A faithful CLC’er writes, “I have not received my prayer language yet and I don’t want to be fake and just copy what I hear others speak. What are your thoughts about that?”
Great question, especially for this Easter weekend. Here are my thoughts:
1. I’m glad that you specified “yet” after saying you haven’t received your prayer language – because I’m 100% convinced from Scripture that praying in the Spirit (using your prayer language) is a privilege & promise for every believer. I sometimes hear from others who haven’t yet received their prayer language but they mistakenly conclude that “it must not be for me” or “maybe it’s only for certain people and not for others” or even “maybe that was just a gift for Bible times that no longer happens today”. I think these verses make it quite clear that this is an experience that God wants for every believer: Isaiah 28:11-12; Acts 2:1-4, 38-39; Acts 10:44-47; Acts 19:1-6; 1Cor. 14:1-5; 1Cor. 14:18-19; Jude 20-21.
2. I’m also glad that you don’t want to be a fake, since that’s never advisable. Just ‘copying’ what you’ve heard others speak would shortchange you and likely keep you from going on to experience the reality of this wonderful gift for yourself. Furthermore, there’s NO need to ‘fake it’, since this experience is real and what God wants for you, as the Scriptures above demonstrate.
3. However, it is important to notice that when this gift first occurred on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:4, it is quite clear that the Holy Spirit gave the ability, but it was the people themselves who did the speaking! (I say that because some people have mistakenly supposed that the Holy Spirit would do ALL the ‘work’ – causing them to speak in a language they had never learned. That’s NOT what happened anywhere in the Bible, and Paul’s clear teaching in 1Cor. 14:27-33 is that we remain in control even when the Holy Spirit is moving upon us. Because of this, here are some ‘tips’ I’ve given to those who want to receive their prayer language:
- Be sure that you have invited Jesus to be Lord of your life (since the Holy Spirit is only promised to believers) AND that you have forgiven anyone who has wronged you (since unforgiveness blocks us from receiving anything from God).
- Then begin to worship the Lord aloud, since receiving a prayer language in Scripture always occurred in the context of worship.
- Expect to receive (since all the gifts of God are received by faith!) Keep in mind that it is NOT possible to speak in two languages at the same time. In other words, if English is your native tongue, for instance, you cannot speak in English and in a prayer language at the same time. So you should expect that when the Holy Spirit gives you a new prayer language, it won’t be English (if that’s your native tongue).
- Some people have told me that they actually ‘heard’ strange-sounding syllables in their mind, and then spoke them aloud. Others have noticed that their lips were quivering and stammering so that they weren’t speaking praises clearly anymore, and that’s usually a result of trying to force themselves to speak in their known language while the Holy Spirit was prompting them to speak in another language. So relax – there’s nothing to fear, and you don’t need to force yourself. Instead, give in to the Spirit’s promptings and speak aloud the syllables & phrases that HE will give you. Enjoy it! You can whisper, sing, shout & speak in your new tongue!
I hope that helps. In fact, I pray that someone reading this will put the computer or tablet aside and receive this free gift from God now! If you do, please leave a comment below so I can celebrate with you!
Now, what would YOU like to Ask the Pastor?
Can’t wait to celebrate the Resurrection with you this weekend – 11 different options at the 4 campuses of CLC – choose the one that works best for you!