Filled With The Spirit
by Rob Dunne
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. 1 Corinthians 14:4
My friend Tony is a spirit filled Pentecostal. When he and I first started hanging out, Tony told me that I had to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. Then I heard people speaking in tongues and thought to myself, this is weird!
The first mention of tongues is found in Acts chapter 2. The Spirit fell on the disciples and they went out in to the street and people from all over the world heard them speak in their native tongue. I thought to myself, “This is what speaking in tongues is about. It is not gibberish. It is an actual, known language.” I fought the idea of speaking in tongues for a long time.
Over the years, I heard various people teach about tongues. So, I began studying other biblical passages on the subject. For example, you can read 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 to hear what the Apostle Paul has to say on the subject. When I learned how powerful it was in others, I wanted it for myself.
While in prayer one day, I asked God to baptize me in the Holy Spirit and to give me my own prayer language (i.e. the ability to speak in tongues). Contrary to what some people think, the Holy Spirit did not overtake me and force me to speak. Rather, I had to open my mouth and let the words flow out of me. It was amazing!
Speaking in tongues is important to me. First, it edifies the one praying. There are seasons in our lives when we face challenges. Speaking in tongues helps to build us up in our most holy faith. While reading the bible, I pray in tongues. The Holy Spirit teaches me things from scripture and gives me revelation knowledge.
Second, speaking in tongues helps me when I don’t know what to pray. In Romans 8:26, it says that the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. There have been numerous times when I am praying in tongues and God will put someone on my heart to pray for. The Holy Spirit will show me exactly what they are going through so that I can pray for them.
Lastly, the Lord can reveals things to the prayer. We recently held a healing service at church. I started praying in tongues and God pointed out a woman in the crowd. He showed me a picture of her wearing a sling on her right arm. When I asked her if she had an issue with her right arm or shoulder, she started crying. She had a torn rotator cuff. We prayed with her and she was instantly healed!
Admittedly, there is controversy over speaking in tongues. I want to encourage you to study the scriptures for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you whether or not this is a legitimate gift from God. It has helped me tremendously and I believe it will do the same for you.