Tag Archives: praying in tongues

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

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MP3 Downloads, a New Book, and My Life Right Now

This post is a bit of a departure from my norm, but I thought it might be fun to do something a little different for a change — just an update on projects we’re doing at Full Gospel Family Publications and our life in general.

GrowingPropheticCDMedFirst, the mp3 downloads. We put together a CD set of our seminar, Growing in the Prophetic, a few months ago. I’m very happy with the info we’ve provided in that set — but I’m even happier to now make it available to you at a greater savings as an mp3 download. Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the last couple of years, especially for international shipping, and I get concerned about that. I want to keep our materials affordable.  If you like a CD set in nice packaging, the set is still quite reasonable — $30.00 in the U. S. But if you aren’t concerned about packaging, do the mp3 version for $19.00 — and that price goes for wherever you live in the world.

BaptismCDWe’ve also got both CD and mp3 download versions of The Intercessor Manual Audiobook (CD $30.00 in U. S.; mp3 $19.00 worldwide) and The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It (CD $9.00 in U. S.; mp3 $5.50 worldwide). Find them all at Full Gospel Family’s Audio Resource page.

Then there is my new book, Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God. Getting this done is pretty much consuming all my energy right now! A lot of believers don’t have a good handle anymore on Who God is, and it’s time we changed that. This is a short, to-the-point book that talks about God’s character and how He consequently relates to us. I discuss God’s nature as the Trinity and then break down the specific roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s conversational, not theologically intimidating, but definitely biblically anchored with plenty of Scripture to support each point. It’s a great resource for newer believers, an effective tool for introducing the Lord to your non-believing friends, and mature Christians will get some nuggets out of it as well.

We’re in the final stages of editing right now. Watch for Before Whom We Stand to be out as both a print and ebook in September, with the audio version coming shortly thereafter.

Sometimes people want to know a little more about our personal life, so here are our current events:

My husband Paul and I just became empty nesters this year, and it has been hard! We homeschooled both our daughters from the cradle through high school, and enjoyed every minute of having them with us. They are both a joy.

Our older daughter and her family have been pastoring a church plant in Louisville, Kentucky for a few years now.  We only get to see them a couple of times a year, BUT there are those 3-hour phone conversations every week to keep us up to date and make the separation bearable.  (But we’re going to go visit very soon, and we’re looking forward to that.)

Some of you may not know it, but I’ve done some humor writing along the way. I don’t have much time for it, so it doesn’t happen often right now. But our daughter Hannah regularly writes her own humor blog about family life. She is a chip off the old block, when it comes to writing funny stuff. If you are curious, you’ll find her at ByHannahDavis. Warning: you might get addicted to following her.

In January, our younger daughter flew our coop to become a student at Forerunner Music Academy (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City. Having our baby leave home has been more traumatic than I anticipated. I keep busy with prayer and writing for you so that I won’t sit around boo-hooing all the time. (I’m kidding … but just a little.) We’re so happy to see her blossoming into a beautiful woman of God.

 Paul and I also keep busy with the prayer group we lead and doing prayer workshops here and there.

So that’s a smidgen of our lives right now. I’ll get back to writing in my regular vein as soon as I get this book done!

How to Easily Be Baptized in the Spirit with Tongues

In my last three posts, I explained what the baptism in the Spirit is and why it is available to all believers.  You can receive the baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (your personal prayer language) — here, now, today — even if you have been prayed with dozens of times in the past and have been disappointed.

We have made this entirely too difficult for people, with all our little methods and tricks, and too many have ended up despairing of ever receiving their prayer language — mostly because of wrong teaching.  It’s time to stop that.

Many of us have been taught that when we ask God for the baptism in the Spirit, if we somehow mysteriously end up speaking in tongues, then we “got” the baptism.  If we don’t fall into speaking in tongues, then we didn’t “get” the baptism. We end up thinking God didn’t choose to give it to us, and either wonder why we are second-class citizens in the Kingdom or else beat up on ourselves for not having enough faith.

It does take faith to believe that God truly will baptize us in the Holy Spirit when we ask, and then to act on it by opening our mouths and letting our prayer language out.  But let me state right up front that if you are a Christian, you already have all the faith you need.  Every believer in Christ already has GREAT faith.

Why do I say that?  Think about what you believe: God Almighty, Who existed from all eternity, took on human flesh, died for every sin you would ever commit, arose from the dead, and will raise you from the dead in a glorified body, too.  And you will one day live in heaven with Him for all eternity, without any sorrow or pain anymore.  As a Christian, you accept all that, don’t you?  But when you think about it a little bit from a “rational” perspective, it sounds ridiculous!  And yet, you know it is true, and you believe it with all your heart.  That takes great faith.

The baptism in the Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, can be received by faith in the same way you believed for salvation.  It isn’t any harder at all.

Here is what we are going to do:

1.)  If you are chewing gum, spit it out.  It doesn’t help to have gum in your mouth when you want to receive your prayer language.

2.)  Get yourself in tune with the Lord in whatever way works best for you.  If you want to worship and praise Him for a while, go ahead.  You don’t have to make a big deal out of this — just get yourself communing with Him for a few minutes.

3.)  Now, ask the Lord to baptize you (fully fill you up to overflowing) with His Holy Spirit.  He says in His Word that this is for all believers, so just ask and believe He will do it for you.

 (Did you do that?  If you did, you are now baptized in the Spirit. You may “feel” His tangible Presence inside of you or all over you, but if you don’t, it’s OK. You are still baptized in the Spirit, if you asked Him and believed Him for it.)

4.)  Because you are now baptized in the Spirit, you have the ability to speak in tongues.  But you have to act in faith for it to manifest.  Open your mouth and initiate speech. By initiating speech, I do not mean speaking out conscious words.  I mean doing everything you would normally do to utter words — but immediately the Holy Spirit takes over and does the speaking.  You will begin to speak in your prayer language effortlessly.

5.)  Keep praying in tongues for a while and enjoy the Holy Spirit flowing through you like this.  From this point on, you can pray in tongues whenever you so desire.

That is all there is to it.


You may have a lot of questions about your new prayer language, including, “What if it sounds funny?” What if I only have one or two syllables?” etc.  It doesn’t really matter if it sounds funny; your native language sounds funny to many people in other parts of the world.  And one or two syllables is just the beginning of something that will probably expand.  If it doesn’t, be aware that some tribal dialects consist of just a syllable or two, and the whole language revolves around voice inflection, rather than multiple syllables.

If you read my series, The Power of Your Prayer Language, a lot of other questions will be answered there.

Now, I know that although most people who follow this simple plan WILL receive their prayer language, there will be a few who will not, due to being afraid it won’t happen for them and clamming up, rather than speaking out their prayer language in faith.  If that happens to you,  here is what you must know: you asked the Lord to baptize you in His Holy Spirit, and He did.  He really did, if you asked Him, believing that He would.

The key to receiving your prayer language is to let go and let the Spirit flow. You need to relax.  Stop stressing.

When you feel you are ready, you might want to pray a prayer such as: “Lord, I asked in faith to be filled up with Your Spirit, and I believe You did that for me.  I am going to trust You for my prayer language, and it will happen for me.”  Then initiate sound in your vocal cords, yield your tongue to God, open your mouth, and let Him do it from there.

You may want to read the following posts for further understanding:

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 1) 
What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 2) 
Common Questions About the Baptism in the Spirit (Part 3)

I would love to hear from any of you who have received the baptism in the Spirit and your prayer language by following the directions in this post.  Your testimony will also be an encouragement to others.

BaptismCDWP
The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It  — Mp3 Download or CD

Common Questions About the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Part 3)

In the last two posts, we laid some foundations about what the baptism in the Spirit is.  Now let’s look at a few common questions people have about receiving that we haven’t yet talked about:

What are the prerequisites to being baptized in the Spirit?  There is only one: you must be born again (a Christian; a person who is putting your trust in Jesus for your salvation).

The baptism in the Spirit is a gift from God, not something we attain to by works, just as salvation does not come through works.  There are traditions within some Pentecostal/Charismatic circles about things we supposedly have to do to work ourselves up to receiving this gift, but there really is no biblical backup for these notions, and if you have to earn it, it is not really a gift anymore.

Is it possible to be baptized in the Spirit and not speak in tongues? Pentecostals often argue that since speaking in tongues is evidence of having received the baptism, then not speaking in tongues means one has not been baptized in the Spirit.  At the risk of getting a few folks upset, I don’t think that is quite right.

Tongues is evidence of the baptism, but the absence of tongues does not automatically mean that the infilling of the Spirit did not take place.  If a person sincerely asks the Lord to fill him or her with the Spirit, he or she can receive in faith at that very instant, just as when we ask Jesus to be our Lord, we are saved in that very instant.  The question, then, is whether we will allow the Spirit to operate through us in tongues or not.  I will talk about this more in my next post, where I will explain how to receive the baptism in the Spirit with your prayer language.

There are people who are obviously filled with the Spirit, who move in all of the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 except tongues and the interpretation of tongues.  Why?  Because the church fellowship they are part of gets hung up on tongues but not always the other gifts.  It is not that they cannot pray in tongues, but that they have been taught that they should not, and therefore are not open to it.  It is not that tongues has been withheld from them, but that they do not want it.

The real issue is not whether we can be filled with the Spirit and get away with not speaking in tongues.  The real issue is, why would we not desire a gift that the Lord so freely wants to give — a phenomenon that the New Testament speaks of as being important?  Why would we choose to resist receiving tongues?

Reasons for resisting tongues include:

1.)  Intellectualism (the “If I can’t figure it out, I don’t want it” syndrome).
2.)  Fear of looking and sounding foolish (pride).
3.)  Fear of losing control.  (This is our soul, not wanting to yield to the Spirit. You don’t lose control, by the way.  You have complete control over when to begin and end speaking in tongues, once you have received the baptism in the Spirit.)
4.)  Unbiblical teaching that has ingrained limiting mindsets into our thinking.

Why should I desire to pray in tongues?  Because it is a gift from God, and His gifts should not be spurned.  Every gift from God is perfect, pure, lovely, and to be desired.  Please see my series, The Power of Your Prayer Language for an in-depth discussion of more reasons.

Next time, I will explain how to easily receive the baptism in the Spirit and your prayer language (the personal gift of tongues).

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 1)      
What Is the Baptism in the Spirit?  (Part 2)
How to Easily Be Baptized in the Spirit (with Tongues) 

BaptismCDWP
The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It  — Mp3 Download or CD

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 2)

In our last post, we established that all believers have the Holy Spirit within them (John 20:22 and Romans 8:9), but that Jesus commanded the apostles to wait for a further work of the Spirit to come upon them (Acts 1:4, 5).  Nor was it only for the apostles, for Acts 1:14, 15 informs us that many waited with them, and after ten days of waiting and seeking the Lord, this is what happened:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly, there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them cloven tongues like fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  — Acts 2:1-4

This was the first time the Church received what we commonly call “the baptism in the Spirit.” The Greek word for baptize means to fully cover, or to make fully wet.  The early Church understood baptism to mean a full immersion, including how they conducted water baptism.   The Baptism in the Spirit, therefore, is to be fully immersed in the Spirit, and this is what the believers in the upper room experienced. The entire room was filled with the Spirit, and they were also filled on the inside with the Spirit.  The evidence of the Presence of the Spirit externally around them was the manifestation of the sound of wind and the tongues of fire, while the evidence of them being filled internally was that they spoke in tongues.

While the wind and the tongues of fire are not mentioned again in succeeding stories of believers being baptized in the Spirit, the evidence of tongues is. When Peter preached to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house, “the Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word.  And they of the circumcision [the Jewish believers] … were astonished … because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out also on the Gentiles, for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God …” (Acts 10:44-46).   There were believers in Ephesus who had not yet been baptized in the Spirit.  When the Apostle Paul “laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:6).  That there was an outward evidence of receiving the baptism in the Spirit is also implied in Acts 8:14-19, the story of the converts in Samaria.  This evidence most likely was speaking in tongues as well.  Whatever it was was an unmistakable outward sign.

Is the baptism in the Spirit for all believers, or only for a select group?  Peter gives us the answer to this question in Acts 2:38, 39: “… Repent and be baptized [this is water baptism] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy  Spirit.  For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”  The promise was to all those who were listening to Peter on the day of Pentecost, and to their succeeding generations, and to all who were afar off — in generations to come and in far-flung places where the gospel had not as yet been preached.

The Christians of the early Church considered it abnormal for a believer to not be baptized in the Spirit, and they took steps to rectify such situations.  When Philip preached at Samaria, the new believers there were not yet filled with the Spirit, so the apostles sent Peter and John to help them receive (Acts 8:14-16).  Paul noticed that there was something wrong with a few of the believers at Ephesus and laid hands on them so that they would receive the Spirit (Acts 19:2-6).  It is possible, although we cannot know for sure, that when Aquila and Priscilla noticed that something was not quite right in Apollos’ preaching, that the baptism in the Spirit was the missing ingredient. They then helped Apollos know “the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:24-26).

Next time, we will answer a few more common questions about the baptism in the Spirit, and after that, we will get to how you can easily and confidently receive the baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 1)
Common Questions About the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Part 3) 

BaptismCDWP
The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It — Mp3 Download or CD

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit?

In a soon-coming post, I will explain how to easily receive the baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  Many of my readers have struggled to receive the baptism, and their prayer language along with it, and have become frustrated and even despairing of ever receiving.  This is due to much wrong traditional teaching, which has hindered the Body of Christ from receiving what the Lord has always meant for every believer.  We’re going to clear that up, and help you receive once and for all — even if you have been prayed for dozens of times in the past and have been disappointed.

In preparation for that, I would like to lay the foundation of what the baptism in the Spirit is.

John the Baptist said of Jesus, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I is coming … he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16).

Every believer in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit dwelling within.  Romans 8:9 tells us, “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now, if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not one of his.”  Jesus promised His disciples right before His death, “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him, neither does it know him.  But you know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).

He goes on to say that it is by the Spirit living within believers that He and the Father will abide with them (John 14:18, 23).  When we tell little children to “ask Jesus into your heart,” what we are really saying is, “Believe on Jesus and yield yourself to Him, and when you do, the Holy Spirit will come to live inside.”  It is through the Spirit that the Father and Jesus also reside with us.  It is because the three Persons of the  Trinity are one God.

When Jesus first appeared to the eleven on the day of His resurrection, He commissioned them and gave them authority to carry on His work, “and when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit'” (John 20:21, 22).

Was this the baptism in the Spirit?  Clearly it was not, since Luke tells us in Acts 1:3 that Jesus continued appearing to the apostles for yet another forty days, instructing them about the Kingdom of God, which they were to cooperate with Him in establishing on the earth, and during that forty days,  “being assembled together with them, [he] commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, ‘Which,’ he said, ‘you have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now'” (Acts 1:4, 5).  He also told them, “You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses …” (Acts 1:8).

Although the disciples were already believers, having received the Holy Spirit, there was yet a further infilling that God wanted them to have, which would give them power to witness effectively for Him in a way that they could not otherwise do.

We will look at what that further infilling was next time.

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 2)
Common Questions About the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Part 3)
How to Easily Receive the Baptism with Tongues 

BaptismCDWP
The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It — Mp3 Download or CD

New Book: The Intercessor Manual

Full Gospel Family Publications

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann RubsamIt’s finally here!  My new book, The Intercessor Manual,  is hot off the press, and eager to answer all of your prayer questions — well, at least all of them that I ever had or could think of!

All the articles you’ve found here at Out of the Fire about intercession, prophecy, spiritual warfare, soaking, getting along with your pastor, and avoiding insanity on the way to your breakthrough are now available in one large book.

We’ve polished it all up a bit, expanded portions, vastly revised some material, and incorporated additional info not available at the blog.

I think you will like it!  🙂 Pastors, this is a great resource for you, too.  It will help you understand how prophetic people tick and how to help them work in harmony with you.  Use it to teach and bring into maturity the intercessors you have within your fellowship. Topics:

  • Your Call to Intercession
  • What Intercessors Do
  • The Bible Helps Our Intercession
  • The Power of Your Prayer Language
  • Prayer that Counts
  • Breakthrough Intercession: Receiving Our Answers
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Our Spiritual Armor
  • Worship and the Intercessor
  • The Prophetic Connection
  • Maturing in Prophecy
  • Intimacy with God
  • Hearing God
  • Avoiding Deception
  • You Don’t Have to Be Weird
  • Pastors and Intercessors
  • The Pastor Specialty
  • What Can You Expect as an Intercessor?

Paperback, 194 pages

U.S. price: $16.00 (Price includes shipping.)

Order Now

Also available as an e-book and print edition at Amazon:  The Intercessor Manual at Amazon (affiliate link) and as an audio book (CD Set or mp3). E-book also available at  other e-book stores, including Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Scribd.