A question I get often is what is the value of speaking in tongues or what happens when you speak in tongues.

Well, if you take it back to the Bible in the Book of Acts, you can see that when people were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they always prayed in tongues — always. That is the biblical pattern. We are biblical believers, and so we follow the pattern laid out in Scripture. When we pray for people to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we can and should expect them to speak in tongues. That is what happened when the church of the book of Acts received the Holy Spirit, and that is what happens when the church of today is filled with the Holy Spirit. It has not changed.

Now, when a person is saved, they become a part of the house of God, the family of God. They are as saved as what they’ll ever be. But at some point, they will experience frustration expressing their hearts when they begin to pray. They will begin to feel a noticeable limitation in their ability to pray. They just won’t be able to express their hearts fully. It is impossible to do so.

But something very powerful occurs when a person becomes baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is as if the Holy Spirit cuts that string that is on their tongue and they then begin to flow out of their hearts like Jesus said in John 7:38 when he prophesied that when the Holy Spirit comes, rivers of living water will flow out of your belly or hearts.

When you pray in tongues, it comes out as a language but not a language taught by man. It will come as a spirit language, straight from the heart of God. That is why praying in tongues is so powerful. We call it tongues but it truly is a spiritual language imparted within us by the Holy Spirit. It is spiritual prayer. All of a sudden, your spirit is able to express everything it was never able to say before. Your spirit is now equipped with the ability to communicate freely without all the hindrances of your mind, emotions or any and all other limitations.

Now, I want you to remember this, I want this to be logical for you. This is not something that is wild or crazy. When you understand the nature of man, it is logical that God would enable us to speak in the Spirit, because we are spirits. We live in bodies but we are spirits, created in the image of God. This is Bible!

So as mentioned previously when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, God not only empowers us, but it’s like He cuts the string that was on our spiritual tongue, so we no longer have to pray trying to figure out how to express ourselves, but suddenly, out of our innermost being, the spirit begins to speak, as God intended.

So there are those who speak in tongues, and there are those who don’t. If you are born again and Jesus is your Lord, you are saved and in the family of God. But something dramatically changes when you get baptized in the Holy Spirit. The inability of your spirit to speak, is removed and suddenly, your inner man speaks, and your spirit cries out to God.

I will never forget the day this happened to me. My aunt laid hands on me, and I was filled with the Spirit. But I was too embarrassed, or too prideful, to speak in tongues in front of her. But I was so full that it just had to come out! And it doesn’t come out your ears or your nose, no, The Bible shows us that when people get full, it always comes out the mouth.

I was so full, but I just stubbornly refused to speak in tongues in front of her, because I was so shy and embarrassed. But let me tell you, when I was by myself, in a private place, I opened my mouth, and it was literally like a river that came flowing out of me. And I found myself speaking in a language that I did not know. That’s why the Bible calls it, “an unknown tongue.” It was such an extraordinary experience that changed my life forever.

I highly encourage every believer to take advantage of the glorious benefit that comes with being filled with the Holy Spirit and praying in other tongues. This Biblical experience is life altering and will cause you to grow exponentially in your relationship with God. It was for the church in the beginning, and it is for the church of the end times. I want to leave you with this thought:  If the early believers needed tongues to start the work of preaching the Gospel to all nations, how much more do we need it to finish the task they so powerfully began?

—Rick Renner