, release your faith, and receive the full benefit of speaking in tongues.
- Read Jude 20."But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." - Jude 20What great benefit is received by praying in the Holy Ghost?Answer
- Read Acts 2:4."And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." - Acts 2:4How many people were filled with the Holy Spirit?Answer
- Read Acts 2:4."And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." - Acts 2:4What did they do as a result of being filled?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:14."For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." - 1 Corinthians 14:14What part of you is praying when you pray in an unknown tongue?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:2."For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." - 1 Corinthians 14:2When a person speaks in an unknown tongue who is he speaking to?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:2."For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." - 1 Corinthians 14:2When a person prays in an unknown tongue, do people understand what is being said?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:2."For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." - 1 Corinthians 14:2When you pray in an unknown tongue, your spirit is speaking what?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:4."He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church." - 1 Corinthians 14:4When you pray in tongues, you do what?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:16."Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" - 1 Corinthians 14:16When you pray in tongues you are doing what?Answer