Why Tongues: 9 Edifying Benefits of Speaking in Tongues.

The Church today has met the Tongue Gift with mixed feelings. Within her numbers are people who either reduce it…
Achinike Amadi

on March 12, 2024

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  • The Church today has met the Tongue Gift with mixed feelings. Within her numbers are people who either reduce it to an alternative forgone, or pay attention to it only to justify their stand in doctrinal debates, or are grosly indifferent about it.

    But I tell you: the tongue gift will certainly take your relationship with God to another level. It can stir you up — amongst other positive effects. With it, you can get supercharged by taking from what’s within and putting upon.

    For God to give the tongue gift to the Church and manifest it to all members of the early church, it must have a vital purpose.

    As we go through the purpose, importance, and benefits of speaking in tongues, I hope that you will find multiple reasons to desire and function in this gift, especially for the times we are in now.

    The Purpose of Speaking in Tongues.

    source text: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

    There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. 

    1 Corinthians 12:5-7 (GNT)


    In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, we find several bible verses about speaking in tongues —including the importance and appropriate use of the tongue gift.

    According to Paul, ‘Service’ is the highest purpose of speaking in tongues as well as other spiritual gifts.

    In 1 Corinthians 12:5, he establishes that one reason for spiritual gifts is service to God. And in verse 7 of the same chapter, Paul adds “for the good of all” that is, service to mankind).

    Then two chapters later, Paul says that the person who speaks in tongues, speaks to God and that person is edified. This means speaking in tongues offers personal benefits to its bearers. It might not be as high a purpose as Service, but it shouldn’t be ignored.

    Three purposes of Speaking in tongues can be outlined thus;

    • service to God.
    • Service to mankind.
    • Personal Benefits for the Believer.

    If God has provided such a marvelous gift for all believers, then, as a selfless steward leader, we have to utilize it purposefully.

    Benefits of Speaking in Tongues graphic

    Praying in tongues vs Speaking in Tongues.

    … To one person he gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another he gives the ability to explain what is said.

    1 Corinthians 12:10

    Both praying in tongues and speaking in tongues are terms often used interchangeably within Christian communications. There are no hard rules that demand stringent compliance in the use of these phrases, however, these terms represent different expressions of the tongue gift.

    Admittedly, it is more difficult to tell apart praying from speaking in tongues because we don’t always know what is being said. While the content of our communication may not be known, it is possible to discern if we are praying or speaking in tongues by sensing the spirit of the communication; the state of the heart from which expressions are made.

    Praying in tongues means the act of making an earnest and sincere request to God in the language of the spirit. It is sincerely pleading and beseeching God concerning a matter in an unknown tongue inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    On the other hand, Speaking in tongues means spiritually narrating and/or declaring a secret occurrence, future event, or outcome. It is believed by some Christians that if there is an interpreter to interpret the tongues a person is speaking, the uncovered message is prophetic.

    Speaking in tongues was what the church in Corinth was doing that warranted Paul’s admonition about orderliness and edification of the Church. He urged them to have an interpreter if they were to speak in tongues when addressing a public audience. Otherwise, they should speak it to God.

    Also, sometimes we speak in tongues when we are enforcing God’s will over our lives, exercising our authority as believers and confronting mountains, strongholds, or devils.

    Let’s take a look at some differences between speaking in tongues and praying in tongues.

    KEYPraying in tonguesSpeaking in tongues
    MeaningPressing into God, making an earnest request in a Spirit-given language.
    Dialoguing with God, declaring some reality, or exercising authority using utterance which the Holy Spirit gives.
    Application1. Prayer and Supplication.
    1. Dialogue.
    2. Prophecy.
    3. Exercising authority.
    RecipientGodGod, Interpreters, Situations, Devils.
    Voice characteristics
    (general guideline)
    – timbre: soft, breathy
    – register: higher than usual
    – tone: helpless, apologetic
    – pitch: rises and falls
    – volume: soft, louder (urgent request)

    Application 1&2.
    – timbre: neutral, clear
    – tone: conversational, confident
    – pitch: relatively steady
    – intensity: moderate with slight increase for emphasis
    Application 3.
    – timbre: authoritative, forceful
    – register: lower, neutral
    – tone: assertive, direct
    – intensity: high
    – volume: loud, controlled
    A table showing the differences between “praying in tongues” and “speaking in tongues”

    Please note: For the rest of this blog article, both terms are used loosely to mean the utterance that the Holy Spirit gives to humans for spiritual expression.

    9 Spiritual Benefits of Speaking in Tongues.

    Pinterest pin of the bible study titled "Benefits of speaking in tongues"

    #1: A More Effective Prayer Life.

    “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” .

    (1 John 5:14-15)

    Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

    James 4:3

    If we are honest, there are times we don’t know what we truly need or have an inaccurate sense of what is best for us. In such times, we tend to substitute desires for needs and ask for the wrong things. We become unsuitable to make decisions on what’s best for us.

    Fortunately, the problem of poor judgment and prioritization of needs in prayer is resolved when we pray in tongues.

    As believers, we never pray amiss when we pray the utterance that the Holy Spirit gives us. Each time we pray in tongues, we pray the will of the Father.

    We may not always know what we truly need per time, but by the tongue gift, God guides us and fulfills our most pressing needs, ultimately leading to a life where everything works out for our good (Romans 8:28).

    #2: Enjoyable and Easier prayer.

    Enjoyable, Easier and more gratifying prayers

    But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Jude 1:20

    New Living Translation (NLT) translates praying in the spirit as praying in the power of the Holy Spirit as seen above. With this verse in mind, we can characterize tongued prayers as;

    1. Easy: Praying becomes less difficult because the ability to speak in tongues is sustained by a power other than ours —and the barriers to entry are greatly reduced.
    2. Satisfying: Prayer becomes a satisfying activity because, in it, we are free from the communication struggles and limitation of the human mind unique to individuals.
    3. Enjoyable as we witness our spiritual progress and maturity. The word “build” comes from the Greek word epoikodomeó which means “to build upon”

    #3: Matured spiritual organs.

    mature spiritual organs as a benefit of speaking in tongues

    Read your bible, Pray every day if you want to grow.

    Popular Childhood song

    In the place of praying in tongues, your spiritual organs for expression mature. As they do, we become better suited to interface and function in spiritual matters.

    As we exercise our spiritual organs, a giant gradually emerges out of us endowed with heightened spiritual capacity and stamina.

    #4: Enter new spiritual dimensions in Christ.

    With maturing organs, comes higher levels of experience and possibilities.

    Take a child for instance. A child would be able to do more and experience more of the physical world as his digestive system and skeleton system mature. He or she would be able to eat slightly more solid food and would explore his/her new world as they crawl, stand, and run. In the same way, a child of God enters newer dimensions in Christ as his or her spiritual organs and faculties mature.

    As we get carried by the Spirit in prayer, we grow in knowledge and have personal supernatural experiences that refresh our walk with God. It is also common to experience an activation or proficiency of other supernatural abilities lying dormant within us.

    In this sense, the tongue gift can be seen as a vehicle for assessing more of the supernatural.

    #5. Realignment to God’s will.

    When prayer is made outside the influence of our mind, the focus shifts away from our desires and requests. This is what praying in tongues does for us. It opens our hearts to be more perceptive and receptive to God’s will for us over time. Once our heart is engaged, we begin to desire God’s will for us which is profitable unto obedience, and the establishment of God’s Kingdom.

    As you pray in tongues, you gradually realign yourself with God’s heart and instructions to you. Your desires become refocused on the will of God.

    That is why Tongue-speaking believers frequently report this experience: They start their prayers on a particular thing they want God to do, and as they pray in tongues, they notice that the focus of prayer has shifted to someone or something else. Herein lies an opportunity for selfless service to mankind and/or God.

    #6: Accurate Discernment and Divine Knowledge.

    divine knowledge as a benefit of the tongue gift

    Praying in tongues births prophetic visions and revelation. The spirit of God expands our ability to see beyond what natural eyes can, so we can take advantage of prophetic seasons.

    It has been the same experience for both the early and present church. Each time believers spend time in corporate prayer, they receive divine knowledge (Acts 13:2); Knowledge about prophetic seasons and spiritual realities, clarity about God’s will and instruction.

    #7. Build supernatural strength.

    Praying in tongue makes tremendous power available, diverse in its working within a believer.
    One of the secrets to Jesus’s ministerial success was his prayer life. On several occasions, the bible records how he regularly retreated to a place of prayer and when he returned he performed signs and wonders. (Further reading: Matthew 14:22-33)

    Prayer is crucial if you would accomplish all that God has asked you to do.

    Let praying in tongues be your strategy for victory during times of weakness against sin.
    In weakness to do God’s will, generate strength to carry out God’s wishes in the place of praying in tongues.

    #8: Build Staying power.

    In a world with many differing voices and ideologies, it is very easy to deviate from God’s centeredness by the sways and pressures of the world.

    Jude’s instruction in Jude 1:21 was relevant to the early church in and it is still very relevant today. He profers praying in the spirit as an instruction to stay in the love of God.

    But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

    Jude 1:20-21

    Praying in tongues and for a long while can produce staying power in a believer for the following situations

    • in times and seasons of waiting on God.
    • for resolving issues that require more time spent in prayers. There are certain affairs or matters that a 5-minute prayer won’t solve. You would need staying power to wait on God.

    Peter’s release from prison couldn’t possibly have happened on the back of a 5-minute prayer. Clearly, prayers rendered for him were long and fervent as Peter met them still praying after being supernaturally released from captivity. (Read Acts 12:5-17)

    #9: Consistent prayer life.

    Consistent prayer is a benefit of the tongue gift

    The gift of tongues will help you fulfill the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

    What does it mean to pray without ceasing?

    Of course, it doesn’t mean to pray every second of the day. That wouldn’t be practical. It however means to carry an atmosphere of prayer within and around you. It is committing to a life of continuous, frequent, and habitual prayer.

    When you flow in the tongue gift, you can choose to take any minute off your day — in transit, at work, before a presentation, after receiving some good news — to pray or mutter in tongues. Prayer gradually inhabits your daily activities when you have the prayer language.

    #10: Aid in the practice of self-leadership.

    With the tongue gift, you have access to spirit-filled words that can shape your spiritual life — and physical. Use it proactively to build and create —in the spiritual— the kind of life you want to live.

    Every candidate or member of God’s family should know how to use words to produce an outcome in line with God’s will.

    Wrapping up: The Benefits of Speaking in Tongues

    I never saw the benefits of speaking in tongues until I had a culture shock; a change of environment and exposure to its practice.

    You don’t have to be like me. You don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. You can take my experience and learn from it.

    Begin to see the tongue gift in a positive light as one desirable because, in the Kingdom of God, words are not cheap. Desire and activate this sophisticated weapon to wield in the face of weary warfare, tough trials, and sensitive situations.

    It is a supernatural ability God wants you to function in.

    A Prayer for supernatural gifts.

    Dear Lord,

    May I grow in the understanding of all you have provided for me in Christ. With your help, I identify dormant gifts lying within me. I desire them and do what it takes to steward them. Thank you for blessing me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places and for thoroughly furnishing me for every good work. Amen.

    Achinike Amadi
    Hello, I'm Archie(not from the comics). I share lessons from experiential Christianity and curate resources that could help you practice self-leadership.
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