Fear can paralyze, demoralize, and even kill. Fear can cause someone to keep silent when he should speak up. Fear spawns hatred, bigotry, hostility, and conflict. We need to breathe the clean, pure air of the Holy Spirit, and praying in tongues is a cleanser that helps purge the spiritual “grunge” that has built up in our hearts. Praying the Spirit is like walking on the beach at sunrise or climbing to the top of a mountain and taking in great draughts of the clear alpine air. As we pray, the sickening, toxic fumes from the devil begin to dissipate. Speaking in tongues is a way to allow the Holy Spirit to saturate and fill every pore of our being, body, soul, and spirit. It helps establish a holy atmosphere around us and those for whom we pray. We have a responsibility to monitor and, if necessary, change the atmosphere in our homes. Fear, anxiety, depression, and other noxious gases from the devil invade our homes through television, radio, the internet, books, magazines, and newspapers. Bad news and frightful situations assault our senses on a daily basis. Prayer can change the atmosphere—prayer that exalts the name of Jesus.
Unfortunately, many believers often treat the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives as if He is the water cooler standing in the corner of the room. Whenever they feel like it, they run over and push a button for a drink. God’s presence in our lives is more akin to the old-time water pump that must be primed to get started and used regularly or else it will rust up. Without daily use, the “pipe” leading upward to our thirst from the wellspring of the Holy Spirit deep in the underground of our heart will become empty and dry. Then, when we suddenly need His anointing, the water will not flow. For God’s “I wills” to actively and continually manifest in our experience, we must respond to Him daily. Speaking in tongues is one of the best and most useful ways for us to respond. Nothing clears and opens the spiritual “pipeline” better. As we commune in the Spirit we will come into a better knowledge of what God wills for our will, as well as a deeper understanding of how to exercise our will in the way He desires.
In the early years of the twentieth century, a young man emigrated from Europe to the United States. Being of limited means, he had scraped and saved for quite some time in order to have the money for his steamship ticket. Finally, with ticket in hand, he packed his few belongings, including enough bread and cheese to sustain him over the weeklong voyage. During the journey he passed his days peacefully by walking the decks or resting in his cabin. Every now and then he would pass by the ship’s dining hall and savor the aromas of the rich and varied dishes served there. Sometimes he even stood and watched through the window as other passengers enjoyed their meals. Then, knowing he could never afford such a banquet, he would hurry to his cabin and parcel out some of his bread and cheese. On the final day of the trip, the young man stood on deck in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, nibbling on the last of his bread and cheese as the ship approached New York Harbor. The ship’s purser passed by and, seeing the young man by the railing, asked, “Have you enjoyed your trip, sir?” “Yes, very much.” “I notice that you are eating some old bread and cheese. Were the meals on board not to your liking?” “I don’t understand.” Did you find the dining room food objectionable?”
“Oh, no. I’ve been eating this bread and cheese all week because I couldn’t afford to eat in the dining room. I had only enough money to buy my ticket.” With a surprised look on his face, the purser said, “I am so sorry, sir! Didn’t you realize that the price of your ticket paid for everything, not only your berth but all your meals as well?” This young immigrant had all the resources of the ship available to him but he did not know it. He felt he had to content himself with the meager food he had brought with him. His bread and cheese nourished him during the trip, but he could have enjoyed so much more.
Here is my recommendation for those of you who want to get started in building up your faith by speaking in tongues. It’s very simple. Pray in tongues as much as you can. If you have the time, pray for an hour, pray for five hours. I find personally, that I begin with about 30 minutes and suddenly I hit a spring of living water this brook. It begins to just bubble forth. This is where I begin building myself up in my most holy faith, praying in the Spirit. How much should I pray? The more you pray in tongues, the more you will feel like praying further. I believe at least thirty minutes is needed for us to prime the pump and prepare the way for an explosion in our spirit of joy unspeakable and full of glory. Begin to pray in tongues daily, even if it is only for fifteen minutes. Gradually increase the amount of time you pray in the spirit. If you pray in the spirit, the language of glory, faithfully and consistently for 40 days, you will see a big change in your life, a metamorphosis like that mentioned in Second Corinthians 3: 17-18: “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” One thing is certain, after this time of praying in tongues you will be stronger in your spirit than you were before.
Just as our physical bodies need water every day to survive, so our spirits need the life-giving spiritual water of the Holy Spirit every day in order to thrive. The more water we drink, the healthier we are physically. By the same token, the more of the Holy Spirit we “drink,” the healthier we are spiritually. The baptism of the Holy Spirit enables us to drink freely of the Spirit, not just tiny sips but great draughts of refreshing living water. After only three days without water the human body begins to shut down and approaches death. In the same way, people all around us are dying without the supernatural water of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” That is a very simple invitation, yet there are so many people who do not accept it simply because they do not know that they are thirsty.
Whenever there is a fresh move of the Holy Spirit bringing spiritual refreshing, renewal, or revival, there are always people who jump into the “river” and get caught up in the laughter, the “feel-good” sensations, the “warm fuzzies,” or other manifestations for their own sake. These folks are more interested in being “tickled” by their Father than in being transformed by the Spirit. Being tickled is fine up to a point, but the time comes when the Lord says, “Enough tickling. It’s time to grow.” Growth always involves transformation, and it always involves pain.
And that’s not all. This third Person of the Godhead stands face to face and absolutely coequal in every way with the other two members of the Godhead, the great Jehovah and the mighty Logos (Jesus). But upon your regeneration as a child of God, the Holy Spirit actually consented to take up residence within your spirit and to offer His services to you! And one of the main reasons He came was to pray for you. Why did God send the Holy Spirit to live inside of you? So He could change you into the image of His Son. And in order to accomplish that goal, the Holy Spirit brought His own prayer language with Him so He could pray for all that concerns you.