The gift of tongues is simply the Holy Spirit giving you the supernatural ability to speak in a foreign tongue that you have no knowledge or ability to speak out on your own.
There are two types of tongues He can give you. One is a tongue of this earth. For instance, if your native language is English, then He can give you the ability to speak in Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish.
The other type of tongue that He can give you is a tongue direct from heaven, a heavenly language that is not of this earth. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that there are “tongues of angels.”
But in either event, it will be a foreign language that you will not be able to speak out on your own, and only the Holy Spirit’s supernatural transmission of this language out of your spirit will give you the ability to be able to speak this language out.
And whatever tongue the Holy Spirit will give you, you will be able to use it 24/7, whenever you want. It will be your own personal, private, prayer language between you and the Lord.
The only problem with this gift is that for the most part, you will never know or understand what you are praying about when you go into this gift.
The Bible tells us that we will be speaking out “mysteries,” and only God the Father and the Holy Spirit will be knowing exactly what the prayer will be about on any given occasion when you are actually doing it.
So if we will not know exactly what we are praying about when using this gift, then why would God even want us to have this kind of a gift in the first place? I believe the reason is in the verse where it says that sometimes we will not know how to pray as we ought to.
Sometimes we will not be able to find the right words to use in our own personal prayers to the Lord due to our own natural imperfections in being able to properly communicate with Him.
Here is the verse that will show us that sometimes we will not know how to pray as we ought, and that we all need the Holy Spirit to come and help us out in our own personal prayer life with God the Father:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)
I believe the Holy Spirit is the Master Prayer to God the Father and as such, He is allowing us to have direct access into His own personal prayer life with God the Father. In other words, He is asking us to play a part of and to share with Him on His own direct, personal prayers to God the Father.
Even though you will not know what you are praying about when you do go into your gift of tongues, at least you will have the honor and privilege of being able to pray direct to God the Father with the Holy Spirit.
And since the Holy Spirit knows how to present a perfect prayer to God the Father, then you can actually play a part in that perfect prayer to God the Father.
Another reason that you will want this gift is for emergency type situations.
I cannot tell you how may testimonies I have seen or read where the Holy Spirit will all of a sudden prompt someone to start praying in tongues, and then later on that person finds out that the prayer they were just doing in tongues was just used to save someone else’s life.
Since the Holy Spirit is God and Lord Himself, this means He can perfectly see into the future.
And if He sees a fatal accident getting ready to occur, He can prompt you to start praying in tongues to God the Father to stop the impending tragedy from occurring.
You have no idea how many lives you may be instrumental in saving if you will only allow God to give this gift to you and then go into it whenever the Holy Spirit will prompt you to do it.
This gift cannot only be used to save your own personal life from impending disaster, but it can also be used to save the lives of people who may be very close to you, such as your immediate family members, close friends, or co-workers.
For the most part, the gift of tongues will be used as your own personal, private, prayer language between you and the Lord. If it is done in a church setting by someone, then there should be someone who will have the interpretation of that tongue, otherwise no one will know what that person is praying about and it will not be able to edify the flock in the setting that it is occurring.
Now here are some additional verses on the gift of tongues:
- “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)
- “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)
- “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.” (1 Corinthians 14:13-14)
- “Though I speak with tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” ( 1 Corinthians 13:1)
- “Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers…” (1 Corinthians 14:22)
- “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:39-40)
Notice in the first verse that it is telling you that you are speaking mysteries when you are praying in your tongue. The 4th verse tells you that your tongue will either becoming from men or angels, which means that it will either be a language of this earth or a language direct from heaven.
Notice in the 3rd verse that Paul is telling you that you pray to interpret your own tongue so you can understand what you are praying about, which will lead us right into the next gift, the interpretation of tongues.
Also notice that when you are praying in your tongue, that you are praying out of your spirit, not out of your mind. You are also praying in the Holy Spirit when you are praying in your tongue.
With our inability to be perfect prayer warriors with God the Father, I believe this is one gift that God would like all of His children to have.
When you find yourself wanting to pray to God, but you find yourself falling short in how you want to pray or what you want to pray about, you can just go into your gift of tongues with the Holy Spirit and then end up giving God a perfect prayer, since the prayer will becoming direct from the Holy Spirit Himself.
This a very powerful prayer tool to have in your own arsenal since you are opening yourself up direct to the Holy Spirit and His ability to perfectly pray to God the Father.
You are joining forces with the third Person of the Trinity who is God and Lord Himself, who is the Master Prayer and Intercessor with God the Father.
Just meditate on this mind-blowing reality, and then see if you will not want to go to God the Father and ask Him to release this powerful gift to you through the Holy Spirit.
This covers our section on the different kinds of tongues. You can read the first part on the gifts of the Holy Spirit here.