DO YOU HAVE AND USE A PRAYER LANGUAGE?
We were having lunch with a group of people recently, and I overheard some statements made by a lovely Evangelical (non-Charismatic) lady that have stuck in my mind. I was not initially involved in the conversation but sure made some comments following. I heard her say “Some Christians have received a Love Language” referring to “speaking in unknown tongues”. Not too many years ago any reference to speaking in tongues by Evangelicals was always in the negative, and some even to this day sadly say the activity is demonic or at least psychosomatic. I am not saying there cannot be a demonic counterfeit, as this behaviour has been recorded in many cultures, but the “fruit” that is produced by a genuine experience is without a doubt a gift from God.
Long before there came a fresh emphasis of this phenomena at the start of the 20th century, Charles Wesley expresses in a famous hymn “O for a thousand tongues to sing my Great redeemer’s praise”. I know over the years I wished there were more adjectives and superlatives in English that I could find to express my love to Margaret. I think there are many reasons why this unique gift can and should be used regularly in the life of the believer. I will list a few.
WORSHIP, again there are not enough words in our language to express our love and adoration to Jesus, for His “so great Salvation” and for His continued blessings upon our lives, and we cannot but agree with Charles Wesley words of his great hymn.
PETITION as the hymnwriter wrote “when we come to the end of our hoarded resources” and simply do not know how to pray, Paul tells us in Romans 8:26 NKJV Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. The AMP N.T. says So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. The PASSION Translation says And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.
There are times when we simply do not know how to pray, or what is the will of God regarding a matter, in our personal lives or ministry but the Holy Spirit does, and we let Him pray through us in unknown tongues, because The Holy Spirit knows what is the will of God for us.
INTERCESSION There are many times when we are aware of a matter that needs prayer for someone else, whether it is sickness, or bereavement, or a missionary serving on a foreign field, or someone “overtaken in a fault” for example, so again we may not know how to see the matter resolved but the Holy Spirit knows all about the situation, and He knows the Father’s will (Romans 8:26) and can pray through us.
EDIFICATION Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 14:4 NKJV He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. There sure is nothing wrong or selfish about edifying and building ourselves up, Jude the half brother of Jesus tells us in verse 20 of his epistle “building yourselves up (edifying yourself) on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit”. This verse is I believe is self explanatory.
I have a dear friend who recently went to be with the Lord, he was an awesome Bible teacher, he described 1st Corinthians as a CATECHISM FOR CARNAL CHARISMATIC CHRISTIANS. Paul had to write this letter to seek to correct the excesses in the church in Corinth, there was an over emphasis on the public use of tongues, but sadly many Christians and Scholars “throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater” and seem to be blind to the point Paul was making (and reject as well the private use of tongues). Sadly we have Scholars who say that Gifts likes Tongues, Prophecies and Healings all ceased at the death of the last of the original Apostles, I cannot find a single scripture to support this situation. I also sadly have to say the Pentecostal Movement I became involved with in the early 1960’s also had an over emphasis on the public use of tongues. This has sure been corrected since those days, sadly now there is little or no emphasis on the public use of the Gifts of the Spirit, and as far as I am concerned not enough emphasis on the private use of tongues either.
The Scriptures clearly teach that when a person is born again the Holy Spirit comes into His life, it is God’s plan that the Holy Spirit will become President in our lives, (as we seek to learn to live the :Surrendered Life”) and as He is the source of all the Gifts and Graces I sincerely believe, EVERY BELIEVER CAN AND SHOULD HAVE A LOVE LANGUAGE AND REGULARLY USE IT. Peter tells us in Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, Paul says in Romans 2:11 KJV For there is no respect of persons with God. 1 Corinthians 12 clearly tells us God gives the (public) Gift of tongues to a small amount of people, but when it comes to the private use, for example all 120 (without exception) spoke in tongues in Acts 2:4, as they did in Acts 10:46, and again the Ephesian Believers in Acts 19:6. In relation to Peter and Paul’s statements I would suggest, for example should ONLY some people be able to edify themselves in tongues??? Should ONLY some people be able to intercede in tongues??? should ONLY some people, be able to express their love to God in tongues?? Should ONLY some people when their backs are to the wall and they do not know how to pray, be able to pray in tongues. Acts 10:34 in the MESSAGE says “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no FAVOURITES!
So that is why I am convinced every Believer can and should have and use a private prayer language, and from time to time, in the right context I will often mention this in my future blogs.
In 1970/1 time I was told to my face by a Church Elder of an anti-Pentecostal church I was of the devil, how things have changed, in 2011 it was estimated that at least 25% of all Christians around the world were Charismatic in belief (if not in practice), many still worshipping in their traditional churches, I wonder what the percentage is in 2019, it could easily be 30-40% I believe.
I am sure there are many others reasons why we should regularly use our ‘love language” but I give you these four reasons, I trust you will prayerfully consider what I have written..
Not everyone who reads this blog will agree with what I have written here, but let us keep loving each other, and the Lord and be doing everything we can to see the Kingdom of God extended in these last days.