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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 develop a personal relationship with Holy Spirit,  The study on 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 which needs to be interpreted and is for edification of the church. (Refer to Tongues 102).

A. False Beliefs

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

These beliefs are centred upon wrong theology.
Over the next two lessons we will look at more correct theology.

2. Personal Gift of Tongues

Let us call this type ‘our prayer language’

A. This is for our own personal 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. We speak directly to God in our heavenly prayer language.

C. No one (Gk oeduis ‘not even one man or woman’)

In 1 Corinthians 14:2 when it says no one except God, including those who can interpret – understand what we are saying.

D. We are speaking a mystery – so Satan cannot understand us either.

In 1 Corinthians 14:2 it says we are speaking a mystery.

3. This Language is Not to be Interpreted

Unlike the tongues for edification of the church, your personal prayer language is not interpreted. 1 Corinthians 14:2 says you are speaking to God, not man.


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

Your personal prayer language is the door to all the power gifts. This is probably the reason why it is the first of the gifts that we receive. It requires simple 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 your heavenly prayer language will result in an increase of 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 moves back to the start of the teaching – moving away from the ‘tongues to the church’ and back to our personal 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. This is how we can pray without ceasing.

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

Tongues therefore is firstly a personal prayer language that is for personal edification. and is different from the 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 right hand of the Father in heaven.
I repent of all known sin and unbelief.
I break the power of 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 that I have received the personal prayer language as a free 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 and tell you it’s just babbling, don’t believe this lie! The more we speak in our heavenly language, the more words we will receive.

Don’t be afraid that you will receive a wrong spirit. I haven’t yet met a person who received a wrong spirit.
(If you were a Mormon you need to seek deliverance because their tongues is a 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 tongues will bring you into the Presence of God, so you can 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 2022

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