Speaking in tongues…
Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The scripture referenced above is the one I think of most often when I think about speaking in tongues and maybe I’m not the only one.
Do we all think this? Do we expect everyone, ALL to begin to speak in other tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we allow for any exceptions in this?
I hope so, my experience is an exception.
The day I surrendered to Jesus was an ordinary day, starting out like many other days. I was in my breakfast room it was only me and Father God; no one else. There wasn’t an altar call that led me weeping down to the front of the church to repent of my sins and beg that Jesus accept me. No, it was nothing like that at all…but that is another story for another day.
At that time, I didn’t know a thing about speaking in tongues. My husband was praying for people in the Healing Rooms every week and fairly soon, I began to join him there praying for people too.
As it turned out, everyone in the Healing Rooms spoke in tongues. Apparently, it was a big deal and it WAS the definition of intercession, at least according to one of the leaders there. Well, guess what folks; I didn’t have my prayer language yet and that made things a little awkward. Yet, even though I didn’t have a prayer language, I still heard and was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Every Saturday morning we went to the Healing Rooms to pray for people. Before those needing prayer arrived though, we would always have intercession over the day and the needs of the people coming, or whatever the Holy Spirit led us to pray for. We started off by worshiping first and then we would move into intercession.
During intercession, most people would pray in tongues, their prayer language. When they did, I kind of felt left out because I didn’t have a prayer language yet. One of the leaders kept telling me to pray in tongues, use your prayer language! I had to confess to him I didn’t have a prayer language yet.
Once I confessed I kept feeling like I was viewed a little differently than everyone else. I felt like my “salvation” was in question.
I began to believe it and I hated it! I felt like a fraud. Since I thought I couldn’t contribute to the intercession, the only thing I could do was whisper “Jesus” over and over again while everyone else interceded. I wanted to give up and go home. It didn’t help when the leader kept looking at me as if I wasn’t trying hard enough! He was a little frustrated with me; I was a little frustrated with me. I couldn’t figure out why I was different and what I did wrong that didn’t allow me to have this gift. I began to dread intercession and wished it were over so we could pray for the patients; that I could do.
I felt the Holy Spirit move through me as I prayed for others. I was even beginning to hear His voice more. I prayed over people every week – I even used words of knowledge to speak into their lives so why couldn’t I speak in tongues? Sure I tried all the practicing and babbling that people will try and get you to do, hoping that would somehow trigger a language that is right there, just beyond reach, waiting for the right trigger to release it; all to no avail.
It wasn’t until almost a year later that I got this precious, long-awaited gift.
Paul was out of town and I went to a Kingdom Entrepreneurs meeting by myself. There was a guest speaker I really wanted to hear. (I can’t remember this gentleman’s name, sadly.) This man was a disciple of Dave Roberson, the author of The Walk of the Spirit the Walk of Power, which I had read two times already. I was so excited about this meeting that I was even willing to go without Paul which wasn’t normally the case.
During the meeting, this man told testimony after testimony about speaking in tongues. He spoke of how so many breakthroughs came in his life through this gift. My longing was stirred up so much while listening to him! I kept praying, “Lord, I want this gift!” “Lord, why can’t I have this gift!” and so the night went with even more stories.
When he had finally finished speaking of such powerful things, he did a version of an altar call; except this time it wasn’t for salvation – it was for the gift of speaking in tongues! I ran…lol. I was first in the line of about 8 other people.
When I got up there, he didn’t pray, he spoke to me instead. He then grabbed my hands, touched my head and said, “Speak” and I looked at him in a funny way. He said it again, “Speak”! And I spoke! I spoke so much I was laughing and crying, all at the same time. It was amazing, it was weird and I couldn’t stop! No seriously, I couldn’t stop! For three or four days, I spoke in tongues – out loud, under my breath, and even in my sleep.
It changed so many things. Now I could pray even when I didn’t know what to pray – finally!
Do I always know what I’m praying? No, I don’t. But what I do know is that when I pray/speak in tongues things happen in the spirit and in the natural. Things move that I don’t know about until much later sometimes.
Something I find interesting about praying/speaking in tongues is that my language changes over time. It also changes depending on the need. My prayer language for general intercession and warfare are much different. One is almost like worship and the other is more like a weapon. Neither is consciously decided upon when I start praying, it’s moved by the spirit.
Sometimes I pray out loud and sometimes under my breath – I think under my breath would be the most typical. You know, at work, at the grocery store, at the bank – wherever there is a need for prayer but not necessarily a need to be heard by everyone.
I probably take this gift for granted a lot of the time. It’s simply something I do, not something I think about. But whether I think about it or not it is an amazing gift from God that can and will move mountains. And by the way, it has nothing to do with salvation. Nope.
I tell you these things because we as a Body need to let God be God in peoples lives and give grace to those who may not be walking the exact path that we are. So what if they act or believe a little bit differently. So what if what they are currently preaching is “old hat” to you and you believe differently. It matters not! There is one Body, but many parts, (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We are not all supposed to be the same. How boring would it be if we were?
I have a group of believers that I have gathered around me. Or maybe it was God who did it. Either way, we are not clones, these friends of mine. We are a diverse group of believers who learn from each other and hold each other accountable. But, we are not alike in every aspect of our theology or beliefs. That is what Grace if for and we love and honor each other greatly.
I would admonish us all to give grace to those who differ from us. Give honor to those who are different because they are God’s favorite ones and He loves them more than we can even know.
(I apologize for about 4 different rabbit trails! 🙂 )