Speaking in tongues is a fascinating gift of the Holy Spirit. Even after having the gift for a number of years, I still get puzzled by it every so often.
But no amount of amazement beats the first time you get baptized with the gift. It can be hard to understand how things work when you first speak in tongues.
I remember frantically searching for testimonies of others just to make sure what I was experiencing was normal when you first get baptized with the gift of speaking in tongues.
Today, I am on the other side of the spectrum; I want to help someone who just got the gift of speaking in tongues and is unsure of himself.
First Time Experience Speaking in Tongues: Desiring
Before I get to the narration of how I spoke in tongues for the first time, it is good to lay a background of how it all started.
I first learned about speaking in tongues when I was still a small boy. I heard neighbors who had a home fellowship speaking in some strange language.
As a kid, it was entertainment. But deep down, it puzzled me.
Fast forward about a decade, I was in high school and newly born again. I began reading the bible seriously. It wasn’t long before I came across the writings of Apostle Paul in the book of 1st Corinthians 14 about speaking in tongues.
Even though I didn’t know much about speaking in tongues, I knew it was for believers and I wanted it.
When I read that one must desire the gift for him to get it, I decided to pray to God to give me the gift.
I asked but got nothing.
I thought maybe I need to fast. And so fasting I did but still nothing happened.
At that point I put speaking in tongues on my to do list but with no clear instructions on how I would achieve it.
By the time I was completing my high school, a friend of mine in the Christian Union had been baptized with the gift. It was the first time someone I knew personally had received the gift.
It motivated me to pick up the pursuit of speaking in tongues from the shelf I had put it.
Since I didn’t know what to do to get the gift, I only made a prayer to God that I wanted the gift and asked Him to guide me to a place where someone can pray for me to receive the gift.
First Time Experience Speaking in Tongues: Receiving
God answered my prayer and He led me to a church which valued the gift of speaking in tongues. That was about a year after I completed high school.
At that time, it had been roughly four years since I made my first prayer to God that I may speak in tongues.
I was introduced to that church by one of my high school schoolmate who had completed a year before me.
The first time I attended the church was during a night prayer vigil. After the prayer vigil, the pastor asked anyone who wanted to be baptized with the gift of speaking in tongues to go to the altar.
I went together with a friend of mine and several other people.
At that point, I knew I was going to speak in tongues but I had no idea what to expect.
There were several church leaders who were praying for people to receive the gift. I stood for a while waiting for a leader to come and pray for me.
When a leader showed up, he briefed me of what I was to expect. He said I will get strange words on my tongue and that when I get them I should speak them.
He laid his hands on me and began speaking in tongues.
I can’t say I felt anything unusual compared to other times someone had prayed for me, maybe just the unique perfume of the church leader.
As the leader kept speaking in tongues and urging me to speak, I mumbled a few weird words. I can’t definitively say the words were given to me supernaturally. It was more of trying ‘not to be left behind’ than actual speaking in tongues.
When the leader heard me mumble the words, he left me to pray for the next person and I went back to my seat.
First Time Experience Speaking in Tongues: After the Prayer
Immediately after the prayer to speak in tongues, the friend I had gone with for the prayer asked me if I had been baptized. I didn’t know what to tell him.
At that point I wanted to believe I had been baptized though on the other hand I was suspecting if the words I mumbled were God given or just my own formulation.
I went home that morning and rested.
When I woke up a few hours later, the first thing on my mind was to test and see if I had actually received the gift of speaking in tongues.
In my room, I knelt down and asked the Holy Spirit to lead me in speaking in tongues. Then I began uttering syllables one by one. I was doing it consciously and slowly but it felt ‘right’. I knew I was doing something good.
For a few minutes I spoke syllables that didn’t make sense to me but I was convinced I was on the right track.
I went to the prayer room in Campus and met someone who was speaking in tongues aloud. I tried again to utter the syllables I had uttered in my room and they came out effortlessly.
At that point, I began gaining some confidence.
On Sunday, I went to church and as people were speaking in tongues, I mumbled my few syllables but then I realized I was doing it a lot more effortlessly than before.
I kept attending prayer meetings and exercising the gift of speaking in tongues until about six months later when God confirmed that I had actually received the gift.
First Time Experience Speaking in Tongues: Confirming
Ever since I received the prayer to speak in tongues, I had been suspicious if what I was speaking was actually speaking in tongues and not my own things.
I used to imagine that speaking in tongues must be initiated and propelled by the Holy Spirit. The fact that I had put in some work made me doubt what I was doing.
Despite the doubts, I kept speaking in tongues. I would attend prayer meetings where everyone was speaking in tongues and I didn’t want to be left out.
I remember making a prayer to God that He may confirm to me if what I was speaking was actually speaking in tongues.
Six months later, I was in a prayer meeting. All of a sudden, I felt an urge I had never felt before.
The urge was so strong and irresistible. A church leader was speaking but I burst out loud in tongues. My whole body was shaking and I remember I was stamping my feet.
Everyone in the room began to pray in tongues and I continued for about forty minutes. When I was done, someone came forward and interpreted some of the tongues I had spoken.
That was the moment I fully believed that I was actually speaking in tongues and not my own things.
From then on, I kept speaking in tongues almost on a daily basis until where I am.
That was my experience of speaking in tongues for the first time.