Why Speak in Tongues?

Why would anyone want to speak in tongues?  What is the point?  What good is it?  What’s the big deal?

Those are questions I used to wonder about, and it all seemed so strange to me.  Then one day I received the power to do it myself when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and my opinion changed.

Once I started doing it, I began to see things change in my life.  Some changes were subtle, but others were huge.  I spent a lot of time studying the subject, and I found that the Bible has a lot to say about it.

If you have received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and you have started speaking in tongues, then I believe this article will be of great help to you.  If you are simply curious about the subject, then I hope this will help you on your journey to learn the truth.

Here we go….


1 Corinthians 14:14

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.


Notice here that when you speak in tongues, it is your spirit that is doing the talking.  It is not your mind or your emotions, and it is not the Holy Spirit.  It is your spirit.

Your spirit is the part of you that was born again when you believed in Jesus and got “saved” or “born again.”  The spirit of a Christian is also known as “the new creation” (2 Cor 5:17) or “the new man” (Eph 4:24).  When you become a Christian, your spirit is made brand new, spotless, and intimately connected to God (1 Cor 6:17).  Praying from your spirit means praying from that place of righteousness, holiness, perfection, and communion that was created inside of you by God.

When you speak in tongues, you are speaking audibly from your born-again spirit  You are going beyond the limits of your intellect, praying and talking to God is ways that you could not do otherwise.

This kind of prayer is a spiritual exercise that gives your spirit greater influence in your life, because you are making your mind, your body, and your emotions submit to your spirit.  It gives you a way to practice spiritual actions in a tangible way.  This alone is good enough reason to speak in tongues as much as possible, and I believe it is one of the reasons that Paul the apostle said “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all” (1 Cor 14:18).


1 Corinthians 14:2

For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.


Speaking in tongues give you a way to speak to God that goes beyond your mental abilities.  You can pray with your spirit, without being limited by your intellect.


1 Corinthians 14:2

For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.


The word that is translated “mysteries” is a Greek word that means the hidden wisdom of God that has not been revealed yet.  Praying in tongues allows you to speak God’s wisdom over the situation you are praying about, without being limited by your ability to comprehend it.


1 Corinthians 14:4

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.


When you speak in tongues, you are “edifying” yourself. It is a way to strengthen or build yourself up that works supernaturally.  When you need strength, you can receive it by speaking in tongues.


Jude 20-21(NET)

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.


Speaking in tongues is a faith building exercise, since it can only be done by faith.  Every time you do it, you are operating in faith, and your faith is strengthened as a result.


Ephesians 6:18

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints


This passage comes at the end of a section in Ephesians where Paul is giving instructions on how to “be strong in the Lord” and to “stand against the wiles of the devil.”  The instructions include putting on the whole armor of God.  Praying in tongues is a powerful tool for us to use in spiritual warfare.


Romans 8:26-27

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. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.


Praying in the spirit provides a new way for the Holy Spirit to aid you when you don’t know how or what to pray.  He works in you helping you pray the things that are needed, even if you don’t know what those things are.  This passage is also another example of a reason to pray in tongues when you are weak.

There are many reasons to speak in tongues, and there are many benefits that come as a result.  Like Paul says in Ephesians 6:18, I encourage you to pray in tongues at all times.  It is a great blessing that God has given us, but it is only as good as our willingness to put it to use.

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