“Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor 14:13-15)
Many churches take advantage of the beginning of each New Year and make a call for renewed consecration and prayer. In this light, we want to encourage every saint to press into God in prayer and seek Him with all their heart as we start 2014.
Prayer is fellowship and communion with God. If it is done right, prayer can be the most delightful and exhilarating aspect of your life. If you do not enjoy prayer then something is wrong. If you are in right standing with God and have received your spiritual prayer language of new tongues you should be enjoying daily communion with God, the Father of your spirit.
One reason many saints do not enjoy prayer is because they do not know the Word of God. Knowledge of the Word is necessary to have an effective life in prayer. Many things people pray about are either unscriptural or the Word of God already gives you the answer. For example, one Christian man was praying about whether he should marry an unbelieving woman. Well, the Word already forbids it (2 Cor 6:14-16) so there is no need to pray about that. Another woman, after praying and fasting to find out what God wanted her to do for Him, supposedly heard Him tell her to pass out tracts and witness. Again, the Word already tells us to do that (Mk 16:15).
Actually, if you think about it, feeding on the Word is a spiritual type of communion with God. You’re being fed by Him as the Spirit of God unveils precious truths to your spirit. A lack in feeding yourself on the Word will result in a low grade of fellowship with God. Your faith will lose its aggressiveness and the flesh will gain the ascendancy in your life. When you neglect feeding your spirit on the Word of God the reality of divine things will grow dim and your physical senses will rule you. This downward cycle will cause you to lose initiative in prayer and only lead to a gradual decline in true communion with God.
Another reason many professing Christians don’t enjoy prayer is due to a lack of spiritual appetite. I have known some young believers who were very young in the Word, but who had a ravenous appetite to know God. This alone will lead someone to seek God even if all they know how to do is pray in tongues and pour out their hearts to Him. Hunger for God is a wonderful thing and will access places in the Spirit that otherwise could not be accessed.
You can really increase your prayer life by simply using your will and desire to get in tune with God in your spirit. You can do this willingly and deliberately by meditating on the Lord and His Word, and praying in the Spirit, even while you’re busy and doing other things, as well as when you’re alone and quiet. If you are hungry for God, you can have Him moving inside you so naturally, so completely, that He fills your thoughts and your very being. Communing with God “in the Spirit” can become second-nature to you and as natural and easy as breathing. God is a speaking Spirit and you are a speaking spirit so you and God should be speaking to one another constantly.
One of the ways to speak to God is “in the Spirit” or in tongues. One of the ways God speaks to you is to pray in tongues and ask Him to enable you to interpret back to your understanding His response (1 Cor 14:13-15). When you are experiencing the Lord this way you immediately shift to a higher level of prayer. Your ears become keen to His words, revelation, and inspired utterances. This is one of the great divine mediums of communication with God. May you always remember to speak with reverence about this prayer language called new tongues (Mk 16:17b). The devil has made a mockery of it through unlearned and ignorant human beings, but it is one of the greatest methods of communication with God.
I have enjoyed a number of heightened seasons of prayer in my life when my hearing became acutely sensitive to the Lord. Like many of you, it has not been nearly as consistent as I would have it be, due wholly to my own negligence and carelessness. But when you are in that place and being enriched by the communion of the Holy Spirit it is like an awakening. The reality and nearness of the Lord lingers with you all day long sometimes. And even the memory of it will whet your appetite for more.
My experience has been that the more I pray in tongues, the more internal revelation, interpretation, and inspired utterances move in me. You can find some marvelous recorded examples of this on the home page of our website (www.holy-fire.org). The way I learned to pray this way was to spend extensive amounts of time praying in tongues. The more I did that the more I fine-tuned my spirit to hear.
Often I’d hear one or two words, or a phrase, and then under that unction I’d speak that out in praise or in prophecy as more words would come. When I’d sense more of an internal revelation and the counsel of the Lord moving in me I’d reach for a pen and a pad or a recorder so I wouldn’t miss what He was saying. My wife Carolyn flows in the latter even more prolifically than I do.
This is the language of the Spirit. This is true communication with God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ through the communion of the Holy Spirit. This is the glory of every New Testament saint.
Stay tuned for part 3 as we keep blogging on the theme of prayer this month.