When I was new to the gift of speaking in tongues, I had many questions. Every opportunity I got to ask a question, I asked.
Some answers I got were helpful but others left me with more questions than answers.
I remembered one specific question and thought it would be great to write about it to help someone out there who has the same question.
The Puzzling Speaking in Tongues Question
In my early days of speaking in tongues I was part of a fellowship that embraced the gift of tongues. We were allowed to ask questions and that is how I got an opportunity to ask my question.
During most fellowships, only brothers and sisters in the Lord from the parent church used to come. But on few occasions, the pastor would come.
On the day I asked my question, the pastor had come. It was the best opportunity I had in a long time to have my question answered.
Now that I Speak in Tongues, should I still pray in Understanding or only pray in tongues?
This was the question that puzzled me for a long while after receiving the gift of speaking in tongues. I used to wonder if I should mix speaking in tongues and praying in understanding or pray exclusively in tongues.
While at the moment it is not a dilemma to me, in those days, it was a big dilemma.
There were good reasons why this question was a dilemma.
First, I had a difficult time believing that speaking in tongues would get me what I wanted. At that time I had not experienced any breakthroughs as a result of praying in tongues.
In my mind, I assumed speaking in tongues was a luxury way of praying. If I needed something, I would ask for it in understanding and then I would speak in tongues.
Secondly, I had a hard time understanding why praying in understanding existed if it was meant to be replaced by praying in tongues. If that was the case, why didn’t God give us the ability to pray in tongues from the start?
Thirdly, I could not understand how the Holy Spirit would know what I want. I felt the Holy Spirit was not in touch with reality. I believed the Holy Spirit could pray for me but I had to specify to God what I wanted.
As a result, I would pray whatever I wanted in understanding before letting the Holy Spirit take over.
I look back now and thank God for the growth I have experienced.
The Pastor’s Answer to My Speaking in Tongues Question
After asking the pastor this question, I was eager to get the answer. I remember the Pastor laughed a bit when I asked him the question. It appeared as if he didn’t expect that kind of a question.
In response to my question, the Pastor said speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit would guide me how to use the gift. Of course this is a shortened version of the answer but basically that was the response.
The answer didn’t satisfy my curiosity but out of respect for the pastor I didn’t ask a follow up question. I bottled up my questions and realized that only God could give me satisfying answers.
For the rest of the fellowship I didn’t ask any further questions. I lost hope in getting perfect answers for the questions I had about speaking in tongues.
I was eager for the fellowship to end so that I could figure out a way to get answers to my questions. I knew only God could provide the answers I wanted but I had to find a way to ask Him.
Getting Answers from God for My Speaking in Tongues Questions
After giving up hope of getting answers for the speaking in tongues questions I had, God stepped in to help me. I don’t remember asking God any questions. I was only wondering about them in my mind when I went to speak in tongues.
Little did I know that God knew my concern and He answered me swiftly. The Holy Spirit asked the questions on my behalf as I spoke in tongues.
A few months after the fellowship where I asked the pastor a question, I got answers to the questions I had.
God’s Answer to My Puzzling Question
In response to my question, the Lord revealed to me that my duty was to pray in tongues. If I prayed in tongues and something went wrong, I would have a right to accuse the Holy Spirit of negligence.
God’s response amazed me. From His answer, it was clear that He had confidence in the Holy Spirit to do His work perfectly.
God was helping me trust the Holy Spirit. I began caring more about speaking in tongues than whether I should balance it with praying in understanding.
I convinced myself that if anything goes wrong I would accuse God and His gift based on what He had revealed to me Himself.
Time went on and nothing ever went wrong. Before I knew it, I was speaking in tongues and barely praying in understanding.
Sometime later, I began experiencing great peace and joy while speaking in tongues. On top of that, my life started taking shape. It is hard to explain but I knew I was on the right path.
The more I spoke in tongues, the better my life became and the cycle continued.
It got to a point the only time I prayed in understanding was when I was thanking God for a good session of speaking in tongues I had.
My Current Understanding of the Question I asked My Pastor
If someone asked me the same question I asked my pastor then, this is the answer I would give:
Speaking in tongues is a gift that perfects our prayer. When you receive it and work to grow in it, you will slowly but surely sideline praying in understanding.
God desires that our prayers be made to Him entirely in tongues. But because we start off with little faith, God allows us to pray in understanding until when we have sufficient faith to receive the gift of speaking in tongues.
Therefore, your goal as a believer should be to grow in the gift of speaking in tongues to a point where you no longer need to supplement your tongues with prayers made in understanding.
Let this be your mindset concerning the gift of tongues.