The Vital Role of praying in Tongues

-by Dave Roberson

(Note: Although the author refers to the Holy Spirit throughout as “He”, the Holy Spirit is feminine in Hebrew; neuter in Greek.)

Author’s Introduction: The very measure of God’s power in a believer’s life is dependent on how much of his life is ordered by the Holy Ghost. Over the decades, the Lord has imparted a wealth of revelation knowledge to my spirit on this subject. Step by step, He has taught me how to walk out of a life dominated by the flesh into a new life dominated by the Holy Spirit through the matchless gift of praying in my heavenly prayer language. 

The Holy Spirit’s Work Within

In the eternities of time past, a vast, complex plan for mankind unfolded on the inside of God. In His infinite wisdom, He left nothing out as He looked down through the ages. He passed through generation after generation, planning every intricate detail of every life that would live on the face of the earth. God’s desire was to recover as many as possible from Satan’s rebellious camp and to gather unto Himself a people He could call His family.

He formulated a perfect plan just for you that is unlike any other plan for any other person who has ever been born. Imagine — God the Father looked out across the great void of space and time and saw the moment in time when you would live on this earth. Then He decided precisely how that moment should be filled!

We Must Choose His Plan

God conceived a wonderful plan for every one of us. In His plan, we were predestined to become His sons and daughters at the Cross. But one potential obstacle stands between us and God’s perfectly conceived purposes: Using the free will God has given us, we must choose to walk in the plan He has ordained for our lives.

God looks for a way to approach each of us in order to present His personal plan for our lives. He begins with the preaching of the Cross that encourages us to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. If we accept Jesus, we take our first step into the plan God predestined for us before the foundations of the world. He only waits for each person to find out what that plan is and then to choose to walk in it.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

The Holy Spirit Prays for Us

Upon your regeneration as a child of God, the Holy Spirit actually consented to take up residence within your spirit and to offer His services to you! And one of the main reasons He came was to pray for you.

Why did God send the Holy Spirit to live inside of you? So He could change you into the image of His Son. And in order to accomplish that goal, the Holy Spirit brought His own prayer language with Him so He could pray for all that concerns you.

With that prayer language, He gets involved directly with you in a one-on-one relationship that is independent of anyone else, even of your own mind. When the Holy Spirit prays for you, He takes the plan He hears the Father utter and pours it through your spirit. And the language He uses to express that plan as it flows through you is the supernatural language of tongues.

Every time you give the Holy Spirit opportunity, He will use that language to pray for your calling, to pray out the plan of God, to edify you, and to charge you with His holy power. He will lend Himself to you as your faith allows Him to be activated within your spirit. He will pull you out of everything Jesus set you free from and into everything Jesus says that you are in Him.

It is your choice to pray or not to pray. But every time you do choose to pray, you will come out of that time of prayer more edified in His plan and purpose for you than if you hadn’t done it.

God’s plan for you is in the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in you. The Holy Spirit is armed with the knowledge of everything He heard about God’s redemption plan for you before the foundations of the earth. And every time He searches your heart, He does it with the intention to pray that plan — the mind of God concerning you — into existence in your life.

Natural Law Brought Under Subjection

I have been filled with the Holy Spirit a long time, and I still marvel that the third Person of the Godhead would choose to come and take up His abode with us!

The more of God’s plan we find, the more the Holy Spirit (who is the Executor of spiritual law) will be able to bring natural law under subjection in our lives. Natural law governs the circumstances that surround us, causing things to go for or against us — making us either rich or poor, sick or healthy, happy or sad.

But God designed natural law to be made subordinate to spiritual law. And since the divine plan for our lives comes from the very heart of God, it is enforced as spiritual law.

When we spend any amount of time at all praying in the Holy Ghost, we are uttering divine secrets, or spiritual laws. The Holy Spirit then employs those laws to see that circumstances — natural laws — line up with the purpose and plan of God for our lives. We cannot pray consistently for very long before the things that don’t belong in God’s plan for us begin to fall away.

Once I asked the Lord, “Why did You give us such a peculiar language to use in prayer?” This is what He spoke to my spirit:

“Among men a language has never come into existence that carries the vocabulary to express everything I am in you through Christ Jesus. Since there was no language with such a vocabulary, I had to create My own and loan it to you while you are on the earth. I just loan it to you till you come up to Heaven; then it will cease.

“Meanwhile, you know in part, and I know everything — My entire redemption plan for all eternity.

So whenever the devil comes against you, don’t worry about it. Because of your infirmities, I will start making intercession for you according to that plan. And even though you only know in part, I will pray the part you need.”

The Great Exchange: Trading Our Plan for God’s Plan

There is a supernatural exchange that takes place as we pray in other tongues. Look at what Romans 8:27,28 says:

And he [the Holy Spirit] that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

What does it mean, “he that searcheth the hearts”? It means that the Holy Spirit continually searches your heart with the intention of removing everything that is contrary to the will of God, your Father the Planner. Then the Holy Spirit replaces it with the plan He heard for your personal life before the beginning of time when God formulated His plan for you. He prays the perfect plan of God into your spirit so you not only know what you are called to do but how to fulfill that call in the perfect timing, will, and power of God.

God trades your natural plans and ideas for His through the supernatural medium of exchange, tongues for personal edification. You can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that as you yield to that divine exchange, all things will indeed work together for good for you, because you love God and are called according to His purpose.

He Helps Us Find Our Calling

I have to discover my divine calling by revelation through the personal inward work of the Holy Spirit.

No one knows our calling better than the Holy Spirit. He was in the Presence of God when our call was first planned. That’s why He brought His supernatural language with Him when He came to live inside us. We’re just too ignorant to know how to pray about our call. So His great reservoir of wisdom and counsel resides within our spirits, just waiting to be released through tongues.

First Corinthians 14:14 says that when we speak in an unknown tongue, our human spirit is doing the praying, and our understanding is unfruitful. So, in essence, the Holy Spirit creates that supernatural language on the inside of our spirit man. Then a transfer of language and authority takes place from the Person of the Holy Spirit to our human spirit.

This divine transfer enables us as individual members of the Body of Christ on this earth to pray in tongues with the authority of God, knowing that the other two members of the Godhead will answer our prayer. If the transfer never took place, it would be the Holy Spirit praying, not us. But with the transfer, it is literally our human spirit praying as the Holy Spirit creates the prayer.

God’s Way Is Best

But how can we get the tremendous power of the Holy Spirit that resides on the inside of us — the power that raised Jesus from the dead — out onto the problems that face us so those blessings can be manifested in our lives? And even more importantly, how can we discover our divine call?

Well, are we so wise that we can find a better way to answer those questions than the way God gave us when He designated the Holy Spirit to come and represent us?

You see, God didn’t trust us to any of the many thousands of angels in His service. We’re worth more than that to Him. No, He went as high as He could go and entrusted us to the Holy Spirit, who then came to take up residency in us. So how can we fail when the third Person of the Godhead creates the prayer and the other two members of the Godhead see to it that it comes to pass? I’d call that a foolproof plan!

You are getting to know Jesus Himself as the Holy Spirit reveals Him to you. And you are well on your way to fulfilling your divine call as it unfolds before you!

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost — Jude 20

And as we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit is able to build into our heart the understanding of God’s will for our personal lives.

The Miracle of Tongues In the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

In my own experience, the first evidence that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit was what Isaiah 28:11 called “stammering lips”: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

One night when I came to the altar to be filled with the Holy Spirit, something came over me. All of a sudden, my chin, mouth, and tongue all started to move. My mouth seemed to be out of control.

I thought, What’s the matter with my mouth? I didn’t know that the moment I said, “Fill me with the Holy Ghost,” the Holy Ghost had begun to create His supernatural words in my spirit. So the words came out in stammering lips because I was afraid to say them out loud. I was sure it would be just me speaking. I didn’t realize that my mouth was actually shaping an entire supernatural language of the Holy Spirit.

But later I was worshiping God at home, and the Holy Ghost came upon me again. My mouth began to move the same way it had that night at church.

However, by this time I had learned about Acts 2:4, which says, And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. So this time, instead of fighting off the urge to speak out those words, I yielded to the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. And the longer I yielded, the more the Holy Ghost’s “rivers of living water” poured out of me.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive — John 7:38,39

It wasn’t long before I was speaking a full prayer language by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Benefits of Praying in Tongues

Now, if God the Holy Spirit literally creates this language in our spirit, what kind of prayer could it possibly be? What benefits could it possibly hold for us?

For one thing, the Holy Spirit came into our spirit to bring us revelation knowledge of the Cross and everything that Jesus has become to us. Also, on the day you and I spoke with tongues, a viable, powerful working of God’s government came into operation within our spirit, designed to give us and cause us to understand what no man can give us through natural means — spiritual authority.

This spiritual power and authority is the means God gives us to overcome torment, worry, fear, and the hopelessness that can take over our lives when we move from one overwhelming situation to another, continually losing ground. Praying in other tongues also supplies the power to overcome character flaws — those deep-seated character traits that keep cropping up and robbing us of our stamina and initiative to overcome in the face of the common testings and trials that precede almost every major victory and promotion by God.

Praying in tongues always affects us in a positive way. God says that it edifies us (1 Cor. 14:4). In Jude 20, He says that it builds us up on our most holy faith. As we faithfully spend time praying in tongues, our lives begin to be transformed. The Word of God begins to come alive as we place our spirit, the “candle of the Lord” (Prov. 20:27), in the hands of the expert Illuminator.

We need to understand the One to whom the Father turned us over for our instruction — the One to whom we can lend our spirit in prayer. Remember, it is the third Person of the Trinity Himself, the Holy Spirit of promise, who has filled us.

We should consider it our privilege and heart’s desire to lock ourselves away with the Holy Spirit in prayer. He has no problems or concerns of His own to pray about; He is not the One who needs illumination. Yet He is more than willing to pray through us for all that concerns us. He is eager to teach us and to guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

It doesn’t matter what kind of carnal state we are in when we are first born again. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, that first simple little gift of speaking in tongues goes into operation for one reason: to edify or build us up. That’s why we are not to wait to pray in tongues until we feel sufficiently spiritual.

That’s why the Holy Spirit came, bringing His supernatural language with Him. No matter how spiritual or unspiritual you may feel, when you start praying in the Holy Ghost, you have begun the edification process.

Tongues for Personal Edification

You see, a teacher can tell us that we should walk in love, but he can’t give us the strength to do it. That strength comes only from our reborn human spirit, and praying in tongues provides the means by which the Holy Spirit can build that strength into our spirit.

It is a remarkable truth that we have been given stewardship of the operation of this simple gift called tongues. Now with our own free will, we determine how much or how little we want to be edified by allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through us.

Anytime we want to pray in tongues, all we have to do is reach out momentarily with our faith. The Holy Spirit will immediately respond and begin to create that supernatural language down on the inside of our spirit.

As we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit prays through our spirit for needs in our lives that we aren’t even aware of. You see, God knows what lies in the deepest recesses of our being, and He through the Holy Spirit prays for us.

In this edification process, spiritual authority grows and our faith is built up. We can reach the place where so much authority is released as we line up against the devil and bind him in Jesus’ Name that our commands of faith literally shake the enemy’s kingdom.

God has created a place of peace that we can enter into in prayer. This is the place where we can “count it all joy” when we fall into different temptations, tests, and trials (James 1:2). Why can we do that? Because we have grown in our spiritual authority, building up ourselves on our most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost (Jude 20). We have begun to learn how to change circumstances arrayed against us rather than to have circumstances rule over us.

– by Dave Roberson.

Excerpt from his book

The Walk of the Spirit, the Walk of Power