Prayer Language

I have been wondering (much) lately about our Baptist brothers and sisters. 

Traditional Baptist doctrine (as I understand it) is that praying in an “unknown language” is not for today.  In fact it was only done on the day of Pentecost in order that those who had gathered around could clearly understand the Apostles.

If I am off a bit, I pray my Baptist friends help me to more clearly understand the Babtist doctrine regarding the Holy Spirit.

It is my desire to more completely understand the Savior’s doctrine and not to align myself with man’s Great Schools of Theology.

I have taken the liberty of printing the following from my computer program QuickVerse 6.0


Romans 8:26

Helpeth our infirmity (sunantilambanetai tēi astheneiāi hēmōn). Present middle indicative of sunantilambanomai, late and striking double compound (Diodorus, lxx, Josephus, frequent in inscriptions, Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 87), to lend a hand together with, at the same time with one. Only twice in N.T., here and Luke 10:40 in Martha’s plea for Mary’s help. Here beautifully Paul pictures the Holy Spirit taking hold at our side at the very time of our weakness (associative instrumental case) and before too late. 

How to pray (to ti proseuxōmetha). Articular clause object of oidamen (we know) and indirect question with the deliberative aorist middle subjunctive proseuxōmetha, retained in the indirect question. 

As we ought (katho dei). “As it is necessary.” How true this is of all of us in our praying. 

Maketh intercession (huperentugchanei). Present active indicative of late double compound, found only here and in later ecclesiastical writers, but entugchanō occurs in verse 27 (a common verb). It is a picturesque word of rescue by one who “happens on” (entugchanei) one who is in trouble and “in his behalf” (huper) pleads “with unuttered groanings” (instrumental case) or with “sighs that baffle words” (Denney). This is work of our Helper, the Spirit himself.”


It appears to me that the Teacher is saying that we (humans) are so clueless as too what we need to be praying for that we only need to make sounds that baffle words during our prayers and that is the Holy Spirit, Himself, interceding for us.


So is there a case for “Prayer Language”?


14 Responses to Prayer Language

  1. WOW. You are…incredibly thorough. Sometimes reading your thoughts on religion is like Restless Leg Syndrome. As in, I didn’t realize the ‘issue’ was out there until you mention it.

  2. mssc54 says:

    Hayden; Perhaps it is a good thing you did not realize this “issue” exists. Some times “spiritual ignorance” is more like complete faith.

    I believe the thing that concerns me most, regarding “tongues”, is that there are (some) preacher types who are more concerned with holding onto their positions of honor in their denominational churches than they are concerned with rightly dividing the Word of God.

    Sadly, it is easy to be blinded to Truth when it may affect your bank account…. especially in today’s seemingly precarious economic world.

    But, hey, that’s just my (current) understanding.

  3. Amber says:

    Mssc54 – speaking in tongues is a factor that baffles many of us “believers” I can tell you that it has put many off (including myself for a time). I wouldn’t even consider Christianity at one point because of the whole “speaking in tongues” thing.

    I actually LAUGHED really really hard.. It was bad. Im hanging my head. (But not really).

    I believe that what it is trying to say that we each have our own way to communicate with God. I love to sing to God. It makes me feel closer. I often pray as in having a conversation with my beloved father, teacher, and best friend. For every person it is different. We communicate in our own way with God because we understand God uniquely. No two people can ever agree on every single point. It simply isn’t possible.

    Just my (non -Christian) but believing in the teachings of Jesus 2 cents….*shrug*

  4. mssc54 says:

    Amber; As many spiritual matters “tongues” is often misunderstood and dare I say abused.

    While I agree with your ascertion that not any two people will communicate with God the same I further believe that the Holy Spirit, Himself is the One who guides more directly God’s will.

  5. Amber says:

    I always hate that answer you know Mssc54. I hate it when God is separated like that but yet we are told its one entity. What are we here hindus with many God’s or just one?

    I vote for one and only God to be shared by us all. None of the rest of it even makes BAD sense to my mind. Sorry this is the reason I can’t call myself a Christian. That distinction right there. Its too ridiculous. God is one. If you believe that God sent Jesus down to us to give us his words and his will and teach us by example – hey Im all in with that. But the whole Father Son, Holy Ghost… sorry. Can’t do it.

  6. It’s not so different from believing we are all one, I don’t think.

    ‘Jesus’ from “Religulous” said that the Trinity was like water. Water is ice, but it is still water. Water can be a gas, and yet still water. Water can also be liquid, and still water.

    H2O is H2O no matter how it manifests, or what scientific rules are acting on it.

    Anyway, just a thought. In the movie, Bill Maher said “Wow, that was a really good analogy. It stopped me in my tracks. Of course it’s still ridiculous.” But he never explained why.

  7. Amber says:

    Hayden – I am with you sister.

  8. Amber says:

    I spoke to our in house Pastor/Biblical scholar – no lie this man is WOW.. TDYK regarding this. He is a Christian who lives as Jesus did and observes the Jewish laws. I told him to come over here and give us a lecture about speaking in tongues.

    Apparently – Biblically I am correct that it does mean that each person should have their own personal way to speak to God. Which could be in silence.

    Also, very interestingly enough, it says in the bible specifically about making a spectacle of speaking in tongues in any kind of group. Because people will be scared away from the church. Its not supposed to work like that. He quoted me chapter and verse of what John said about this 2000 years ago.

    Ill send him over tomorrow…. let him put our understanding to rest.

    We also had a very illuminating discussion on the trilogy idea… 🙂

  9. mssc54 says:

    I’m always open to Revelation knowledge. Admitedly there is not a single person on the face of the earth who understands everything God has Written.

    However, I’m not buying the silent prayer thing. I would be very to see the Scriptural verse for “silent prayer”. Although I know God can “read our minds”, I am equally sure that Jesus, the Christ did NOT tell the Disciples to “Think in this manner” when He gave the example of the Lord’s Prayer.

    As for the blog overhall… that would be awesome. My deapth of skill on the pc is very shallow at most. Heck, I do all I can to post and write comments. 🙂

  10. Amber says:

    Its not just silent prayer. Its not that you can not be filled with God and come out with random thoughts, not making sense to anyone but yourself. Its more that the rule has to do with, you aren’t supposed to get into a group of more than 3 people and do this, because it puts other people off… and well its probably not real.

    Saying that… I totally believe someone can be overcome by God’s word. I believe often times when I am counseling someone, or having to reach into my memory for a bit of knowledge, God touches my lips and heart and enables me to give that person what they need. I have faith that he always helps me to say the right thing according to his will.

    Ask Dude… Im not good with the nitty gritty like you are looking for here. Remember you said once that I have like an Alien head of knowledge? Well that is kind of true. I know and understand MANY things – but never need to understand them into the nitty gritty because I get the concept and that is normally enough.

    So I have read the bible, I know what it says. I feel like I remember its intention for issues such as these. But Im sorry, I don’t have the experience to sit and quote scripture to you if that is what it is you seek.

    I guess the reason I can’t is that it has no meaning to me in “parts” Its the whole that I am concerned by!

  11. Ok, here we go. The key chapter here is 1st Corinthians, chapter 14. Let’s start with that.
    Click above link and go from window to window as I make my references.
    The verse I quoted to Amber that she is referring to above is verse 23.
    What is this tounge thing Paul is talking about and is it the same as the tounges of today’s charismatic churches? I believe it is. It’s gibberish. The believers tend to think it’s entirely spiritual, while non believers tend to think it’s entirely psychological. I say – why not both?
    When I pray in tounges it’s usually about my alone time with God. It’s sort of a way to transmit your wordless most inner thoughts and feelings – they get “dressed” on the gibberish words.
    I discussed this once with a religious jew, he said that the most inner thoughts and feelings are pretty automatically “dressed” on the words he reads from the prayer book.
    We don’t have a prayer book, we pray from our heart. But sometimes it’s hard knowing what to say. I’m thinking that this problem that they solved with a prayer book, we solved with the gift of tounges.
    But read this chapter. Please. Paul states specifically that tounges without interpretation is not meant for the church – it’s a personal prayer. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a bunch of people standing together each one saying personal prayers out loud. Still, verse 23 does apply here. Paul didn’t want non believers to think we were morons, and his thoughts do apply to today. Directly.
    Now regarding this interpretation thing. What’s that all about? I feel from God to stand up, risking making a fool out of myself, saying something in tounges in front of the entire congregation, confident that God will give the gift of interpretation to someone else? Do I dare to do that even if I feel it?
    I think that’s the point. Otherwise why would God need one tounge speaker and one interpreter to get his message through to the congregation? Wouldn’t just the interpreter be enough, and it would be called a prophecy? The thing is that this whole absurd tounge speaking and interpretation does accomplish two goals – 1. It gives two people the joy of feeling that God has used them to get his message through, not just one. And 2, the tounge speaker’s spiritual confidence is helped. He is rewarded for risking making a fool out of himself for God. Read verse 27-28.

    Oh, and by the way, please skip verse 34-35. I know I do.

    I do not believe that this is a clear language that has grammar and words. Not at all. And the idea of the “spirit praying within us”, what is that? So God is praying to himself through us? Sounds absurd to me. But it actually does say so in Romans 8:26. Maybe it’s rather that God understands our innermost feelings that we express with the tounges that we are not consciously aware of? In Pastor David Yonggi Cho’s book “How To Pray” (1997) he describes a woman who suddenly felt an urge to pray in tounges when she was outside on the street. She did, and later when she came home she discovered burglars had been there, but they didn’t find anything even though the cash and the jewelery were easily accessible. The moral was of course that the spirit had urged her to pray as the burglars were there and because of her prayer God blinded the burglars. Seems a little strange to me. Why must God ask someone to ask him of something? I mean, I do believe in the power of prayer, and that our prayer does affect the world, and does put God’s hand in movement, otherwise we wouldn’t pray for things at all. But this story just seemed a little bit absurd to me. But who am I to understand it all? I’m just human.

    In Acts, the disciples spoke in tounges, and people heard their own languages. This still does happen. My wife witnessed an occasion in a Swedish congegation when a woman just prayed generally in tounges, and without knowing it spoke Spanish, and a Spanish speaking foreigner understood her. So God still can and still does use this gift of tounges for the same purposes he did back then.

    Tounges is a great tool for praying when you pray personally to God but don’t know exactly what to say or how to pray. It’s a way just being with God without the need to talk rationally, and just feel his presence. It’s a way to build yourself up spiritually and mentally.

    I do recommend one dosage a day.

  12. I hate to sound totally uneducated but I’m not even sure what the argument is about. I never went to a church where people spoke in tongues. Are you guys saying it’s ok? Not ok? Right? Wrong?

    I’m totally stumped.

  13. omahs says:

    At our churhc, the only time we speak in tongues is during a prayer meet or in person. There are times when someone is being prayed over. We were told that the only time to use your prayer language/tongues in public prayer meets is when you have had it translated. We are given our tongues when we come closer to the Lord.
    During a college course in Theology, we were told the same thing basically, but that each different group may have a different way of thinking as to how tongues are used and what it’s meaning is. But he did say that tongues is believed to have a meaning of stronger spirituality. Basically when you mature in faith and have a stronger, closer connection to God, you will recieve your prayer language/tongues.
    Hope this makes sense and helps.

  14. omahs says:

    By the way, I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for making a correction on mine as well.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: