And Speaking In Tongues
Baptism In the Holy Spirit
I found this to be a very good article by Pastor Peter Tan
(www.eaglevision.com.my/) and wanted to share it here. He talks about
our private prayer language and the different stages we go through. I
pray you are blessed.
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What is Praying in the Spirit?
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. (Romans 8:26)
In the natural realm, we do not know what we should pray for as we ought
to. This doesn't mean that we do not know what needs praying into but
rather that we may not know how to pray effectively for it. For this
reason the Holy Spirit aids us in our intercession. This is praying in
the Spirit. This intercession comes in the form of "groanings which
cannot be uttered".
Tongues are "groanings which cannot be uttered". They communicate
audibly with God the Holy Spirit's intercession for us in utterances and
words which are not found in our human vocabulary.
The gift of tongues
is a marvellous endowment to our spirit man by the Holy Spirit when we
are filled with the Spirit. Tongues wonderfully helps our spirit man to
communicate with God according to His desires and will and the exact
need or action required in any situation.
Without the Holy Spirit, we won't know what the exact need or required
action is in any situation because we only perceive things that our
physical senses make us aware of. For example, without the Holy Spirit
we won't be aware of the evil assignments sent by wicked spirits against
We do not know what we should pray for as we ought because we do not see
realities as we ought. This is why we need the Holy Spirit to help us
in intercession. The Holy Spirit enables our spirit man by the gift of
tongues to make intercession for us according to the will of God. The
Holy Spirit knows exactly how to reach the mark where change for good
can be effected.
Tongues: available to you
You should expect to begin speaking in tongues from the moment you yield
yourself and are filled with the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts on
each occasion when believers were filled with the Holy Spirit they began
to speak with tongues. The first occasion was on the Day of Pentecost.
Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place...And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and
began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Jesus instructed the disciples to stay in Jerusalem till they are
baptised with the Holy Spirit. That is why they waited in an upper room
till the Day of Pentecost arrived. On that day the promised outpouring
of the Holy Spirit began as declared by Joel the prophet. (Acts 1:4,5;
God is still pouring out His Spirit today so that you can be filled with
the Holy Spirit. The moment you are - if you will do what the believers
did on that Day of Pentecost - you will begin speaking in tongues.
What did the believers on the Day of Pentecost do? When they were filled
they began to speak and as they began to speak the Holy Spirit gave
utterance and to this utterance they yielded their tongues.
The Holy Spirit won't force the gift of tongues to babble through your
mouth. If you're going to speak in tongues you're going to have to yield
your tongue to the Holy Spirit's "groanings which cannot be uttered"
and to have to open your mouth to speak the utterance He gives you.
Yielding to the Spirit
The process of speaking in tongue is a yielding to God of two areas of
our being. One is yielding our mind. We voluntarily yield our mind and
give up trying to understand the words that come forth from our lips. It
is a will. You make a choice. Those who are overly intellectual find it
hard to give. For all our lives we are trained to at least comprehend
the words that come forth from our lips. There is a yielding of the
mind. Speaking in tongues is something the mind has to learn to let go.
When we are willing to let the words flow out even though we do not
understand those words, there is a surrender of the mind.
The other is yielding our vocal apparatus, which include our tongue, our
lips and our vocal cord. God will not force you to speak in tongues. In
other words speaking in tongues is not an involuntary exercise. It is a
voluntary yielding to God. All the works of the Holy Spirit flow
through our free choice. You are doing the speaking but the Holy Spirit
is giving the words.
Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnified God.
They heard them speak. It was not the Holy Spirit speaking. But it was
the Holy Spirit that gave them utterance. Acts 19:6 And when Paul had
laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with
tongues and prophesy.
They were the ones who spoke, and not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit
only gives you the language. 1 Cor.14: 14-15 For if pray in a tongue, my
spirit prays but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the result
then? I will pray with the spirit and I will also pray with
understanding. I will sing with the spirit and I will also sing with the
Verse 14 says 'for if I pray in a tongue.' Who prays? I. Who is that I?
Paul. Paul says," I pray." He did not say the Holy Spirit pray. And then
he makes an emphasis and says my spirit prays.
Now our spirit and the
Holy Spirit are different. They are two different persons. Our spirit is
we. The Holy Spirit is God. Paul is saying my spirit. He did not say
the Holy Spirit. He says my spirit prays. And this is where some have
difficulty with praying in tongues. I want to emphasize something here.
When a man or woman get baptized in the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues,
it is they who speak and pray and move their tongues and use their
voice. If the Bible says they spoke means they are using their tongues,
they are using their voice, and they are using their vocal cords. Not
the Holy Spirit. We use our mouths and our tongues. But the origin of
the language as you speak forth in tongues is from the Holy Spirit.
However you are the one who choose to use it. When you speak in tongues,
you choose to let it out or not to let it out.
There is no such thing as you have to wait for a particular feeling and
then you can pray in tongue. That happens to people who receive the
baptism in the Spirit under the anointing and don’t realize that the
anointing is different from the anointing within.
Anointing upon and
anointing within is different. Some people receive the baptism of the
Holy Spirit when the anointing upon is working. Then when the anointing
leave off and they are left with the anointing within, they don’t
understand that they can continue in tongues all the time without that
special sensation that accompany the anointing upon.
Initially, it may be helpful for a first timer who is learning to speak
in tongues to say a few words like "alleluia, alleluia". In most cases,
the Holy Spirit will seize hold of that person's tongue and form words
on his tongue. There is a certain kind of rapid, involuntary movement of
the tongue. After this initial experience, the Holy Spirit gives you
the language inside your spirit. And you continue to speak them forth
without the involuntary movement of the tongue anymore. You move your
tongue and exercise your voice and you speak them forth. It sounds in
the natural like you are making your own sound. But if you check
carefully the language comes from inside. It is an out flow from inside.
The first level of 'stammering lips' and the second level of tongues as a
You ask, "what if my tongue is one syllable?"
I had a problem in my
early days. My tongue goes bala bala bala. Notice you are in control.
You can control how loud you want it to be. How low you want it to be.
You can pray in tongue in the C key or in the G key. The only thing you
cannot control is the language. It comes from inside. So I asked the
Lord why must it be bala bala bala. It makes me feel like a washing
machine. God said the longer you pray in it, the more you will enjoy the
language. How fast you want to pray is also under your control. God
told me that just as you can speak in English fast or slow, you can also
pray in tongues faster or slower. So enjoy it. Speak to me. Love me
with that language. So I enter into God presence and I speak to Him as I
speak to a person. You can slow it down. You can enjoy each syllable
munching away chewing like the best food in the world. God said if you
slow down you would begin to hear yourself talking in sentences. God
said that if I pray more often in it, more and more come forth inside
me. Then I began to realise sometimes our self comes into the picture.
We only use one part of our mouth and say bala abala bala. God said you
just let your tongue flow all over the place. You just relax then you
just let your tongue flow out. Speaking in tongue is that way. You learn
just like the baby talk. It is just like that way. Remember how a baby
talk papa papa papa. Speaking in tongues is that way. So when you are
moving in the realm of the spirit, at first your sounds are not so
articulate but as you speak it out, more and more will come forth.
1 Cor. 14:21
In the law it is written with men of other tongue and other
lips I will speak to these people and yet for all that they will not
hear me. The bible says in the law. And Paul here in the context he is
referring to tongue. Which part of the law? In Isa 28:11-12 For with
stammering lips and another tongue.This is a same reference to what Paul
has in 1 Cor. 14:21. For with stammering lips. People sometimes stammer
when they are new to the things of the Spirit. Their tongues are not
that fluent. Then as they begin to speak it forth they begin to go very
fast and fluently. What have begun as stammering lips, now become fluent
lips. The bible tells your tongues shall start off with stammering
lips. You begin to speak forth. As you yield yourself more and more to
the things of God, you will go deeper and deeper in the gift of praying
in tongues. And when you move deeper into praying in the Spirit, God is
going to bring you into the spiritual realm. Many Christians are not
doing what they should have with their gift of tongues.
When we first speak in tongues, our vocabulary would be very limited. I
remembered hearing how Pastor John Osteen relates when he first spoke in
tongue. He only got three words. He was a Baptist pastor for 17 years.
He didn't get baptised in the Spirit yet. Then one day he was in a
prayer meeting. He was so hungry for the baptism in the Spirit. Suddenly
everyone started scattering. And he followed some of them and he found
they went to the prayer rooms. He was sitting next to this dear precious
old lady. And this lady was lifting up her hand. And she was worshiping
God in tongues. John Osteen looked up and said I wish I had that. I
wish I could know God like that. He became hungry for the things of God.
And so he sought after the baptism in the Spirit. And the first time he
got baptised in the Spirit, he got three words. I still remember the
three words he had. He only got "O tor leo" He says after 17 years in
the spiritual wilderness, even "O tor leo" sounds fantastic.
On the first level of praying in the Spirit, we start with stammering
lip. Stammering lips doesn’t speak so well. We have not learnt to
release the flow of tongues fully. But the more you pray in tongues, the
more it comes. It then grows into the second level where your tongues
becomes a language. It is just like a tap. You look at the tap and you
ask, " How can this tiny tap give me enough water for my whole house and
fill my tank? How can so small a tap contain all the water that is
needed?" The tap is connected to a reservoir. And in the same way, our
spirit is connected to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is connected
to the throne of God. When you turn on the tap, there is an unending
flow. At first it is only a trickle, then it increases and now it comes
in an abundant flow. The more you pray the more words will come out. If
you are so shy about your three little words in tongues, you may end up
with only those three little words. But when you are bold, you say, " I
don’t care what people say. After all I am talking to Jesus and not to
them." 1 Corinthians 14:1-2 That if a man speaks in an unknown tongue,
he is speaking to God.
So you just speak to God over and over again in tongues until your mind
gets tired and ask, "What are you doing? That is foolishness." Never
mind, the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man. You just
continue until one day the reservoir just burst open.
See when God fills us with Himself, it is different from the way demons
fill a person. When demons fill and possess a person, he will loose
consciousness. In fact you can cast out a demon from a person, and the
person won’t remember what happened. They have lost their consciousness.
When God fills you with Himself, your own personality is infused with
Him. You are still conscious. When we say Holy Spirit fill me, possess
me with your own self. When He does that, we are still in control of our
free will and choice. The way God fills and possesses us is different
from the devil. The devil will give you no chance. He will dominate your
personality and make you a slave. But when God fills you, He brings you
to the fullness for the plan He has for your life. You still have a
free will to choose. When we move into the realm of the spirit to do the
things of God, we are still free to exercise our free will.1
Corinthians 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the
See the spirit of the prophet is in control. Your will is in control. If
anything is of the Holy Spirit, you will always have a free choice to
control it. So when God gives you a message, you can control when to
give. You ask," is that right?" Can you control tongues? Yes, the bible
says we can control the tongues. We have our own free choice. I will to
pray in tongues. I will to pray with my understanding. So in any area we
can receive tongues as a language. I do not know how but slowly
progressively, just like a child growing up.
You don’t notice the child
growing every day. So I didn’t notice the change every day but I
continued pressing on until it became a language. So the interpretation
of tongues also becomes very natural. You have to start somewhere.
I once heard Percy Collette describe in his tape how he was taken up to
heaven and saw the wonders of heaven. Some of the things he said are too
wonderful to imagine. He went to heaven for many hours. He said that
when he went to heaven, he saw many rooms. And he said in heaven there
was a special place for those who have not learned to worship God in
tongues. And he said they were there practicing There was a school of
holiness, a school of wisdom, all these different schools in heaven
where people learn of the aspects of God to know Him and to get to know
Him more. So if you have still not learnt to worship God in tongues, you
will have to learn it up in heaven. Don't wait till you get to heaven
to learn the heavenly language.
The third level is when you began to speak in various languages. You
could sense a change in language in your tongue. 1 Corinthians 12:10,
`To another discerning of spirit, to another different kind of tongues.’
I Corinthians 12: 28, `varieties of tongues.’ I Corinthians 14: 2, `for
he who speaks in tongue does not speak to man but to God, for no one
understand him, however in the spirit, he speaks mysteries.’ In 1
Cor.12, lists the public gifts of tongue, which is different from
private tongues. We are taking about private tongues here. We are not
talking about the gift of speaking in tongues in the church as a public
ministry. The difference between private tongues and public tongues is
this. Private tongue is we speaking to God. Public tongue is God
speaking to us. So when God speaks to us through a person, it needs
interpretation. But when we are speaking to God, we don’t need an
interpretation because God understands all languages. So when we speak
in tongues to God we are speaking mysteries onto God.
The third level a person can possibly move into is that their tongue can
flow in different languages. We are talking about levels and areas.
Levels talk about growth. Areas talk about function. So there are three
levels of growth. One is a beginner stammering tongues. The other is it
becomes a language the second level. The third level you move into
various kinds of tongues. In flowing in the third level, your mind still
doesn’t understand what you are praying. You are still obeying by
Then the fourth level would be spiritual song. Where Paul says, ` I will
sing with my spirit.’ 1 Cor.14: 15. ` I will sing with my spirit.’ I.e.
the same with Eph. 5:19, `Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual song or song of the spirit. So song of the spirit would be
you magnify God with a melody. Even that there are some learning
processes. In order to worship God, sing in the spirit, you need to be
fluent in 2 areas.
You need to have a melody and a fluent tongue. Then
you could worship God and sing in the spirit. Some people can’t do it
yet. They have not got the new melody. To do two new things is harder
than to get one. So what they do is they use the old melody that they
know and they sing in the spirit with it. It is only half the process.
Then as you mature in that, you will move into singing in the spirit.
That means to say you need a new melody as well as fluent tongue. This
is what the Bible call singing in the spirit.
Singing in the Spirit may also include blessing in the spirit. 1 Cor.14:
16 Paul says. ` I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the
understanding. Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he
occupy a place of the uninformed? Say amen and you are giving thanks he
does not understand.’ So he ties up singing with blessing.
involves a psalm-like manner and singing in the spirit involves in a
change of melody.
The fifth level is when you engage the enemy in warfare, and your
tongues takes on a commanding tone. I did not realise the importance of
praying in the Spirit until by His mercy, God had to show me its
importance in an interesting situation. I was sitting in an easy chair
and praying in tongues, and I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t even feel
good about praying in tongues. But there was something in me that told
me to just keep on praying. And when I started it was easy. It just
flowed out like a river without hindrance. I was doing it for about 15
minutes or so. Then suddenly I felt as if I was walking and crossing a
boundary line. Suddenly I found it very difficult to pray in tongues.
All my nice feelings disappeared. All the ease of praying did not come
forth. I literally had to force myself to pray in tongues. And I felt I
was munching and making the sound myself. It was a real struggle to pray
in tongues. Yet I continued on and on for about forty five minutes,
struggling. And then it happened suddenly again as if I have stepped
across that line again and it became easy. That experience really
But that night when I slept, God showed me a replay of what happened. I
saw myself sitting in an easy chair. And I saw myself praying nicely.
And suddenly I saw on God’s replay a black hairy fellow. He came in
front of me. If I had known it, I would have really given it to him. He
started waving his hands in front of my face. He was dancing around me.
He did not touch me at all. I didn’t know why he was doing that. But it
sure made prayer difficult. He was at it for a considerable length of
time. And then I saw myself struggling to pray.
But there was something else. As I continued prevailing in prayer, I saw
something happen. Suddenly out of my mouth came a white substance, like
a substance of light. And it slowly came forth from inside me. As I
continued praying that substance of light came forth from my lips like
some spiritual force and shot that hairy monster and the demon fell flat
on the ground. Suddenly it was easy to pray. I saw myself in my dream
responding with ease. And at that point when I shot him with my prayer, I
was not even aware of it. But when the light came and shot him down I
suddenly felt at ease in prayer. Then the demon was lying flat on the
floor. He slowly crawled away. He said, "You are real."
When I came out of that experience, I began to wonder what was that all
about. Then God began to tell me. Many Christians live in a flesh realm
and in a mental realm. As long as you live in the flesh realm and mental
realm you do not affect the spiritual world. But God says when you
begin living and walking in the Spirit you are a torment to the devil.
They become uncomfortable with your spiritual presence. They become
uncomfortable with your spiritual exploits. See I could imagine all the
demons are having a good time. And they are in one flock above the
atmosphere. Here human beings are just living their own lives.
the flesh. Living in the mind. Couldn’t care less about their spiritual
life. The demons just look and laugh. But when a Christian begins to
live in the spirit, he begins to affect them. When you start praying,
the wicked spirits in the high places asks, 'who is shaking my throne?'
You begin to affect them. You become real in the spirit world to them.
You begin to pull down their strongholds. Their thrones begin to be
upset and I wonder how many times they have to fall off their thrones.
And when that happen you will be real in the spirit world. You are no
more living in the flesh and in the mind. And you live in the spirit
realm. You affect them. Your presence in your work and walk affects
them. And they feel the reality of your walk. They get upset all the
I once spent 48 hours praying in tongues. At the end of that time I
couldn't tell whether I was in the spirit or in the flesh. I became
opened to the spirit world. I saw light beams flowing out from the earth
going up towards God. They looked like searchlights during World War II
searching for enemy planes. I saw the whole earth was dark. That must
have been what Jesus meant when He said that this world is in darkness.
It is a spiritual darkness that is worse than physical darkness. And in
the darkness there were beams of lights that were going forth from the
mouths of praying Christians and piercing the dark clouds of demonic
forces in the atmosphere surrounding the earth.
Ephesians 6 says that there are wicked spirits in heavenly places. They
surround the atmospheric realm of this earth. They build their own kind
of thrones. You read in the book of Daniel about how the prince of
Persia was fighting against Gabriel and Michael came to help. In the
atmosphere above us there are spiritual battles going on. These beams of
light were prayers in the spirit rising up like a giant laser beam and
punching holes in the darkness. Demonic forces were scattering all over.
And it was very real. It starts from the earth and it slowly rises. And
at the point where it touched the demonic forces are they began
scattering and screaming. And then the light beam of prayer went right
onto the throne of God. This shows the importance and power of
Christians praying together. We are punching holes in the devil’s net on
I began to search the Bible and asked God what is that light? God said,
'It is My glory.' The Lord began to show me from the scriptures. Acts
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. This is the day of
Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the people and they begin
to have a new language going forth to God. Notice the way the Bible
puts it. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Notice this, 'they
spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance.'
Peter in referring to speaking in tongues says in Acts 2: 26b Therefore
my heart rejoices and my tongue was glad. He is prophesying about the
time when our tongue will be glad. Now this passage in Acts 2: 26 is
taken from Ps. 16:8-11 and verse 9 is the part I want you to note. Psalm
16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices.
There is one slight difference in Ps.16: 9, where it says, "my glory
rejoices." But in Acts 2 Peter explains what the glory is. Acts 2:26 My
heart rejoice and my tongue was glad. So the gift of tongues that God
has given to us is a glory. It is the light and the substance of glory
that flows out from our life. It is the same glory that Jesus said in
Luke 24:49 And I shall clothe you with my power. He shall clothe us with
His glory. That is the glory of God in our lives today. So I began to
understand that the substance that came forth from our lips as we pray
in the Spirit was the glory of God. The substance that came forth from
the prayers of God’s people is the glory of God arising. Didn’t the word
of God say," and my glory shall be upon them."
You've got to go and read more at his page.