This morning during my time with the Lord I felt prompted to read the 8th chapter of the book of Romans where the apostle Paul teaches about life through the spirit. I was particularly drawn to the scriptures where Paul talks about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives; how he helps us in our weaknesses, how he intercedes for us and more specifically, how he prays that God’s will be done in our lives (Romans 8:26-27) As I read on, I was also reminded that it is not only the spirit of God that prays on our behalf, but Jesus himself is said to be at the right hand of God at this very moment, interceding for us (verse 34.)
Now as I mulled over this chapter I was amazed afresh at how greatly God esteems each and every one of us in the body of Christ, so much so, that even as Jesus finished his work on the cross, yet even today he prays for us. Not only that; but the Holy Spirit of God, who lives in us, prays for us (through us) as we pray in tongues. As I pondered this, the words of the Psalmist came to mind: what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them (Psalm 8:4) Just then, the Holy Spirit replied and told me that it is because God has a hope for our calling, he has a glorious inheritance in us (Ephesians 1:18) and the only way that we can ever hope to be the kind of inheritance that God predestined us to be, is if we pray for his will to be fulfilled in our lives, no wonder Jesus taught us to pray for the Father’s will to be done on earth in Matthew 6:10. Now we know that of ourselves we cannot fully know and be able to pray his will in our lives with our own understanding; which is why God gifted us with the ability to pray in tongues.
The Bible teaches us that when we pray in tongues it is not our mind, or with our understanding that we pray, it is actually the spirit who prays (1 Corinthians 14:14) Our own prayers (which we pray in our native languages); the prayers of the Holy Spirit (which no one understands because the spirit utters mysteries to God); and Jesus’ prayers render us invincible and well able to see God’s purposes fulfilled in our lives! Furthermore, we cannot be said to live in the spirit without a vibrant prayer life. What does living in the spirit entail? A whole lot of things which I will not go into in this post. But the one aspect that the Holy Spirit highlighted for me today was prayer. Not just my own, but the Holy Spirit’s and Jesus’ as well. Now we know for sure that Jesus is playing his part in Heaven praying for us because the Bible said so and the Bible cannot lie. I believe I can also safely say that we pray in our native languages as every believer ought to, but do we engage that third aspect of prayer which is just beneath the surface; praying in tongues?
I know that I am stepping on a lot of toes when I say that praying in tongues is a prerequisite for every born-again believer because there is such division in the church today about the issue of tongues. I myself, used to believe that only specific people were given the gift of praying in tongues. It wasn’t until I spent months in private study on the issue and met constantly with other teachers of the gospel that I got clarity on this issue. Having been reborn for four years, it was only in the past year that I was baptised with the Holy Spirit and started speaking in tongues. I know for some it was instantaneous, not so for me. I believe that the reason for that was because I had had no teaching on the subject in the church I was in (which shows how important it is to be responsible for our own Christian growth) and the only times it was mentioned it was in a negative light or with a lot of misinformation, so I had a hardened heart toward the issue of tongues.
I can say that ever since I started praying in tongues I have enjoyed a fellowship with the Holy Spirit that I have never had before. Before, I used to get overwhelmed when I thought of all the things I had to pray for and worried whether I was praying in an effective way or not. Most times I was lost for words and found myself unable to pray for more than a few minutes. Praying in tongues has enabled me to flow freely in my prayer life, so much so, that I now pray the majority of my prayers in tongues because when all is said and done, I know not what I ought to pray for as I ought.
If we are to enjoy the full benefits of a life lived through the spirit, we have to make use of every tool that God has given us. Just yesterday the Lord was chastising me about not partaking in the Lord’s Supper often enough. That is another tool that we have been given. Today, he was emphasising the importance of praying in tongues. Is it any wonder then that the author of Ecclesiastes said that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken? (Ecclesiastes 4:12) The cord of prayer (made of the three strands I have discussed above) will see us enjoying a vibrant spiritual life, thus enjoying all the benefits of being in the Kingdom of God and fulfilling his predestined purpose for our lives.