by Sandra Conner, Radical About Jesus Ministries
Many people do not realize that the ability to pray in tongues is also a very valuable tool when seeking healing from the Lord. Of course, this gift comes with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, because so many in the Body of Christ have been taught that the baptism in the Holy Spirit and tongues are not for today, those Christians do not have the opportunity to take advantage of this avenue to health.
It is not the purpose of this book to teach a lesson on tongues, so we will limit the explanation to the following: There are two different categories of tongues spoken of in the Word of God. One is the gift described in 1 Corinthians 12, which includes both tongues for personal prayer and for giving messages from the Lord in public meetings.
When used for giving public messages, the tongues must be accompanied by interpretation, and scripture explains that tongues used in that category are not necessarily available to everyone all the time. The gift of tongues for messages, along with the gift of interpretation are operated, like all the other nine gifts of the Spirit, and they are manifested only as the Spirit wills. The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 14 gives detailed explanations of how these gifts should be used in public meetings.
However, the second category – tongues for personal use – is given to all believers and, whether or not those believers make use of this gift is entirely up to each person. We must be careful to understand that even if we do not find ourselves used to give public messages in tongues, we have Jesus’ word of promise that we will have access to tongues for personal prayer equally with every other believer. Mark 16:15-17 tells us clearly, “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name, shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Now, the word translated in English as “tongues” is actually the Greek word which means “languages not learned through natural means.” So, in other words, a totally supernatural gift from the Lord that bypasses our intellect.
The Lord explains, through the words of St. Paul, in Romans 8:2-27, that often “we do not know how to pray as we should.” And, of course, many people, when they are suffering physically, find it hard to pray as effectively as they need to pray. But God has a solution to this problem, and verse 26 tells us that His Holy Spirit helps us pray through utterances too deep for words. (The literal Greek here says “groanings or utterances too deep for articulate speech.”)
St. Paul, through the Holy Spirit, goes on to tell us in 1 Corinthians 14:5 that he wishes we would all pray much in tongues. And he makes clear in verse 14 of that chapter that when we pray in tongues, our minds are not involved – only our spirits. It is true that our minds must make the decision to allow our spirit to be in charge of our prayer, so that we release our tongue to speak the utterances the Holy Spirit gives us, but other than making that decision of the will, the mind has no part to play. As a result of that fact, our own mind, our own lack of understanding of medical conditions, and our own fears are shut out, and our spirit – helped by the Holy Spirit – takes over our prayers.
But possibly one of the most exciting truths in this passage of Scripture is what we learn in verses 2 and 4 of chapter 14. Verse 2 tells us that when we pray in tongues, we speak mysteries to God. He can also speak mysteries back to us because He’s in charge of the language. We must do the actual physical speaking, but He provides what’s being said in the sounds we make. But since we’re speaking mysteries, not only does our un-renewed mind stay out of the picture, but so does the enemy of our souls, because, although he may understand some of the languages we speak when praying in tongues, he cannot understand the ‘mysteries.’
But wait: It still gets better. Verse 4 tells us that the one who prays in tongues edifies himself. Now, most people consider that verse to mean that we build ourselves up spiritually. And, of course, we do, but that’s not the total benefit. The word translated “edify” means “to build or repair the house.” Now, let that sink in: your spirit is praying (with the language provided by the Holy Spirit), and that prayer is building/repairing your spirit’s house. And what is that house? That’s right – it’s your physical body.
A number of Christians have learned that healing – especially for seriously troubling or obstinate maladies – can come successfully through praying in tongues. I know of situations where nothing else seemed to bring the desired manifestation, but praying at length in the language given by the Holy Spirit accomplished the work and brought forth the miracle.
As we’ve said each time we’ve discussed one of the means of healing that God prescribes in His Word, these means and these practices are not formulas. They do not work because we follow a list of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s. They are each an avenue that God has provided to get His healing power into us, and they work successfully when we dig into the Word and prayer and let God lead us to the specific means that is right for each of our situations at that particular time.
Graphic: © Jim Sutton @ gospelgifs.com
Do those words sound familiar? Have you heard yourself saying them anytime lately? Or have you managed to keep from speaking them, but still heard them pounding away in your head?
Have you stepped out on God’s Word in faith for healing or deliverance in some other area of your life only to have symptoms and circumstances shout at you, trying to frighten you and beat you down? And have they been doing a fairly good job at making you feel defeated?
You know the Word of God says that you already have the victory through the finished work of Jesus, but somehow, that victory just doesn’t seem as real as the defeat looming heavily just above you head.
I’ve been there myself — more than once in fact. And even though I’d walked through many times of victory when the Lord turned everything around and I came out on top — without even any scars — somehow with the new battle the voice of the enemy seemed to scream in my ear: “Yes, you had a few victories, but you won’t have one this time. You’re not going to be able to receive what you need from the Lord this time.”
But you know what, dear believer? The Word of God says differently. And the Holy Spirit — the Spirit of Jesus Himself — says differently. You know, we human beings sometimes tend to think of the Holy Spirit as something separate from Jesus Himself. But the reality is that this Holy Spirit who lives in us is exactly the same Holy Spirit who inhabits Jesus on the throne. We don’t get a little “part” of that Holy Spirit. No. That’s not the way it works. Jesus’ Holy Spirit — the Spirit He functions by and prays through — the Spirit that flows within Him — is the very same Spirit that flows within us.
The Spirit of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead flows through Jesus and flows through us — and flows through Jesus and flows through us — and flows through Jesus and flows through us. 1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us that he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit with Him. It’s almost the same as if we said the breath flowing in and out of Jesus is the same breath flowing in and out of us.
So what does that say about our overcoming? If the same Spirit who raised Jesus flows in and through Him continually — and also flows in and through us continually — connecting us in an unbreakable union — then we are overcomers, whether we feel as if we are or not. So forget feelings and concentrate on the Spirit of truth and the Word, which is truth. Speak that truth. Keep saying what the Spirit and the Word say, and the overcoming will have to manifest.
Listen to Chapter One of Sandra Conner’s book Healing Is For You! — read by Sandra.