Summary: Speaking and praying in the spirit builds up our spirit, soul and body.
1Cor.14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself…
Many Charismatics believe that when you speak in tongues, you edify or build up your spirit man. Well, that is only one-third true. The Bible does not say that the speaker edifies his spirit, it says that the speaker “edifies himself”. This means his entire self — spirit, soul and body. So he who speaks in tongues builds up his spirit, soul and body.
Does this include building up your immune system? Yes, it does! Brain specialists at Oral Roberts University’s hospital found out through research and testing that when a person prays in tongues, his brain releases two chemicals that are directed to his immune system, giving it a 35 to 40 percent boost. Interestingly, these secretions are triggered by a part of our brain that has no other apparent activity and which is activated only when we pray in tongues.
Thus speaking in tongues dramatically affects a believer’s capacity to maintain life out of the red zone. What an awesome thing God has given His people to use for their blessing and to enable them to be a blessing to others!
Smith Wigglesworth, whose raising of the dead in numerous miraculous healing in the early 1900’s is legendary, shared in his writings that he attributed his spiritual power to speaking in tongues for himself two hours a day.
The Gift of Tongues
Ever increasing faith
"Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue, speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries" (1 Cor. 14:1, 2).
It is necessary that we have a great desire for spiritual gifts. We must thirst after them and covet them earnestly because the gifts are necessary and important, that we, by the grace of God having received the gifts, may be used for God's glory.
God has ordained this speaking in an unknown tongue unto Himself as a wonderful, supernatural means of communication in the Spirit. As we speak to him in the unknown tongue we speak wonderful mysteries in the Spirit. In Rom. 8:27 we read, "He 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."
Many times as we speak unto God in an unknown tongue we are in intercession and as we pray thus in the Spirit we pray according to the will of God. And there is such a thing as the Spirit making intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered.
On this line I want to tell you about Willie Burton, who is laboring for God in the Belgium Congo. Brother Burton is a mighty man of God and is giving his life for the heathen in Africa. He took fever and went down to death. They said, "He has preached his last; what shall we do?" All their hopes seemed to be blighted, and there they stood, with broken hearts, wondering what was going to take place. They left him for dead; but, in a moment, without any signal, he stood right in the midst of them; and they could not understand it. The explanation he gave was this, that, when he came to himself, he realized a warmth going right through his body; and there wasn't one thing wrong with him. How did it come about? It was a mystery until he went to London and was telling the people how he was left for dead, and then was raised up.
A lady came up and asked for a private conversation with him, and arranged a time. She asked, "Do you keep a diary?" He answered, "Yes," She told him, "It happened on a certain day that I went to pray; and as soon as I knelt, I had you on my mind. The Spirit of the Lord took hold of me and prayed through me in an unknown tongue. A vision came before me in which I saw you laid out helpless; and I cried out in the unknown tongue till I saw you rise up and go out of that room."
She had kept a note of the time and when he turned to his diary he found that it was exactly the time when he was raised up.
The Bible gives us other purposes for speaking in tongues. Many of them deal specifically with ensuring peace, spiritual well being.
Scriptural Reasons for Speaking in Tongues (S.I.T)
1. S.I.T. is rest to our souls – a refreshing.Isaiah 28:11-12;
2. S.I.T. edifies you. I Cor 14:4
3. S.I.T. speaks to God mysteries. I Cor 14:2
4. S.I.T. speaks the wonderful works of God. Acts 2: 11