Most Christians—charismatics included—don’t understand the true benefits of speaking in tongues, nor why this gift is so valuable. Here are 10 reasons to prove why we need this wonderful gift.
1. The manifestation that came with the gift of the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues. It wasn’t the wind, fire, noise or feeling of God’s presence that was evidence of the gift being received but a spirit language—believers began speaking languages of the Spirit they didn’t understand. It was God’s plan for the gift to function as a spirit language for His children (Acts 2:4, 11; 1 Cor. 14:2).
2. Jesus commanded us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus commissioned the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father, He didn’t say, “Do this if you feel led to do so, or if it fits in your doctrinal or denominational beliefs, or if you have the time, or if you are so inclined, or if you feel comfortable about it.” No! Jesus commanded them to wait until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Since Jesus put such importance on their receiving this gift, that’s more than enough reason for every Christian to seek God until they receive it too (Acts 1:4; 5:32; John 14:16-17; Eph. 5:18).
3. The Scriptures exhort us to be filled with the Spirit and to pray in the new tongues of our spirit language. Our spirit language enables us to live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, be led of the Spirit, have the fruit of the Spirit, manifest the gifts of the Spirit and go from glory to glory until we are transformed into His same image (Gal. 5:22-25; Rom. 8:14; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; 14:15; Eph. 5:18; Acts 19:2; 2 Cor. 3:18).
4. A spirit language is the greatest gift the Holy Spirit can give a believer. Jesus is the greatest gift God could give for the redemption of the world, and the Holy Spirit is the greatest gift Jesus could give to His church. Of all the resources in heaven and the eternal universe, nothing is more valuable, beneficial or important for the Holy Spirit to give the individual child of God than her own spirit language (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:4).
5. Our spirit language enables us to have spirit-to-Spirit communication with God. Humans are spirit beings clothed with flesh-and-bone bodies. While man’s sin deadened the spirit, Jesus brings the spirit back to life by imparting His everlasting life into us. The Holy Spirit gives us a spirit language so we can communicate directly with God (John 4:24; 1 Cor. 15:45; Gen. 2:7; Rom. 5:12; John 3:3-5, 16).
6. Praying in tongues builds and increases our faith. Faith is the medium of exchange for all heavenly things, just as money is the medium of exchange for all earthly things. A major way to increase our faith is to pray in the tongues of our spirit language (Rom. 12:6; Jude 1:20; Mark 9:23; Matt. 9:29).
7. Praying in tongues activates the fruit of the Spirit. It’s vital and beneficial to have each of the spiritual attributes become active and mature in us. Praying in tongues helps us fulfill God’s predestined purpose for us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; Rom. 8:29).
8. Praying in our spirit language is the main way we fulfill the scriptural admonition to “pray without ceasing.” Christians can pray in tongues at any time. If we are in a place where it isn’t convenient or wise to speak out loud in tongues, we can pray with our inner man without making an audible sound (Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; Matt. 26:41; Luke 18:1; 21:36; 1 Cor. 14:15).
9. The Holy Spirit directs our spirit language to pray in accordance with the will of God. Probably the only time we can be assured that we are praying 100 percent in the will of God is when we are praying in our spirit language. God always answers requests that are made in alignment with His will (Rom. 8:27; 1 John 5:14-15).
10. Praying in tongues quiets the mind. When Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, compared brain scans of Christians praying in tongues with Buddhist monks chanting and Catholic nuns praying, the study showed the frontal lobes—the brain’s control center—went quiet in the brains of Christians talking in tongues, proving that speaking in tongues isn’t a function of the natural brain but an operation of the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:2, 14).
Adapted from Seventy Reasons for Speaking in Tongues by Bill Hamon