Tag Archives: gifts of the Spirit

An Exercise in Tongues and Interpretation

Some time ago, I experimented with an exercise to help me grow in the interpretation of tongues. I felt the Lord was encouraging me to do it so that I would be more disciplined in listening to Him in general.

As you may already know, when we are in a church gathering, if someone gives a public message in tongues, opportunity is supposed to be given for an interpretation of the tongues message. 1 Corinthians 14:27, 28 instructs us about this:

If any man speaks in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

1 Corinthians 14:12, 13 tells us a little more:

Even so, since you are zealous about spiritual gifts, seek to excel to the edifying of the church. Therefore, let him who speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may also interpret.

If you attend a Spirit-filled church where the gifts of the Spirit are welcomed, you have probably been taught these things. What many of us have not been told, however, is that we can (and should) also ask God for the interpretation of our private prayer languages.

In 1 Corinthians 14:18, 19, the apostle Paul said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all: yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding….”  If Paul spoke in tongues more than the rest of them, yet preferred not to do so frequently in the church gathering, the implication is that he privately prayed a lot in tongues. Further, he spoke of the importance of also engaging in interpretation of tongues while in prayer.

Let’s look at verse 13 again. This time, we’ll add verses 14 and 15 to it:

Therefore, let him who speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

Clearly, we are not only to pray in tongues, but also to hear the interpretation at times.

Here’s how I carried out my experiment:

  • I set aside about twenty minutes daily to simply pray in tongues. (I usually pray more in tongues than that, but this was focused time, while usually I pray in tongues as I am doing other things around the house.)
  • Before praying in tongues, I asked the Lord to interpret for me some of what I was praying.
  • I kept a journal in front of me to record any interpretations I received.
  • While I was praying in tongues, if a word, phrase, or picture came to mind, I wrote it in the journal.

The results:

Quite often, what I ended up recording were expressions of praise. How nice to find that much of what I prayed was expressing love and adoration for the Lord! That is how it should be.

Some words and phrases followed a theme. The flow along a theme seemed to be intercession – and sometimes there were enough details to unfold a story. In one particular session, I found I was praying about a nursing home (the name was supplied), which was suffering some type of catastrophe. I was praying for the safe evacuation of the residents and safety for the rescue workers. In still another, I was praying for a Christian man who had been blinded in an accident, whom the Lord was intending to heal through an innovative eye surgery. This much detail occurred only rarely, however. Most of the time, because I was only catching words and short phrases, I did not have much clarity.

Some words I heard seemed random and unconnected. This may be an indication that they were just coming from my own mind, not from the Spirit. When they were far between, they may have simply indicated that I was only hearing slight bits before moving on to a new topic.

Some words or phrases were unfamiliar to me. I usually googled those, out of curiosity. Sometimes they were astronomy, medical, or engineering terms. To my surprise, one peculiar phrase was the trademark expression of a character on a TV show I had never heard of, which had been popular in its day. The Spirit must have chosen to use this unique saying to address whatever I was praying into, but I did not understand it.

Sometimes the interpretation was unusually clear, and led me into more extended intercession in English. I could feel the heavy anointing of the Spirit on those expanded prayers. At other times, the interpretations did not lead me into further prayer along a theme.

I did not expect to receive an interpretation for everything I prayed. I believe that many topics we address in our prayer language remain purposely hidden by the Holy Spirit. When we are interceding for others, some information is not any of our business, so He protects the person we are praying for by not revealing it. Some things we pray for our own future would perhaps upset us if we knew prematurely.

I continued the experiment for about four months, and then stopped. It seemed that the unction to keep doing it every day was no longer there. Perhaps that phase of my education in discerning His voice had come to a close. I still pray in tongues, of course, but I don’t regularly listen deeply for an interpretation as I did then.

Perhaps sharing my experience will inspire some of you to listen to the Lord in this way. It takes faith to believe that the words and phrases you hear are really from Him, not  just your own imagination. And it takes concentration. But it is one more path to becoming sensitive to His voice. You might find that it opens up a depth of communication between you and the Lord beyond what you currently enjoy.

Why not give it a try?


Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! (CD or mp3 set),
by Lee Ann Rubsam




Growing in the Prophetic (CD or mp3 set),
by Lee Ann Rubsam


Do You Have a Prophetic Calling?

If you are anything like me, you may have been discouraged about your prophetic calling (or whether you even have one!) because of rigid criteria laid out by some teachers on the prophetic. You see the checklists of what a prophetically inclined person is supposed to be able to do, and you think, “I can’t do that … or that … or that. Maybe I am not really prophetic after all. Maybe God didn’t speak to me about this being an area of ministry for me to function in … but I thought He had. I am confused!”

While criteria lists of what a prophetic ministry calling should look like can be useful as general guidelines, they are not written-in-stone commandments which separate the haves from the have-nots! The truth is, we are each unique. Prophetic ministry has many avenues of expression, and you don’t have to excel in every one of them. Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, we are not all going to give words of knowledge and personal prophecies right and left. We don’t necessarily have to publicly prophesy from a church platform. Not all of us will see and hear about major futuristic events on a regular basis.

Do you listen to the Spirit and pray what He shows you? That’s a way prophecy manifests. As you intercede, you might receive unique angles on how to pray for various situations, from the local to the international. This is, in fact, the most common way the prophetic gifts are expressed. And common does not mean mediocre. It is only common because it is so needed in order to establish God’s will on earth, so He pours it into many of us.

You might operate in prophetic counsel. When people tell you their difficulties for which they see no way out, you know exactly what steps they need to take to receive a breakthrough. It’s not that you are unusually smart: you only know because the Holy Spirit is revealing it to you.

You may have a prophetic teaching gift. Teaching and the prophetic are often closely intertwined. This, too, can vary widely in its expression. It could involve a speaking/preaching ministry, but it doesn’t have to. It might instead be carried out through writing on foundational Bible truths under the anointing and understanding of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps God has given you the ability  to mentor people one-on-one or in small groups, based on your past experiences with the Lord and what you are currently hearing from Him. The Lord might use you to show others how to tap into heavenly revelation. What makes you a prophetic teacher is that you do it by the unction of the Holy Spirit, not from head knowledge alone.

God speaks to many of you through dreams. The majority of your dreams will be for you personally, but as you grow in learning to understand your dream language, God may give you information which pertains to more than your own life. He gives you that revelation to help you know how to pray, and, in some cases, as a means of helping others with what you have seen. I have had the opportunity to prophesy into people’s lives based on what God showed me about them in a dream. As you gain experience with how dreams work, you may eventually be able to interpret other people’s dreams for them. Dreams are a powerful expression of prophecy.

Your prophetic ministry may be limited to your church, city, or region. It could go beyond that to national or international affairs. It will often start locally and expand outward from there — but if it never gets beyond your church or city, that does not make you or your gift inferior to those who speak into a larger arena.

If you have a burning desire to be used by the Lord in the prophetic gifts, this is because He really does want to use you that way. Are you an intercessor? Prophetic people love to spend time with the Lord, and intercession is a big part of what they do.  Time spent with God opens the realm of the revelatory to you.

If you would like to increase in your prophetic gifts, try praying Isaiah 11:2, 3 over yourself, something like this:

“Father, I ask that the Spirit of the LORD would rest upon me in the following ways:

  • The spirit of wisdom and understanding
  • The spirit of counsel and might
  • The spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD

Make me to be of a ready understanding in the fear of the LORD: and help me not to judge according to what my physical eyes and ears tell me. As you enabled Jesus to see with Your eyes and hear with Your ears, so do with me.”

I encourage you to do with joy whatever God has given you to do. Use the gifts you do have, instead of bemoaning the areas of the prophetic which you don’t excel in. Don’t try to be someone you are not. The rest of us in the Body of Christ don’t need impersonators of other prophets. We need who you are.

If you need further help, I highly recommend John Paul Jackson’s 4-CD audio set, Developing Your Prophetic Gift, available from Amazon (affiliate link) or from Streams Ministries (mp3 available — much cheaper).

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy


The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy




Growing in the Prophetic Seminar — April 13, 2013

Did you miss the Growing in the Prophetic seminar? Good news! We have it as a CD set/mp3 download for you!

More Info Here

Growing in the Prophetic Flyer

The prophetic gifts are not meant to be reserved for a small, elite group of believers, for we live in the days when God is pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17, 18).  God wants YOU to be prophetic!

There need not be anything ooky-spooky about operating in prophetic gifts. Lee Ann will present practical information and no-pressure, hands-on practice that will help get you moving in receiving and releasing revelation from the Lord, so that you can bless others.

Whether you are entirely new to the prophetic gifts or have been familiar with them for some time, there is something here for you.  Please join us! It’s going to be fun!

E-mail Lee Ann so we can plan for you for lunch.


Flowing in the Prophetic Seminar on CD

In January 2010,  SALT International  presented Flowing in the Prophetic, a seminar for intercessors and anyone interested in the prophetic gifts.   Steve Driessen, our teacher for that event, is my pastor.  He and his wife have taught me much of what I know about intercession and prophecy. 

The seminar is now available for purchase as a 6-CD set, with workbook and text, for $60.00,  or $35.00 for the CD’s without the books at the SALT International website

I guarantee that this seminar will unlock doors of understanding in the prophetic realm for you.  Here’s further info: 

Flowing in the Prophetic
Level 1: The Prophetic Anointing 

Have you ever longed to:   

  • Hear God more clearly and more often?
  • Be more certain it was really Him you were hearing?
  • Better understand your dreams and visions?
  • Or didn’t even know where to start?

This seminar is for you, no matter what level you are currently operating in prophetically.  Apostolic teacher Steve Driessen imparts prophetic understanding that is practical, easy to relate to, and life-changing. 


1.)  The Ministry of Jesus in the Church
2.)  The Prophetic Intercessor: Having a Hearing Ear & Seeing Eye
3.)  Anointed to Serve
4.)  An Open Heaven
5.)  Visions and Dreams: The Language of the Holy Spirit
6.)  How to Interpret Dreams 

Two additional levels in the Flowing in the Prophetic series will be available in months to come.  I will keep you posted.

Flowing in the Prophetic CD Set