When I was a teenager back in the 1970's, my mom told me of a meeting she attended. She was part of a leadership team in a women's ministry from several Episcopal (Anglican) churches. The opened the meeting with prayer as they sat around a large table.
When done, one of the women asked another woman across the table how she knew Swahili? She replied she didn't, she was just praying in her prayer language. The first woman told her she was raised a missionary's daughter in Kenya, and had not heard Swahili since she was about 12 years old. She said the woman was praising the Lord in Swahili, to which all rejoiced.
In the early 1960's
An American Christian business man was asked to speak at a business conference in Tokyo held by a Christian businessman's organization. The meeting was open to all, and American Christian W.E. Deming had helped rebuild Japan's industrial capabilities after WW2 using principles found in scripture. So any business meeting involving Christianity was appealing to business leaders there.
When the man was about to speak, it was explained his interpreter had fallen ill, and they had no one to act as interpreter. Again, this was in the early 1960's when English was not as wide-spread as it is today.
The thought of speaking to 2,000 Japanese business leaders in English who wouldn't understand him, panicked him. Instantly the Lord told him:"Just speak in tongues". Nervously, he did so, explaining he started out in his prayer language, but then it quickly changed into what proved to be Japanese. After nearly an hour it trickled off and the man stopped speaking. Suddenly, over 200 Japanese businessmen rushed the platform, and just as suddenly the Holy Spirit came on them and they began speaking in tongues.
Testimonies like these abound, and it is clear that just as it was on the day of Pentecost when the 120 spoke in languages they had never learned but others understood, these things still happen today.
Romans 8:26-27 says in the Greek:"Likewise, the Holy Spirit helps our weakness, for we don't know how to pray as we should. But the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with sighings that baffle words."
The Greek word for 'help' is very interesting. It is 'synantilambanetai', a compound word meaning 'takes hold together with us against'. Paul said:"The Holy Spirit takes hold together with us against our weakness of not knowing how to pray as we should."
Jesus explained tongues to me
During the visitation when the Lord taught me about angels and demons, I asked a question that took Him on a side trip to answer. I asked, "Can we command angels? Some say we can, and it is common, but it has never felt right in my spirit about it so you know I've never done that." He replied:
"You don't even know how to pray as you should! What makes you think you know how to tell an angel what to do? Besides, the angels belong to the Father." His comment about not knowing how to pray was a direct reference to Romans 8:26 and tongues, but I would come back to that, for the idea the angels belonged to the Father was something new to me.
"I need chapter and verse on that Lord." "Have you not read in the days of my flesh, in the garden, where I said I could have asked the Father and He would have sent 12 legions of angels? Have you not read what I told Sardis, of those who over come I will not blot their name from the book of life, and confess them before the Father and His angels? The angels belong to the Father. Even now." (Matthew 26:53; Revelation 3:5)
So that settled it for me. But I wanted to get back to not knowing how to pray as I should, and how tongues plays a part. "Lord. Why tongues? It's so controversial to some, so why have something like that as part of our lives?"
He paused as if to weigh His words carefully. "If you can receive this:For the most part, we function by invitation in the earth. But retain our right as Creator." I understood that - He didn't become involved in my life until my mother started praying for me, and more so when I decided for Jesus as well - I invited Him to take control of my life.
When I asked for help understanding, He continued:"The earth has been delegated to man, so a person must invite us into their life. Yet the Father wants His will to be done on earth, but man doesn't know how to pray. His knowledge is limited."
"The Father had to find a way to by-pass man's limited knowledge so He could impart His unlimited knowledge and will into a person, so that person could pray it back to Him, closing the loop and making it a legal transaction."
"For on that Day, no one, no being, will be able to bring accusation against us, saying we were not fair and just and right in all things. All things will be revealed and it will be found we have been faithful and true in all things. So the Father gives a person a language they never learned, and fills it with His will and His thoughts and His emotion, allowing man to pray it back to Him, accomplishing His perfect will on earth."
This answered SO much - everything from feeling the Father's or Lord's emotions in intercessory prayer for someone, to causing us to cry or laugh in joy, to understanding why tongues is so beneficial, why it feels so good inside. I can say, "Father, I pray for my sister this morning...and then go to tongues, knowing I am praying His perfect will for her life this day."
Realizing the earth had been delegated to mankind explained why people can be so cruel to others while He does nothing. He is on the outside looking in with millions of people down through history, who never asked Him to take charge of their lives.
I understood how in Genesis 6:12 the Lord observed 'all flesh had corrupted His way on the earth' - it got down to Noah's family who retained the Lord in their knowledge. He was about to be on the outside looking in to a planet that didn't want Him. So He started over, retaining His rights as Creator.
Suddenly so much made sense. It's why when I pray for that ambulance racing by with lights flashing and siren blaring, I may be the only one in that patient's life praying for them - my prayer is a legal invitation asking the Father to become involved in their life - and on that day they will see it was legal and right, even if that person ends up in hell - they will see all things were done properly. More on that below
There is so much more, but there is enough to chew on here to last a long time, lol - I'll end with that as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, which celebrates all that I've covered this week and last - and so much more.
Enjoy the Holy Spirit in your life! Next subject next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org