3 Overlooked Benefits of Praying in Tongues

(Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash)

I was very aware of all of my surroundings in the natural. I was outside at the time while praying, and I could see the trees and clouds. And then suddenly I saw the demonic power hurling down into the earth. It was the only spiritual thing I saw in this vision.

The very first time I saw a supernatural gateway open into the spiritual world was while I was praying in tongues. It literally looked like something from a Star Wars movie. Another time, directly after I was praying in tongues, I had an out-of-body encounter in which I went to heaven. On another occasion, while I was praying in tongues in my bedroom, I looked up and saw a heavenly creature standing directly in front of me whose body looked as if it were made of blue flames. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Praying in tongues is extremely powerful to understand certain kinds of spiritual matters.

3 Benefits of Praying in Tongues

1. We can increase our capacity for manifestation. "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 Cor. 14:2, KJV).

The Scriptures denote that when we speak in tongues, we speak in a mystery. A mystery is simply the hidden wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2:7-10). It would take more than an eternity to even begin to conceive all the knowledge of God, because His ways are past finding out. God knows that there are things He wants to do that our lack of faith could possibly hinder. So, in turn, He gives us an unknown tongue to proclaim things that our minds don't have the capacity to understand in the natural (1 Cor. 14:14). As we pray in this way, the hidden wisdom and revelation of God can be released in the Spirit. The mysteries of what God desires and plans to do are released in faith so that the manifestation has a landing strip—or way to enter the earth. As we proclaim the mysteries of God, we are preparing the way in the Spirit for the next thing God wants to do and open in our lives.

2. We can increase our capacity for revelation. "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory" (1 Cor. 2:7).

When exploring the subject of speaking in other tongues, there's a definite emphasis on the mysterious. However, what we should understand about a mystery is that it is not something that cannot be known. Rather, a mystery is something that can be made known only by way of revelation. In the same way, when we pray in tongues, we are praying things that can be made known only by revelation. This is important because where there is no revelation, there can be no manifestation. As we pray in tongues, those things that are a mystery to us in the natural are revealed to us in the Spirit. For example, there have been many occasions when my wife or I have been praying in tongues and have been given specific insight into various matters.

Furthermore, as we speak the mysteries of God in an unknown tongue, God opens revelation to us and causes the things of the Spirit to become more real to us than things in the natural. And as this takes place, the manifestation of what God wants to do in the earth can be accelerated. For example, there have been times when my eyes have caught glimpses of spiritual things that I couldn't make sense of or gain complete clarity of sight. This is what we find taking place in Job 4:14-16. The scriptural reference of the previous shows that sometimes we begin seeing in the Spirit, but what we are seeing is not yet clear. It has been in times like this that I have prayed in tongues and the revelation opens up more clearly to me.

What Is Revelation?

Revelation is the processor of all divine communication and experience, as is shown in 1 Corinthians 2:9-11:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

According to 1 Corinthians 2:7, a mystery is wisdom that has been hidden from our eyes, our ears and our hearts. However, the good news is that the Spirit of God comes to reveal the things that have been hidden. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 2:7-11, in its entirety, is teaching that when things (prepared for us by God) are revealed to us, they can be unraveled before our eyes, word of them will come into our ears and they will be perceived in our hearts through the Spirit of God (2:9–11).

In other words, revelation is not merely the understanding of a mystery but rather also what activates our ability to see, hear and experience divine things that normally go undetected by our natural senses. This is the type of revelation that is available as we pray in tongues. You will find that dreams, visions, supernatural encounters and other divine occurrences become the norm as you pray in this empowerment.

In fact, this is what happened in Acts 2:1-4, the first time the Holy Spirit empowered the prayer life of the believers in the upper room. Not only did they speak in tongues, but they began to "see" in the Spirit tongues of fire, and they began to "hear" in the Spirit the sound of heaven, which was as a rushing wind. Likewise, as we pray in tongues, our capacity for revelation will be increased.

3. We are strengthened in prayer.

"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1 Cor. 14:4).

Another thing that takes place as we pray in tongues according to the Scripture above is that we are edified. The word edify literally means to "build up and strengthen." This is important because our spirit man, which is the inner us, the most inner part of our tri-part being, is the incubator for what God wants to birth through our prayers (Eph. 3:16–20).

In order to understand this, we must first understand that the Scripture teaches that the totality of who we are consists of spirit, soul and body in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. This means we are tri-part beings.

It's key to recognize that our inner man, which is our spirit man, must be strengthened at times, according to Ephesians 3:16. More specifically, prayer is a key time in which our spirit man will need strength. When we are praying in our own strength, we have the tendency to "give in" before God "breaks in" and causes us to receive our "breakthrough."

Our spirit man must be strengthened and constantly built up so that we have the strength to "birth in prayer" without the labor of the birthing overwhelming us. A great example of this is seen when Elijah prayed for the abundance of rain. The Scriptures indicate that he prayed seven times with his head between his knees. This is significant because his position in prayer is historically known to be the birthing position of a Hebrew woman. The relevance here is that it takes endurance and stamina to prevail in this kind of prayer—no different from the endurance and stamina it takes for a woman to birth a child. Elijah was positioning himself in this manner to engage in a prophetic act that I believe God used to symbolically demonstrate what type of prayer is often required to birth a certain dimension of prayer.

At certain times, praying in tongues is the only way we will acquire the maximum momentum required in pressing a prayer through the birthing canal of the Spirit. Therefore, when we don't know what to pray or when we feel too weary to pray, that is the perfect time to pray in the Holy Ghost. As we first acknowledge our inability and inadequacy in prayer, there is a power activated in prayer that allows the Holy Ghost to strengthen our weaknesses and pray through us (Rom. 8:15, 26).

Excerpted from Unquenched by Jonathan and Amanda Ferguson. Used with permission from FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group Inc.


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