Ask Donnell - How Do I Speak In Tongues?

The Mystery of Tongues

Welcome to Part 28 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you just want to understand it a little better, this blog series is for you. For Part 27, "Worship Opens Your Ears To God's Voice" click here.

We received the following question from Stacey;

Hi Donnell,

I just finished reading ”Initiating Conversations with God” and I was wondering how, does one achieve the ability to speak in tongues, I recently got baptised again and recommitted my life to Christ, but I have not been able to speak in tongues and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I have tried tarrying before the Lord, but with no results; (I might add that I was not at all familiar with the notion of tarrying at all, but I go to a very traditional Apostolic Church here in Alabama. It completely weirded me out because they insisted that I tarried in their presence till I received the Holy Spirit). Is it something that comes in time or should be an immediate thing? Does it have to do with the condition of my heart, as I still struggle with the things of this world, but I am a work in progress, but I truly do desire to have a real relationship with GOD. Also, is it a bad thing if I do not pray first thing in the morning? I have to be at work for 6:30am, I find it difficult sometimes to wake up to pray, but I make sure to do it in the evenings, could this be affecting me???

Stacey, these are some great questions. As you may already know, we do place great value in the gift of speaking with other tongues. On The Day of Pentecost, The Holy Spirit was poured out upon all the disciples in The Upper Room. As soon as they were all filled with The Holy Ghost the first gift they received was the gift of speaking with other tongues (Acts 2:4). This revolutionized their lives and signaled the advent of The Church. Hence, before we go any further, take some time to receive a proper understanding of this gift by reading these two blogs, "The Mystery of Tongues" and "Coded Messages".

Acts 2:1-4, 14-18(KJV) - And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance....... But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Now let's address the issue of tarrying for The Holy Spirit. I heard about it and before I completely dismiss it I'll explain where I assume it must have come from. In Acts 1:1-9 just before Jesus' ascension, He spent up to 40 days with His disciples giving them final instructions. Most importantly, He instructed them to wait (tarry) in Jerusalem until The Holy Spirit came upon them (Luke 24:49).

They did so and received the gift that they were waiting for. One day, The Holy Spirit suddenly burst into the room and the rest is history. If that's how it worked for them should we do the same? Let's see. Unlike the disciples, we no longer have to wait for The Holy Spirit to be poured out. That part is over. He's already been poured out. So what exactly are we tarrying for?

On The Day of Pentecost, The Holy Spirit became widely available. Not only was it the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel 2:28-29, it was the answer to a prayer request from Moses in Numbers 11:29. Everyone in The Upper Room at the time received the gift of The Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues. Acts 1:15 says it was about 120 of them. They tarried until The Holy Spirit was sent to them (John 14:26, 15:26). Fortunately for us, once He arrived on earth He never left.

The Mystery of Tongues

Romans 8:9-11(KJV) - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The day you became born-again The Holy Spirit moved inside of you which entirely changes how you should approach Him. You don't need to wait for Him to show up anymore. Wherever you go, He is there. Not just because of His omnipresence but when you enter the room He comes into the room with you because He's in you. Therefore, since The Holy Spirit already lives inside of you every spiritual gift you could ever desire is in there with Him. Hence, if you want the gift of speaking in tongues here's what you do. Just ask for it!

Luke 11:11-13(KJV) - If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

God wants to give His Holy Spirit to those who ask. In 1 Corinthians 14:1, you are told to desire spiritual gifts and 1 Corinthians 12:10 lists speaking in other tongues as one of those spiritual gifts you can desire. Ask God for this gift and He will give it to you. I know that sounds simple but here's the piece that you may be missing. You have to ask in faith according to James 1:5-8 or you won't receive anything of The Lord.

Mark 16:17(KJV) - And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

If you don't believe what The Bible says about speaking in other tongues you won't receive it. I think we do people an injustice as church leaders when we expect people to receive the gift of speaking in other tongues without properly teaching on it. Romans 10:14 says how shall you believe if you don't hear and how shall you hear without a preacher? If you don't understand what The Word of God says about speaking in other tongues you can't have faith to receive it. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.

The Mystery of Tongues

John 7:37-40(KJV) - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) 40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

When your time comes, The Holy Ghost will spring up like a river from the inside of you and you will speak in other tongues. However, you have to yield yourself and allow Him to take control. You can't force anything. Since the purpose of speaking in other tongues is to enhance your worship and prayer the best time to receive it is during worship and prayer.

This is why you should maintain an active prayer and worship life. One of these days just release yourself in worship and prayer like you never have before. Go in hard! Hold nothing back! God doesn't forget prayer requests so He will answer suddenly. Since your heart is for worshipping Him, He'll give you the ability to do it much better with the gift of speaking with other tongues.

Acts 4:31(KJV) - And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 10:44-47(NLT) - Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?”

Acts 19:1-7(KJV) - And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.

This process doesn't have to take forever. In Acts 4:31, The Church prayed and immediately they were filled with The Holy Spirit. In Acts 10:44, while Apostle Peter was preaching, The Holy Spirit immediately fell upon everyone who was listening. In Acts 19:6, Apostle Paul laid hands on some believers and they instantly received the gift of speaking with other tongues by the power of The Holy Spirit. Once you let all resistance go, at any moment it will happen for you too.

When it's time to speak with other tongues, you will feel The Holy Spirit rumbling inside of you. At that time, you have to stop trusting your own mind and say whatever The Holy Spirit leads you to say. It will be unlike anything you have ever felt before. It can sometimes be a very emotional experience so that's definitely not the time to be sensitive to how you look in the eyes of other people. This is something you've desired so get what you've asked The Lord for. You can receive this gift on your own just by worshiping God. Since hands have already been laid upon you by the elders of your church, it's on you to stir up that gift (2 Timothy 1:6).

In conclusion, you do need to always make time to spend with The Lord and you want to surrender your entire life to Him. If you don't have much time to pray in the morning, set aside about 10 minutes to at least read some scriptures so you can start your day right. Also, it makes no sense worrying about what you have done wrong and how it affects your receipt of the gift of speaking in other tongues. If you feel convicted about anything you did wrong, ask God for forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9 and don't do it anymore. Then go ahead and receive this gift. God is not holding it back from you. You can't earn it anyway. It's a gift.

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