Your Own Prayer Language
Acts 2:1-4 "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
I thought I would talk about this scripture today since we just celebrated Pentecost yesterday yesterday at mass. At least we did in the Catholic Church. I am not sure if that is a date that is universally celebrated or not. In case you are not sure what I am talking about, Pentecost is the day when the Holy Spirit came upon to the Apostles. After Jesus was crucified and then rose from the dead, he walked the Earth for 40 days. After this time Jesus told the apostles that He was going to see His Father in Heaven in John 14:16 Jesus says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” I am guessing the apostles didn’t know exactly what this meant. I doubt they could have ever imagined what happened on Pentecost.
After Jesus ascended into heaven all the apostles were gathered together in the upper room and this is where Acts 2:1-4 picks up. They were all sitting around, probably sad because Jesus left again, or maybe they were praising God because Jesus came back at all. It doesn’t say exactly what they were doing. However it does say that they heard a noise like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house they were sitting in. Then all of the sudden as they looked around the room they saw tongues of fire above everyone’s head. Well, the verse says, resting on them, but it is always pictured with these tongues of fire right above their heads. Can you imagine how strange that must have been for them? Even though I am sure they got used to seeing strange things when they were with Jesus, I bet even they were shocked by this event. Next it says they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Man, I wish the Holy Spirit would have filled me with the ability to speak French when I was in High School. Imagine being able to skip 4 years of learning a language in High School and just have the Holy Spirit give you the ability? That would have made for an easier High School experience.
In all seriousness, because of this special ability given to the apostles that day, they were able to go out and speak to all the people that were in town. In Acts 2:7-11 it explains just how great a gift this was. “Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” The town was filled with visitors that spoke all different languages. Had the apostles not been given this gift, they wouldn’t have been able to get the word out to everyone that day. Because they were all able to understand them, the apostles were able to baptize 3,000 people in that one day.
When we read the book of Acts, and most of the Bible actually, we tend to think the things we read about are not happening today. For instance, we believe that Jesus healed people back in His day, and they even believe that the apostles had the power to heal people in Jesus’ name. However, we feel that power died with the apostles and it is not something that is still going on today. We don’t see the healings that are still going on today because we are not looking for them. I guarantee if you look for miracles today you will see them. Actually, my friend who is giving her witness tomorrow has received several miracles. Most of the people giving their witnesses have seen miracles. They have not seen miracles because God loves them more than he loves us. They haven’t seen miracles because they are more favored than we are. They received miracles because they were open to it. They asked for them and then they were on the lookout for them. They may not even realized at the time that they are miracles. They just knew that they needed something and God provided it. However, looking back, they can see that it was miraculous. I am sure that God is providing big and small miracles in your life too. If you can’t see them it is because you are not looking for them. Take some time today and think about any prayers that you prayed and then they were answered. Take some time and let God know that you are willing and will happily accept and be grateful for any miracles He wants to send your way. Ask Him to show you the miracles He has already given to you so that you can thank Him.
It is not just miracles that are still happening today. The Holy Spirit is also still giving people the gift of speaking in another language. I wanted to take a minute or two to talk about the gift of tongues because I think it is something that most people don’t understand. I know I didn’t understand until several years ago. I always thought it was really weird and if I am being honest, a little scary. What is the gift of tongues? The gift of tongues is a gift from the Holy Spirit. It is often one of the first gifts given and it is the only one that is just for you personally. Most of the gifts, such as healing and words of prophecy are given so that we can build up the body of Christ, so we can build up the church. However, the gift of tongues is just for you and to help strengthen your faith and your prayer life. The gift of tongues is your own personal prayer language. Most of the time, in my experience, it is not an actual language that others would understand. I know in this verse the apostles spoke all different languages so that those around them could understand and that is what was needed at the time for them. All the people that I know that speak in tongues it is not any recognizable language. That can happen, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen as it is not the norm.
If you want to speak in tongues all you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for the gift. Ask with a true and sincere desire for it. You could also go through a life in the Spirit seminar or you could ask your church pastor if anyone in your church would be able to pray over you for a Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Once you ask for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or you ask for the gift of tongues, you have to wait with expectance. God answers our prayers. If you want your own personal prayer language, and you ask God for it, then you should expect that He will deliver. As you wait, you practice putting random sounds together. I heard Patty Mansfield explain once, think of it as if you were talking with baby Jesus. You wouldn’t use words, you would say things like goo goo and ga ga because that is how we talk to babies.
You can practice this when you are in the car or in the shower, or where ever you want to practice. God is willing to give all that ask for the gift of tongues the gift. However, many that want it do not receive it because they are not willing to give up control of their vocal chords, they are not willing to look or feel silly practicing these random sounds. If you put in the time and you believe that God will answer your prayer, then you will develop your own prayer language. One thing I want to caution you on because I didn’t understand it at the time is that you will not know what you are praying for when you are praying in tongues. I thought I would be making these sounds but I would be thinking of what I was praying for. This is not the case. You will be making sounds and it just feels like you are making sounds. However, you will know when it is just you making sounds and when the Holy Spirit takes over and you are speaking in tongues. If you have faith that it will happen, it will happen.
In Romans 8:26 it says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” When you are praying in tongues, what is happening is that the Holy Spirit is communicating directly with the Lord from the depths of your heart. The Holy Spirit is saying what you truly want to say in the way that God can hear it best. Also, another benefit is that no-one else knows what you are saying, even the devil. Satan can not understand our prayers when we pray in tongues. It is a private conversation between the Holy Spirit and God on your behalf. Have you ever had a time when you really needed prayer and yet you didn’t even know what to pray for? This is an excellent example of when praying in tongues comes in handy. You don’t know what you need, but the Holy Spirit does and He sends those prayers to God for you. Miraculous things happen when you turn over that control and let the Holy Spirit say your prayers for you!
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to pray for all those listening to this episode this morning. Lord, help us to understand the gift of praying in tongues a little better. Help us to open our hearts and minds to the idea. If anyone is wanting this gift Lord, we ask that you give it to them. That you give them the trust they need to ask for it. Lord, we ask you to open our eyes to the miracles you are already performing in our lives. We are so grateful for each and every one of them. You are amazing and we can’t thank you enough for all you do. We praise you Lord and we love you. We ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. Tomorrow’s guest is my friend Jasmin. Jasmin has had a long journey. She was a single mom while trying to work and go to school. She has hit many bumps in the road and yet when she was looking back she could see God was with her through it all. She has seen some incredible miracles and I think the timing of this witness is perfect after today’s devotional. Isn’t God funny like that? We recorded this witness about a month ago and it just happens to be the day after a devotional on recognizing the miracles in our lives. That was definitely planned by the Holy Spirit. I love that. I know you are going to love hearing the witness tomorrow and I look forward to sharing it with you. Have a blessed day!