“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4
Praying in the Spirit –commonly called speaking in tongues –is a spiritual experience inspired by the Holy Spirit. A lot of controversy surrounds this phenomenon of speaking in tongues but the Scriptures are clear on God’s stance about this. Mark 16:17 says “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name, they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues.”
It is a natural concept for everyone who believes in the name of Jesus to speak new tongues (as inspired by the Holy Spirit) and the very first display of that was in the upper room in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came down as flames of fire.
Praying in the Spirit allows the Holy Spirit to pray for us. And if He prays for us, He prays according to God’s will. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Rom. 8:26-27. When we speak the language of the Spirit, we speak those mysteries, as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4
There are times when words fail us. Those are the times we ought to speak in tongues because at that point, the Spirit Himself gives us utterance on what to pray about. He helps our prayers to align with God’s will. Rom. 8:27
It is also an avenue for confidential communication with the Father. This means that when we speak in tongues, only God understands what we say. By praying in the Spirit, we shut out even the devil from hearing what we pray about. (1 Cor. 14:2)
One great thing about speaking in tongues is that it invites the power of God. When the Pentecost occurred and the disciples had an infilling of the Holy Spirit, Peter –along with the other disciples –spoke in tongues and after the sermon he preached, about 3000 souls were won to Christ. Peter who was a very timid person began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)
If you desire growth in your spiritual walk with Jesus, asides from studying the scriptures and fellowshipping with other believers more often, pray in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:4 tells us that praying in the Spirit builds us up spiritually. In the book of Jude, the author made references to how false prophecies and all manner of distractions will arise to distract the body of Christ. He then goes further to list things that would keep believers grounded at such times and in verse 20, he says “praying in the spirit”. You cannot separate the spiritual growth of a believer from praying in tongues.
When we pray in tongues, it is an uninterrupted communication with God. There are times we pray in our understanding and find ourselves muttering words that we think twice about. For example, there are times we pray that God would refine us. When we get the understanding of that, we know we must go through trials and our minds may be fighting against that prayer even when our lips are uttering it. But, when we pray in tongues, we pray beyond our understanding. It becomes a direct prayer from our spirit to God’s Spirit and reduces the chances of our minds negating our prayers. At this time, though the spirit is engaged, the mind is unfruitful. (1 Corinthians 14:14)
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”Eph. 6:18 NLT