Praying in tongues has been one of the most powerful ways I have connected with God since I received the gift 10 years ago. A traveling preacher told us to pray in tongues (with our spirits) for 30minutes a day to change our lives. I did not speak in tongues at that time but a year later I received my personal prayer language and began engaging God in prayer in this way regularly.
1 Corinthians 14 Benefits: speaking to God, speak deep things of God’s heart (mysteries), edify/build your spiritual strength (might, faith, revelation to your thoughts, will, emotions, edified supernaturally as by a prophecy), bless God with your spirit, give great thanks to God.
I am convinced of the power and the need of praying in tongues. These are things I do every day to help me commune with God through praying in tongues:
1. I schedule 30minutes – 1 hour every day. I do it more when I schedule it.
2. I keep my eyes closed during my time of prayer. I read revelation 4 and set my mind on that image while praying. I continually bring my mind back to this image of the Throne Room of God during this time. My mind settles down and I receive more as I concentrate more. I will read the verses out loud, focus on them one by one in my mind and then let prayers flow from my heart to God.
3. Other times I pick out verses about the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us (John 14-16, 1 Cor 2:9-12, John 7:37) and I set my mind on the image of the Holy Spirit living in me as a glorious light, a flame of fire or a river of life. I commune with the Holy Spirit by praying in tongues.
4. I pray at a talking volume, then get louder or softer whenever I want. I tend to pray slower so that I can stay focused on God.
5. I pray English prayers as well throughout the time to help me engage more. English prayers will rise to my heart and I will verbalize them or speaking in english throughout the time helps bring my mind back to God.
5. I usually feel a breakthrough in prayer 20-30minutes into praying in tongues.
6. I like to pray in tongues throughout the day as I come and go, when I’m doing other things, or when I’m studying the bible. It helps me engage during worship times, preaching times and even personal conversations. I will pray in tongues in those times to connect with God more to receive His teaching, to receive insight for a friend in the moment or to tenderize my heart in worship.
7. I pray in tongues during all of my other prayer times, meditation times, study times and ministry times.
1 Corinthians describes two different types of tongues, personal and corporate. There is the spiritual gift of tongues, as listed in 1 Corinthians 12, which is for the benefit of the corporate body of Christ, and then there is the personal prayer language as listed in chapter 14. The personal prayer language is meant to benefit the individual, not the corporate body. Paul said that he spoke in tongues more than anybody else. I believe it is God’s desire for every believer to receive this individual gift and to engage with Him in prayer in this way every day. You can ask God for the gift day after day until you receive it. It took a couple weeks of hungering for it and then I received it on my first day ever fasting.