Just as Paul was not ignorant of the power of prayer and speaking in tongues, neither were the early Christians. The early Christians understood that they could not neglect prayer:
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.
We shall be persevering to the prayer and the service of the saying (logos)
Acts 6:4 – New Testament Greek Interlinear
They were a praying Church and how great and mighty things they achieved in prayer. Even when they became very busy in ministry, they did not allow business to get in the way of prayer. In the literal text it says, “We will persevere and give ourselves to the prayer…” Pay attention to the words 'the' prayer not just a prayer. The word 'the' is a definite article meaning “a determiner” that introduces a noun phrase and implies that the thing mentioned has already been mentioned and was common knowledge. The early Church comprehended that praying in tongues was the prayer. Praying in tongues was known as the prayer. The early Church gave much time and attention to it. This was common knowledge to the early disciples, and it should be so in the modern church.
Prayer, especially praying in tongues, is a vital aspect to spiritual growth and sensitivity in the spirit. There is no way around it! If you want to grow in the anointing, it is imperative that you become a person of prayer. Jesus was a Man of prayer, as was the apostle Paul, and the early Church was birthed and based on prayer. The Holy Writ (Bible) shows that prayer, and especially tongues played a very prominent role in the life of the early Church, and it must play a prominent role in your life.
In my book The Power of Praying in tongues, I give 101 benefits of praying in the Spirit. These benefits will improve your life in many ways including your spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational well-being. Allow me to list a few here:
1. Tongues is the entrance into the supernatural
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God...howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries
1 Corinthians 14:2
Praying in tongues is beneficial because it is the gateway into the spirit realm. There is a doorway into the realm of the spirit and it is through tongues. John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). No wonder Christians have no knowledge of entering the spirit realm. Tongues is the key that unlocks the spirit world. As long as Satan can keep you away from tongues, he can keep you away from the miraculous. Notice the words, “howbeit in the spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:2). When you pray in tongues, you are automatically in the spirit. Paul was stating that God is in the spirit, and when we pray in tongues we are in the spirit where God dwells. In other words, when you start praying in tongues you are entering God’s miracle zone.
I want you to understand this fact: tongues is the prayer in the New Testament.
2. Praying in tongues is a direct line to God
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God... howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1 Corinthians 14:2
Tongues is your hotline to God. How many people would love to have an audience with God? Literally millions! There are people all over the world doing all kinds of crazy things to get their god to hear them. Some are piercing their bodies, and others are offering all kinds of sacrifices, but Paul reveals to us a direct line to the Almighty. People of all religions know that when we get an audience with God, miracles will flow.
Through tongues, you and I can have direct access to God. The Word says, “no one understandeth him…” (see 1 Corinthians 14:2).This means Satan does not understand when you pray in the spirit. He knows what you are doing, but he cannot understand what you are saying. He is helpless to sabotage your prayer. It is funny how people say, “Tongues is of the devil,” and yet Paul says, “Tongues is talking to God.” Through tongues, you have direct access to God.
Tongues are the believer’s direct access to the throne room. Do you get that? This is very important for you to grasp!
3. Praying in tongues is speaking divine mysteries—divine coded secrets
Praying in tongues is speaking divine mysteries–divinely coded secrets. 1 Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an un- known tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God... howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” Notice the word mysteries. This is a loaded word that has multiple meanings, which are eye-opening. Some versions translate this word as “secrets.” The Greek word is musterion and the meanings are:
- Hidden things
- Divine secrets
- Coded language
- Secret will or plan
- Secret counsels that govern God in His dealing with the righteous, hidden from the ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly
- Knowledge withheld from ungodly, but truth revealed to the righteous
- Images and forms
W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines mysteries as “primarily that which is known to the mustes, meaning they initiated from mueo, which means to initiate into the mysteries.” In the New Testament, the word mystery does not denote “the mysterious,” as with the English word. Rather, it denotes that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God to those who are illumined by His Spirit.
In the ordinary sense, a “mystery” implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptural significance is truth revealed. Look at First Corinthians 14:2 again. It says, “no one understandeth him.” This means Satan does not understand what you are saying when you pray in the Spirit. Therefore, he cannot sabotage your prayer. Now look at this stated meaning, “But that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation.” Therefore when you pray in tongues, secrets or plans will be made known to you. Let’s look at some other translations of 1 Corinthians 14:2:
- The New International Version says, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.”
- The Weymouth New Testament puts it this way, “Yet in the Spirit he is speaking secret truths.”
- The Amplified Bible says, “...because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].”
When you pray in tongues, you are declaring the secrets of God, which will impart blessings and impact your life. You are prophesying your God-ordained future. By praying in the Spirit, you are making a path of blessings and power for you to walk in and enjoy.
This is a little excerpt from my book, The Power of Praying In Tongues