”But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit”. (Jude 1:20)
As believers in Jesus in the New Covenant, we can have a much more powerful prayer life than what was possible before the cross, in the Old Covenant. Not only because we now can pray in the name of Jesus, and from the position of victory we have in Him because of His death and resurrection, but also because we have the privilege of praying in tongues.
Prayer in tongues is a very powerful tool, with a number of benefits. Since the psalmist encourages us not to forget God’s benefits (Ps. 103:2), I will focus on some of the benefits of praying in tongues below:
- By praying in tongues, we tune in to the Spirit realm and become more sensitive to hear God’s voice, in order to fellowship with God and receive direction and guidance from Him.
- Prayer in tongues gives rest to the weary and is spiritually refreshing; it charges our spiritual batteries (Is. 28:11-12).
- Prayer in tongues builds us up on our “most holy faith” – i.e. it strengthens our faith and our inner man (Jude 1:20).
- Prayer in tongues helps us to keep ourselves in the love of God. As we pray in tongues, we are reminded by the Holy Spirit that we are loved by God – no matter what the circumstances are – and we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to walk in love toward other people (Jude 1:20-21).
- As we pray in tongues, we pray in accordance with God’s will, because it is not we who pray with our limited understanding, but the Holy Spirit who prays in and through us. Often, we find ourselves in a situation when we don’t know what God’s will is, or how to solve a certain situation. When we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit knows everything. As we pray in tongues, the Spirit prays out God’s solution to the problem in and through us (Rm. 8:26-27).
- Prayer in tongues enriches our prayer life and leads us into a lifestyle of intercession where we pray, not only for ourselves and our loved ones, but also for others. God can use us to pray for people, for nations, and for situations on the other side of the world that we have no knowledge about (Rm. 8:27).
- Prayer in tongues helps us to worship God more intimately than what is possible if we only worship Him with our understanding. Jesus talked about that the Father desires worshippers who worship inspirit and truth (Jn. 4:24), and Paul talked about that we can “sing to” and “bless” God in the spirit (1 Cor. 14:15-16). In other words, we can worship God in tongues, which brings our prayer life to a new and higher dimension!
- Prayer in tongues opens up the door to a supernatural life, where the gifts of the Holy Spirit can flow more freely, compared to what is the case if we don’t in tongues.
Prayer in tongues is a powerful weapon, a tool, a benefit, that God by His grace has given to us as believers in the New Covenant. A prayer life without praying in tongues is like having a half-full glass of water, while a prayer life with tongues is like having an overflowing river at our disposal. Jesus described it as having “streams of living water” on the inside (Jn. 7:38).
Paul the Apostle understood the importance of praying in tongues and boldly told the church in Corinth that he prayed in tongues “more than all of them” (1 Cor. 14:18).
I believe that we as Christians should pray in tongues daily in our communication with God. Unfortunately, many Christians who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit don’t regularly pray in tongues. They don’t practice what they have. Let us make use of this powerful tool that God has given to us – not as a burden or a must, but as a privilege! God will neither force nor manipulate us to pray in tongues (although He certainly can inspire us to do so). It is up to us make use of it.