1 Corinthians 12:10
To another different kinds of tongues…
The Gift of Speaking in Tongues (glossolalia) is supernatural utterance in an unknown language. It is one of the three Vocal Gifts, so named because they all say something. The others are the gifts of Interpretation of tongues and prophecy.
Why does the Holy Spirit give us the ability to pray and to do so in a language (tongue) we don’t know? Firstly, because God cannot leave this most powerful of all weapons at the mercy of our flesh (see James 5:16)!
Secondly, we do not even know how to pray as we ought (Rom 8:26). The truth is our own words tend to fall short, as we tend to pray amiss (James 4:3). That means, unaided, our prayers and worship are irrelevant. But our Helper knows our needs and the will of God (Rom 8:27). Therefore when we pray under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all our prayers are accurate, relevant and powerful.
Note that praying in tongues bypasses the limitations of our minds (1 Cor. 14:14). Our minds are easily corrupted by the sinful world we live in (Hebrews 12:1). So if all our prayers are generated by our sin-infected, shortsighted and selfish hearts and minds, what hope is there of touching the heart of God and making a difference in our desperate world?
However, “anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no-one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit” (1 Cor. 14:2). Beloved, there is indeed a danger that our prayers can only “speak to men”, but not to God! They can make sense to our ears and peers, even impress those who overhear. But how does that help us? Can our peers, mates and over-hearers answer our prayers, meet our needs and solve our issues? God forbid!
Let us take full advantage of this heavenly prayer language, beloved. When we pray beyond our own natural capacity, such as praying in tongues, God will accomplish for us exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Hallelujah!