Have you ever wondered how the effectiveness of the Lord’s Prayer compares to the effectiveness of speaking in tongues? If you were asked which of the two is more powerful, what would you say?
The Lord’s Prayer is widely known and said by many believers. The fact that Jesus Himself taught it gives it credibility than any other form of prayer.
But we know that speaking in tongues is allowing the Holy Spirit to pray for you and it is often referred to as the perfect prayer.
While reading the Bible, I came across the Lord’s Prayer and it prompted me to think about its relation to speaking in tongues. Here is what I discovered…
The Lord’s Prayer is a Foundation for Speaking in Tongues
If you have listened to preachers talk about the Lord’s Prayer, you must have heard them mention that it is the template of all prayers. That is true.
When the disciples of Jesus asked Him to teach them to pray, Jesus could have told them prayer is too complex. But because Jesus was wise, He gave them a template of how to pray.
From our modern world, we know that templates are only a foundation even though they sufficiently serve their purpose. This means that the Lord’s Prayer is sufficient to get a believer the bare minimum; salvation.
If there is a believer who completely has no idea what to say while praying, he can recite the Lord’s Prayer and God will be pleased with him.
But as we grow in the knowledge of God, a lot more is expected from us. God expects us to formulate prayers based on the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer.
Instead of just saying “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” God expects us to know His will to the point that we can specify what we want Him to do.
We know it is the will of God for us to live in peace with one another. Instead of reciting the generic “Thy will be done” God wants us to say “Teach us to live in peace with one another”.
The advantage of being specific is that we will notice the difference when God answers our prayers and our faith will grow. If we just say “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, how will we know when God’s will has been done on earth just as it is in heaven?
The Lord’s Prayer is the lowest level of praying. This does not mean it is useless. It only means that every believer should know it and be able to pray according to its pattern.
The Lord’s Prayer builds Praying in Understanding
Once we start praying according to the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer, we enter the realm of praying in understanding. Praying in understanding is all about specifying different aspects of the Lord’s Prayer.
Instead of just saying “hallowed be thy name” you go in detail and praise God’s Holy name. Mention how God is the creator of heaven and earth, how He is the mighty warrior, how He is the Holy One of Israel etc.
The Bible has hundreds of descriptions of God’s nature. Phrases like “The one enthroned between the Cherubim”, “The Lord is Gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love”, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne” are just but a few of them.
These descriptions show how much understanding of God’s nature you have. God made it clear in Jeremiah 9:23 what He values most from us. This is what the Bible says:
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
When you are in the phase of praying in understanding, God wants you to grow in your understanding of Him. He measures your level of understanding based on how perfectly you formulate your prayers according to the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer and how descriptive your prayers are.
When you master praying in understanding according to the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer, God automates the process for you.
Speaking in Tongues is the Highest Form of Prayer
When God is pleased with your level of understanding in prayer, He will automatically give you the ability to pray in tongues. Praying in tongues is praying perfectly according to the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer with full understanding of God’s nature.
This explains why some believers struggle to speak in tongues. If a believer has not gained the required level of understanding to start speaking in tongues, even if he receives the gift of praying in tongues, he will struggle to believe that what he is uttering is effective.
By the time someone receives the gift of praying in tongues, he is expected to have understood the nature of God and built his faith to a level where praying in tongues doesn’t feel like empty babbling.
This means that unless someone has gone through the previous stages of learning to pray, speaking in tongues will only be a pearl before a pig.
Jesus knew what He was doing when He chose to teach His disciples the Lord’s Prayer. It made sense to teach them the most basic level of praying knowing that the Holy Spirit would be coming shortly afterwards to perfect it.
The Bible further hints to us that Jesus knew exactly what He was doing since we see Him praying for His disciples every so often. The last episode being in John 17 where He went into detail praying for His disciples and those who would believe in Him through His disciples.
Jesus was demonstrating the next level of praying. A fool can easily claim that Jesus was a hypocrite to have taught His disciples to pray the Lord’s Prayer yet He prayed differently.
But I know if you meet such a person you will know how to explain why Jesus was praying differently even though He taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus demonstrated His understanding of God’s Will when He prayed. He could have spoken in tongues but that was not part of His assignment.
When the Holy Spirit came, He perfected all the work Christ had started including the Lord’s Prayer. Today, by speaking in tongues, you accomplish all that Jesus taught about prayer.
Until next time…Peace!