I was walking home from class (college) one night, worshipping the Lord as I went. Suddenly my tongues shifted to English without me doing anything to make that change; it just flowed up out of me, out of my heart of love to the Lord. What I said was beautiful in my praise and worship to the Lord but I wasn't sure what was happening.
It wasn't until much later I realized I had interpreted my own prayer language. I have a cd/MP3 series or two on the subject of tongues so I won't spend a lot of time here, but will just cover some basics.
During a visitation with the Lord in which He taught me about this subject, I asked him "Why tongues? It's so controversial in some circles!" He replied (Shortening the conversation to hit the main points): "Consider the Father's problem. Man was delegated the earth, but then man let sin into the world. If you can receive this, understand that for the most part, we operate by invitation in the earth."
(That gave me pause and a hundred things raced through my mind that suddenly made sense - He reserves the right as Creator to use creation, which explains nature going crazy in the last years before His return in an effort to show man he really isn't in control like he thinks. And I had long realized He isn't in detailed charge of everyone, but by invitation becomes involved with those who wish Him to be involved, or He becomes involved if one of His children asks Him to become involved in an unsaved friend or loved one.)
He continued. "This means man has to pray to invite us to become involved. But man doesn't know how to pray because his knowledge is limited*. The Father had to find a way to impart to man His unlimited knowledge for a situation so that man could pray that back to Him, giving Him legal authority in the earth to act." *Romans 8:26
"He does this by giving a person a language or languages they have never learned, filling those words with His knowledge according to His perfect will for that person or situation, and then allowing them to pray it to Him. We will not be blamed on the last day. All will see everything done is legal and upright...just and good."
Tongues, involving all 3 parts of you
My experience has been that people who are more cerebral, more focused on the intellectual, often are the ones to have difficulty with tongues, because tongues flows from the spirit. These are the ones not used to being aware of their spirit man because they live in the realm of the intellect. I have to talk to them about times in their life they sense something down inside, felt convicted, dirty, grieved, when they said or did something they realized they should not have.
Most have to search pretty deeply to bring those memories up, because they by the way they were created, relate to the intellect first and foremost. We might say they have emotions, but they are not emotional. They move almost entirely through life with their brain rather than their spirit, and they don't relate to emotional people. The things of the Spirit are not emotional, but a person who knows his or her emotions is in contact with their inner feelings and is therefore used to including those feelings in their life. A person who lives from the intellect very often does not. They have emotions, but they are overridden by intellect. I hope that makes sense - it isn't a negative trait, just the way they are created.
So when it comes to sensing the Lord's communication, compassion, or 'feeling' in their spirit, it is a learned skill, a new chapter for them, for they approach tongues from the intellect though it be of the spirit. That makes it difficult for them.
That was me
When I was 16 there was a gap between being born again and when I received the Holy Spirit. My spirit man was recreated by the Holy Spirit, and that allowed me to function in the things of God, but I had not received the Holy Spirit Himself. As a result I hungered for more. I remember telling the Father one day: "I don't want to seem ungrateful, but, is this all there is?"
Then I read the way the authors of the New Testament thought, and read the experience of the apostles in the 50 days between when they were born again upon seeing and believing the resurrected Lord, to Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit. There was a 50 day gap between receiving the recreation work of the Spirit and receiving the person of the Spirit.
I read what Jesus said in Luke 5:37-38 about how you have to make the wine bottle new before putting in the new wine, for the old bottle (the non-born again spirit) would be destroyed if you tried to put the new wine (the Holy Spirit) in it.
I read in Acts 8: 15-17 how the evangelist Philip brought people to Jesus, but Peter and John came and laid hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit. There was a gap between believing on Jesus and being born again, and receiving the person of the Holy Spirit.
I read Acts 19: 2 where more than 25 years after Pentecost in Acts 2, Paul came upon some he thought were believers in Ephesus and asked: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Indicating Paul's belief was (still) like Peter and John's, that a person receives a recreation work of the Spirit to be born again, and then the Holy Spirit Himself at the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and that there is often a gap between believing and the baptism with the Spirit.
As I said above, I have a series on tongues if you want more detail about how your prayer language can become more flowing. But you may be in the 'gap' between born again and receiving the Holy Spirit - I encourage you to see the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Note in the NT it is baptism WITH the Holy Spirit, not IN. When we are baptized WITH water our bodies displace the water when we are immersed, but when baptized WITH the Holy Spirit we do not displace the 'water' of the Spirit, but He saturates and permeates us; spirit, soul, and body.
Start by getting in touch with your inner most heart and why you are glad you are saved, why you love the Lord...and let that flow not out of your thoughts, but from way down inside, in your heart...and out of your spirit if you continue, will be words you never learned in part because at some point in your worship, your native (learned) language will become inadequate to express your love to Him. Will wrap up the series next week. Blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org