Thank God for the Gift of Tongues!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Renee and I retired from pastoring in May of 2017. I was first ordained as a Pastor in 1982. I pastored in my first church for two years before moving to my next church which we remained at for the next 33 years. We retired because of the influence God has allowed me through writing Fresh Manna and Twitter. We felt impressed that it was time to fully give ourselves over to this endeavor to preach and teach in churches, and to expand our efforts on the mission field. Needless to say, for the past 15 months, we’ve been transitioning into this new season of life. We can honestly say that it’s been awesome and invigorating. There is not a day I don’t receive feedback and communication from my readers saying what they’ve read has impacted and changed their life. That blesses and encourages beyond words. We are reaching the world with the love and gospel of Jesus Christ! Fresh Manna has now been read in 217 countries and between that and Twitter, we are reaching millions daily! I could have never imagined such a thing. 

Something that happens on a daily basis is people asking me for prayer for things going on in their life. I’ve always been diligent to pray and am happy to when people request prayer. The requests cover everything imaginable. And for that reason, I am so thankful for the gift of tongues. When we pray in tongues, we are yielding ourselves over to the Holy Spirit to pray through us. 1 Corinthians 14:2 NLT2 says, “For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.” 

People may tell you their problems but only God knows what the root of their problems are. It might be sin or it might be an attack of Satan upon their life. I couldn’t possibly know that. So I want to pray but don’t always know what to pray. So I pray what I know to pray and then pray in tongues for what I don’t know to pray. That is what we see in Romans 8:26 NIV. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”  And when you pray in tongues, whether you are praying for others or yourself, it strengthens you in spirit! 1 Corinthians 14:4 (NLT2) “A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally…” 

When you pray with your understanding, there is only so much you can pray. But when you pray in the spirit—in tongues, you can pray as long or as short God leads you to! 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 NLT “For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. Well then, what shall I do? I will do both. I will pray in the spirit, and I will pray in words I understand…” 

One of the most beautiful parts about all this is that it circumvents the mental warfare the devil would try to occupy your mind with to keep you in doubt and unbelief. Have you ever had to pray for someone who was critically hurt and supposed to die? When you try to pray with your understanding, and the doctors are all saying there is no chance of survival, it’s like there is a war in your head while you’re praying. You are trying to pray in faith but the devil is telling you it’s not going to happen. When you pray in tongues, the devil has no idea what you are praying. He’ll say you are crazy for praying in tongues for a while, but he’ll eventually give up on that. But, while you are praying in tongues, there is little to no mental warfare. The devil is not omnipotent. He does not know what you are saying or praying. But the Holy Spirit is praying for those things you do not know how to pray for. Perfect!

Praying in tongues is truly a grace because I have confidence that God is working through my prayers and a greater confidence in the road ahead. In times of praying in tongues and giving place to the Holy Spirit to intercede for those things I don’t know how to pray, I’ve experience greater strength to share Jesus. I’ve received wisdom and insight from His Word. And I’m confident that attacks of the enemy were foiled. This is why the gift of tongues is one of the most precious gifts in my life. Because of it, I make fewer mistakes and experience greater grace, strength, and success in what I put my hand to.

We all face those times in life where we don’t know what to do. Where do you get answers for things that are beyond your knowledge base? Where do you get wisdom and insight you can trust for the situations you face? We want to hear from God and receive answers from Him, but how do we?

Of course the Lord speaks to us through His Word—through scriptures from the Bible and through your pastor, but another way the Lord speaks to us, is in our heart when we spend time praying in tongues. Sometimes when you are praying in tongues, the Lord begins to show you answers to things you have been thinking and praying about. For that reason, I often carry a journal with me to prayer so that I can write down what I feel the Lord is speaking to me. Not always but many times when are praying in tongues, the Lord will show you things that will help you. He give you answers you’ve been seeking Him for. He shows you them by His Spirit. This is supernatural help!

1 Corinthians 2:9-13 (NLT)  puts it like this, “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.  No
one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can
know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.”

The gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 are gifts given by God to us experience and receive His supernatural help in this life. We won’t need that help in Heaven. We need all the help we can get from Him now as we navigate this sin-defiled earth. We need His help and strength and wisdom to restrain ourself from sin, and to have the wisdom and fortitude to keep our life focused on Him and do what is right. This is why God gave us gifts. To help us through life.

Do you have a car? Does it help you navigate life? Do you have a cell phone or other technologies that help you navigate life?  God gives us spiritual and supernatural help that is more important than any other kind of help we could receive. The gift of tongues has helped Renee and I navigate every season of life including this new season we’ve been in the past 15 months. And it’s been awesome! If God offers us gifts to help us through life to glorify Him, do we really think we can do it without them? Not me!

Romans 8:26 NIV. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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5 thoughts on “Thank God for the Gift of Tongues!

  1. Respect sir greetings to you in Jesus mighty name we are working God Jesus Christ ministers in Gajapati dist Odisha state India pray for us need your prayers support Thanksgiving Bishop Dr Bhima Raita President tribal development gospel association

  2. Thank you for another excellent devotional Pastor Tim, I always look forward to your devotionals! This is a great subject to write about, the gift of tongues, such a wonderful and powerful gift from God!

    I remember being desperate to speak in tongues and yet for me it didn’t come immediately after I was born again, in fact, the gift of tongues took 12 years to come! I remember the time very well, it was the second day in Bible school and every morning we would have a very powerful prayer time, it was wonderful. On this particular occasion, the principal, Roberts Liardon asked if there was anyone in the room who couldn’t speak in tongues, I put my hand up! The only problem was that there was such a hunger from everyone to start praying that no one saw my hand go up and immediately the room was filled with a glorious sound of everyone praying in tongues, apart from myself!

    I very quickly prayed to God and asked him for the gift of tongues, (I did not want to be the only one in the room not speaking in tongues) there was such a powerful anointing in the room that the tongues flowed out my mouth immediately, it was wonderful! At first I thought, is this really happening? It was, the tongues flowed beautifully out of my mouth, such an amazing gift, they are still flowing well now, big time!

    I think the biggest point here is that I had to ask God for the gift of tongues and open my mouth so that tongues could flow out, once I had asked for the gift of tongues, they flowed!

    Often we don’t get because we don’t ask! So the moral of the story, ask God in faith and see what happens!

    Blessings to you and your family Pastor Tim.


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