How does speaking in tongues in your personal prayer language enhance your life?
To answer this question, we must start with some introductory information that will help people understand personal prayer languages better. What are they and where did they come from?
When a believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, the first physical evidence that they have been baptized by Jesus into the Spirit is that they speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues stays with a believer after that first experience.
It becomes an intimate way to exchange communication with the Spirit as you pray or sing in the Spirit. Psalm 42:7-8 expresses the deep relationship between God and his people. Our personal prayer language is one of the ways that we can have spirit to Spirit communication, deep calling to deep.
This intimate relationship is described in Romans 8:26-30. Through prayer we experience a relationship like never before. There are times when we don’t know how to pray for our needs or the needs of others. This is when the Spirit intercedes for us with “groanings” too deep for words (Romans 8:26).
These groanings may be speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is the language we don’t understand. Even if it isn’t speaking in tongues, it is deep communication from our spirit to the Holy Spirit.
He adds meat to the bones of our prayers. When I don’t know how to pray for someone’s healing because I’m not a doctor, the Holy Spirit knows all about that. I can ask him in the Spirit to do what I don’t understand must be done in the body for healing.
He understands my heart and prayer and he can communicate my heartfelt desire from spirit to Spirit better than my words can (Romans 8:27). He is the one I thank for making all things work out according to God’s will (Romans 8:27-28). And he works through his predestined process (Romans 8:29-30).
Another example the Scriptures give concerning our prayer language comes from instructions on corporate worship and spiritual gifts and 1 Corinthians 14. Paul describes the difficulty we have in using our prayer language.
It is a private language. It is not for the church unless it is interpreted. But a private language that we use in prayer and singing is described by Paul (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 14-18). Let’s look at some of these verses to get a clearer understanding of our prayer language.
Our prayer language is not for us. It is for our spirits to speak with God (1 Corinthians 14:2). This means that our spirits are edified in this deep communication with the Spirit. It builds our spirits up (1 Corinthians 14:4). I often feel that it is a way to praise God and worship him without having to know what I’m saying.
When we pray in tongues, we don’t know what we are saying (1 Corinthians 14:14). In a way, we turn our minds off so our spirits can speak to God and be edified. We don’t understand it but we know it’s good for our spirits.
It’s like food for our bodies. We need the food to make our bodies strong. Our spirits need to speak to God as deep cries out to deep. We don’t need to know what’s happening to be strengthened and encouraged and to glorify God.
But our minds need something to do. Paul says that while he is praying in the Spirit, he also prays with his mind (1 Corinthians 14:15). We can also sing praises with our spirits and our minds. Singing in the Spirit is a beautiful thing. It’s like listening to a choir singing praises in a foreign language. We don’t have to understand it to appreciate it.
We also offer God thanksgiving in our prayer language (1 Corinthians 14:16-17). Our spirits thank him for all of his blessings and everything he is doing in our lives. Sometimes we can’t put that into words either. But our spirits express our thanks to God for all he has done.
We don’t understand what we are saying in the Spirit. But Paul may indicate that we can speak to the Spirit anytime we wish (1 Corinthians 14:18). Some Pentecostals say that you can speak your prayer language whenever you wish and others say you must be prompted by the Spirit.
I don’t know if there is a great answer to this question of whether you can do it on your own or be prompted. What I do know is that our prayer languages are a great benefit to us in many situations. I rely on praying in the Spirit regularly. Jude commands us to pray in the Spirit to remain in the love of God (Jude 20-21).
When I enter God’s presence, it is one of the first things that I do. For me personally, I’m usually prompted by the Spirit to speak in tongues. It often begins in praise and worship. I begin in English but I find myself switching over to speaking in tongues. I believe it is the Spirit who prompts this change. But everyone may be different.
As you can see, our personal prayer language often enhances our prayer to God for things we don’t understand or even things that we cannot explain in our native language. It is a way to have intimate communication with God. It edifies and strengthens our spirits.