How can I speak in Tongues? What is the Gift of Tongues by the Holy Spirit?
Jesus Christ promised the gift of tongues! The Lord said, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18).
According to this Scripture, the signs of God being at work are deliverance from demons, speaking in tongues, Divine protection and healing. This is what you’ve seen in your church.
For a new Christian like yourself, the simplest of these signs to experience is speaking in tongues. To speak in tongues, first one needs to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which you experienced recently (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
As the Spirit of God lives in you already, you can pray at home on your own and ask God for this gift, as you praise God in English. As you praise God in your natural language out loud, you may find some strange sounds (like another language) flowing out of your mouth. Don’t resist it and don’t feel embarrassed – go for it, because it is a gift from God. If you are sensitive to the sound, put on a worship song and invite the Holy Spirit to fill your mouth with His words.
If you struggle on your own, then I encourage you to go to a church where the Holy Spirit is welcomed and go to the front and ask for someone to pray for you to receive the gift of tongues. Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).
The gift of tongues is the ability to speak in a spiritual Heavenly language. When you receive the gift, you can pray in tongues for private prayer and edification, and when a Christian prays in tongues, the Holy Spirit will bypass the mind and pray perfect prayers! Tongues release us from the limits of human language and the unlimited work of the Holy Spirit can flow (1 Corinthians 14:4).
You may also witness the gift of tongues being expressed in a church meeting, as the Holy Spirit leads. In such a circumstance, the gift of interpretation of tongues should follow. This gift is the ability to interpret tongues into a ‘known’ language (1 Corinthians 14:2, 22-28, 39). We speak the mysteries of God as we interpret the tongue into a known language.
God gives the gifts of the Holy Spirit to build up and edify the body of Christ, to equip the Christians for ministry. Usually, the gifts manifest when Christians meet together, but not exclusively. So don’t be surprised if someone gives a tongue and an interpretation should follow, or a prophecy; this all took place in the early Church (1 Corinthians 12:4-12, 14:26, 32-33, 39-40, Ephesians 4:12, 1 Peter 4:10).
By Paul Backholer. Find out about Paul’s books here.