When you start praying in tongues, you lose many friends. That is how it works. There is nothing you can do about it.
But losing friends is a test that God takes you through. If you willfully let your old friends go and choose to stick with praying in tongues, God will bring you new friends.
It is the same case of accepting to leave Egypt and walking through the wilderness to enter Canaan. Egypt represents your old friends. The wilderness is the period when you have no friends. Canaan is when God brings you new friends.
The time it takes you to travel from Egypt to Canaan depends on how obedient you are to God.
Over the years that I have been speaking in tongues, I have witnessed many characters in the journey of losing and gaining friends because of praying in tongues.
Losing Friends because of Praying in Tongues
First, praying in tongues makes you look weird. God designed it to be a test. The same was true when Moses announced that he was the redeemer who was to take the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Moses had a stutter. His idea of leading the Israelites out of Egypt must have been absurd. I’m sure that was one of the reasons that made the Egyptians despise him and harden their hearts.
When your friends learn that you speak in tongues, they will despise you and leave you one by one. It can be scary when all your friends are abandoning you because of praying in tongues.
I have witnessed people who stopped praying in tongues to keep their friends. In the college fellowship I used to attend, there was the pressure to look cool.
Praying in tongues was definitely not a cool activity. Some of the brothers and sisters we were with in the fellowship would pray in tongues half-heartedly; they wanted to pray in tongues but still look cool.
But the Holy Spirit would have none of it. Those who didn’t yield themselves never experienced the full power of the Holy Spirit.
One by one, those who wanted to keep their worldly friends began missing fellowships. They chose to hang out with their worldly friends over praying in the spirit.
Their double lives could not go on forever. Eventually, they had to quit praying in tongues all together to keep their worldly status.
In the eyes of God, they failed the test. God expected them to forego their worldly friends and stick to praying in tongues. They were like Israelites who chose to remain in Egypt.
The Friends’ Wilderness of Praying in Tongues
If you stick to praying in tongues despite losing your friends, you will enter the friends’ wilderness. The old friends will stop bothering you and will accept who you’ve become.
It is in this season that God sends serious tests. Sometimes you will feel so lonely and wish you had someone to share your praying in tongues experiences with.
You will pray in tongues and get revelations but you will have nobody to share those revelations with. You may be surrounded by people but they won’t be people who will appreciate your praying in tongues revelations.
Sharing your praying in tongues testimonies with such people will land you in deeper trouble. It will be like what Jesus called ‘casting your pearls before pigs’; they will surely trample them under their feet and turn to attack you.
When I was in this season, I didn’t notice it at first. I foolishly shared my praying in tongues experiences. At first, I was met with awkward silences. Mind you, those awkward silences were coming from other people in the fellowship.
I thought we were all growing in the gift of praying in tongues but I was wrong. I was working hard to grow in the gift but I didn’t know that my growth was judgment to the laziness of my brothers and sisters.
When I started receiving cold treatment, I realized what was happening. I then went dead silent.
This season is tough and hard but you have to trust in God. It will feel as if you will never have friends again but that is only for a short while.
If you don’t lose faith nor turn back to your old friends, God will bring you new friends.
Friends who Pray in Tongues are the Best
When you are in the friends’ wilderness of praying in tongues, you will question many times if the reward is worth the pain. But when God finally gives you friends who pray in tongues, you will be all smiles.
Praying in tongues friends will understand your struggles without you explaining anything because they have been through the same journey as you. They will listen to your praying in tongues experiences with tears in their eyes because they understand you.
For once you won’t have to beg your friends to understand you nor will you need to explain over and over your praying in tongues experiences.
The big difference between your old friends and the praying in tongues friends that God gives you is their level of understanding.
If you constantly feel misunderstood by your friends because of praying in tongues, then you need to leave those friends. It is only after you have left and passed the tests that God sends you that you will meet friends who will understand you.
When I chose to quit college to pursue a lifestyle of praying in tongues, I was met with all manner of reactions. I had to spend most days in my room to avoid questions.
I realized that most people barely cared about pleasing God. When I chose to sacrifice my own career path to follow what God wanted, I was surprised at how many people disapproved my decision.
But I was not going to let people’s opinion hold me back. I knew God had better and supportive friends waiting for me on the other side.
Be Willing to Live without Friends because of Praying in Tongues
The determinant of success in this journey of losing old friends and gaining new friends who pray in tongues is being willing to live without friends.
Though I may assure you that God will give you friends who pray in tongues if you remain faithful, it will feel like you will never have friends who understand you.
At the time you will be losing your old friends, unless you have accepted to live without friends, you will be greatly tempted to stick to your old friends. And as long as you hold on to your old friends, you will not meet your new friends.
Therefore, allow yourself to suffer having no friends and remain faithful to praying in tongues. Remember the analogy Jesus gave of a woman who goes into labor; in the moment, she feels great pain but after she delivers the child, she quickly forgets her pain.
Until next time…Peace!