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1. Introduction

Tongues as a personal prayer language is a topic that has caused much friction in the body of Christ. Tongues as a personal prayer language will develop a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit,  the study of Holy Spirit baptism is a pre-requisite to this lesson.

In this lesson, we will see that there are two types of tongues:
1. A personal prayer language that is for personal edification.
2. The gift of tongues to the church needs to be interpreted for the church’s edification.

A. False Beliefs

People may say that tongues finished when the New Testament was canonised.
Others may say that only those specially gifted by God can speak in tongues.
Still, others may say there is only one type of tongue, and that is the type that needs to be interpreted.

These beliefs are based on wrong theology.
Over the following two lessons, we will look at correct theology.

2. Personal Gift of Tongues

Let us call this type ‘our prayer language.’

A. This is for our communication with God through a heavenly language.

For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

1 Corinthians 14:2

B. Directly to God

The scripture above further teaches us that we speak directly to God through our heavenly prayer language.

C. No Human can Understand your Personal Prayer Language

1 Corinthians 14:2 says no one except God understands this tongue, including those who can interpret.

If we look at the word in Greek, we find oeduis means: ‘not even one man or woman.’

D. Speaking Mysteries

1 Corinthians 14:2 says we speak a mystery, so Satan cannot understand us either.

3. This Language is Not to be Interpreted

Unlike the tongues for the church’s edification, our prayer language is not interpreted.
1 Corinthians 14:2 says we are speaking to God, not humanity.


4. It is for Personal Encouragement

Whereas the gift of tongues is for encouragement of the church; He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

1 Corinthians 14:4


5. Speaking in Tongues will Release the Other Gifts in our Lives

Our prayer language is the door to all the power gifts, which is why it is the first of our gifts. It requires faith to step out into it, whereas the other spiritual gifts require more courage and higher levels of faith.


6. Speaking in Tongues Brings Revelation and Knowledge

But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?

1 Corinthians 14:6

Speaking in our heavenly prayer language will increase revelation and knowledge.

7. Let’s Look at HOW it Encourages Us

A. We speak Praise (translated Bless here) and Thanksgiving

What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?

1 Corinthians 14:15-16

Note that this starts with a conclusion. Paul temporarily returns to the beginning of the teaching, moving away from the tongues to the church and back to our prayer language.

B. We enter the Presence of God through Thanksgiving and Praise

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Psalms 100:4

C. When we enter into His Presence – we find peace, joy and a confirmation of our right standing and right relationship with God

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17

8. The Prayer Language is for Everyone who Desires it

I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

1 Corinthians 14:5


9. The Prayer Language is to be Cherished

I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;

1 Corinthians 14:18

Paul, who suffered more than nearly all of us, recognised the power of speaking in tongues. With this power from God, we can pray without ceasing.

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

Tongues, therefore, are firstly a prayer language for personal edification. This is different from the gift of tongues message to the church.


10. A Prayer For Releasing our Prayer Language

“Father, I thank you for the Promise of the Holy Spirit that came within me when I believed Jesus died for me, rose again, and is now seated at the Father’s right hand in heaven.
I repent of all known sin and unbelief.
I break the power of the wrong doctrine over my life in Jesus’ name.
Jesus, I love You and believe You are the One who baptises me in the Holy Spirit and fire.
Jesus, I ask you to fill me to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, I invite you to come upon me in fire and power NOW.
Holy Spirit, I believe I have received the personal prayer language as a gift of speaking in other tongues.
Thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Now open your mouth and start to speak out by faith. If words come into your mind, then speak them out.
The Devil will try to tell you it’s just babbling. Don’t believe this lie! The more we speak in our heavenly language, the more words we receive.

Don’t be afraid that you will receive the wrong spirit. I haven’t yet met a person who received the wrong spirit.
(If you were a Mormon, you need to seek deliverance because their tongues are counterfeit).
If you doubt that the tongue you have received is of God, then speak loudly in the tongue for 10-15 minutes. Remember that your prayer language will bring you into the Presence of God, so you know it is from God because of the joy, peace and righteousness in the Holy Spirit you will feel.

© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/Dr Neville van Eerten D.Miss. 2024

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