Teaching Pages

Page display options: 1-column; 3-columns

Praying in tongues


"Here I share some promises of God on praying in tongues. This is a response to an email asking what assurance was there that someone praying in tongues is doing so by the Holy Spirit."


A visitor to this web site wrote:

How can you be certain that when you're praying in tongues the words you are saying are from God and not the devil?


I wrote back and answered:

The Lord gave an answer to this question you have that is wonderful in its explicitness and simplicity. He said,

"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

Luke 11:11-13 - NKJV


I have asked the Father to give me the Holy Spirit and the Spirit's gift of speaking in tongues so I am absolutely confident that what I have received is a good gift with no possibility of there being either serpent or scorpion in it! You can be equally confident.

Another promise that will encourage you and build your faith in this is 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

"The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one."

2 Thessalonians 3:3 - NKJV


The gift of tongues operates at all times within the context of a vibrant prayer life. The saint of God who prays ardently in the Spirit (James 5:16b) and makes requests (Mark 11:24) on a basis of genuine faith (Romans 10:17) enjoys his or her gift of tongues as a great liberty in the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17) that allows a direct communication to God the Father of praise, blessing and petition. (1 Corinthians 14:2)


Another visitor to this web site wrote regarding 1 Corinthians 14:

Clearly Paul did not think everyone should speak in tongues.


I wrote back and answered:

Paul is making a comparison in this chapter 14 between the operation of the gift of prophecy in the congregation and speaking in tongues in the congregation. He does this because the church at Corinthian consisted of a pretty wild bunch of people and the degree to which they were speaking in tongues without interpretation in their meetings was hindering their meetings from being all they could have been to the glory of God.

For this reason he calls them to order and says, "Look speaking in tongues is great - and I do it a lot - but in the context of your meetings the gift of prophecy is far greater. This gift of prophecy therefore needs to be given a higher recognition in your meetings than speaking in tongues. Give space for prophecy more than you're giving space for speaking in tongues. However even with this gift of prophecy you need to establish some order also."

This chapter is a promotion of the gift of prophecy. It does not set out to be a message against tongues. In reading this chapter when you want to find out about speaking in tongues you have to recognise how Paul is approaching this matter.


You write, "Clearly Paul did not think everyone should speak in tounges!"

Actually Paul merely observed that not everyone in the church was speaking in tongues. You haven't used appropriately the word "should" in your statement. The correct word to place there is "could". In chapter 12 Paul asked rhetorically, "Do all speak with tongues?" I say rhetorically because no answer is needed as observation alone told them and us that, of course, all do not speak in tongues. However, in chapter 14 he brings us back to this point and declares, "I wish you all spoke with tongues."

Paul writes,

"I wish you all spoke with tongues but even more that you prophesied."

1Cor.14:5 - NKJV


In this Paul is encouraging prophecy, he's promoting it but at the same time conveys to the readers his desire that everyone in the church speak in tongues.

Are you prophesying? No? It would be really good if you were! The least you can seek to do if you are not is to speak in tongues...but better still go further and prophesy.

Related pages

Use the links below to get to other pages on this site that have a similar subject to that which you've read about above.

Suggested eBooks

The following ebooks have been found by some readers of this web page to be potentially helpful to them:

Double Your Church Attendance Teach The Bible To Change Lives Building A House Of Worship