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    Heavenly Prayer Language?


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    Join date : 2012-06-01

    Heavenly Prayer Language? Empty Heavenly Prayer Language?

    Post by JesSDA on September 1st 2012, 11:49 am

    Heavenly Prayer Language?
    What Does The Bible Really Say?

    Many of my charismatic friends would agree that the tongues spoken in the book of Acts were normal languages of the world. But they quickly add that there is a second gift-a heavenly prayer language. This gift, they say, is to express the Spirit's "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). The purpose, they say, is so the devil cannot understand our prayers. But nowhere are we taught to hide our prayers from the devil. He trembles when he hears Christians pray!

    This doctrine of a prayer language is based mainly upon 1 Corinthians 14:14 where Paul says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful."

    They interpret this to mean that when Paul prayed in the Spirit, he used a "heavenly tongue" and did not himself know what he was praying. This theory raises an important question. How would the supplicant ever know if his prayer was answered?

    So what is Paul really saying in 1 Corinthians 14:14? The problem in understanding this verse comes largely from the cumbersome translation. Please allow me to rephrase the verse in modern English: "If I pray in a language those around me do not know, I might be praying with the Spirit, but my thoughts would be unfruitful for those listening." Paul is adamant that if we pray out loud, we should either pray so others around us can understand or else keep quiet! Notice the next few verses: "What is it 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. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest" (1 Corinthians 14:15,16)? According to this text, who has the problem with understanding? It is the listener and not the speaker as is commonly taught. If you have ever prayed with someone who is offering a prayer in a language unknown to you, then you know what Paul meant when he said it is difficult for you to say "Amen" (meaning "so be it") at the end of the prayer. Without an interpreter, you have no idea to what you are assenting. You may have just asked a blessing on the devil as far as you can tell!

    It is obvious from the context of 1 Corinthians 14 that the purpose of speaking in tongues, or foreign languages, is to communicate the gospel and thereby edify the church. If the listeners do not understand the spoken language they cannot be edified. Consequently, if there is no interpreter, the speaker is simply speaking into the air and the only ones present who know what is being said are God and himself. This is the clear meaning of the often-misquoted verse 2. "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."

    Paul emphasizes again that the languages spoken need to be understood by the hearers or else the one who wants to share the mysteries of the gospel needs to sit quietly in meditation between himself and God. "So likewise ye; except ye utter by tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air." "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God" (verses 9, 28). Clearly, the entire purpose of tongues is to cross language barriers and communicate the gospel!

    Some have asked, "Didn't Paul say he spoke with the tongues of angels?"

    No. Paul said, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels ..." (1 Corinthians 13:1, emphasis added). If you read this verse in its context, you will see that the word "though" means "even if." For example, Paul also said in verse 2, "Though I have all faith ..." He did not have all faith. And verse 3 adds, "Though I give my body to be burned ..." Paul was beheaded, not burned. So we can see that Paul here used the word "though" to mean "even if."

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