We are called and equipped, never left without every possible thing we need to be victorious. That is the promise …you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes, speaking the tongues of angels, unifying the church to make it powerful and unstoppable.
The text characterizes the speaking in tongues as an utterance of prayer (1 Corinthians 14:13-17) in which the understanding falls into the background, and therefore unintelligible without interpretation.
The original meaning of the word glossolalia is open-hearted and loud speaking to the glorification of God in Christ.
Praying in the Holy Spirit is a power manifestation of reaching out to the Father to live in the full promise of the Kingdom.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
It is sometimes translated with “unknown sounds”.
When we come together it is part of our testimony in speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16)
Spiritual songs were Christian songs – psalms, which the Holy Spirit moved the Christians to utter spontaneously when they came together in worship (1 Corinthians 14:15,26) as He moved them to speak with tongues (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6)
But – in the congregation of believers and unbelievers we speak intelligibly. Paul says:
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. (1 Corinthians 14:18,19)
Henry Matthew Concise Commentary:
The Holy Spirit is the spring of all desires toward God, which are often more than words can utter. The Spirit who searches the hearts, can perceive the mind and will of the spirit, the renewed mind, and advocates his cause. The Spirit makes intercession to God, and the enemy prevails not.
We can never reject the work of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father in the church. It will rob us of our power.
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. (2 Timothy 3:5)
We need the power.
My husband is a businessman trained as a lawyer, very rational and very grounded in reality. I asked him to formulate his understanding of praying in tongues. He explained his experience this way:
Sometimes in prayer I have exhausted my own known language and my words are poured out before God. Praying in tongues I become a vessel of the Holy Spirit for Him to articulate before God in a direct and heavenly way. In the burden of prayer I am drained. It is then that the Holy Spirit comes and fills me up with a heavenly glorification of God.
By the time Paul writes to the Corinthians the practice of this gift became so degenerate and abused by the Corinthians, that it was “a spiritless counterfeit, a product of pride and vanity.”
When we operate in the gifts of the Spirit, it is only to be done when the Spirit wills, to equip the church. It is never to show off. If we operate in the gifts of healing, miracles, power, discernment, tongues, administration, help – name it – it is only to build the Kingdom, most often in secret and without applause, NEVER ever to demonstrate or perform. Many of these gifts happen in public; therefore we have to operate in humility and full compliance to the Word.
As we end this discussion in prayer, just a few last comments.
Prayer is not mystical or a trance-like state of mind. It is a rational decision to enter into the presence of God.
God is you father and Jesus taught us to call Him dad. It indicates a close and warm, liberated and fearless relationship.
The key to come close to God is through Jesus. He declared the Plan for our salvation there in the Garden and established His set path to redemption. His Plan stands firm and cannot return to Him void; it always will accomplish what He purposed.
He gave us the highway, the smooth path, the sure foundation in the cross. It is through the innocent blood of His son and the full assurance of faith that we have the immense privilege to enter into the Presence of the Most High God. (Hebrews 10:19)
In Luke 12:32 Jesus says:
Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom.
It is God’s delight to provide. He is never reluctant in the provision we need, rather abundant.
Hear the wonderful explanation of this Scripture in The Message:
What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.
Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
Let us conclude with Revelation 22 – the prayer of the universe calling out:
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride.
Whoever hears, echo, “Come!”
Is anyone thirsty? Come!
All who will, come and drink,
Drink freely of the Water of Life!