Inglorious spots that hinders results
There will be no justice done to our discussion on praying to yield results with emphasis on praying in other tongues without highlighting the grey areas Paul took time to shed light on in I Corinthians 14. He addressed the problem of misconception that trailed the manifestation of the Spirit in the church at Corinth. The bulk of the abuse was on speaking with other tongues and lots of controversies were generated. His core message was on the purpose of praying in other tongues bearing in mind that whenever purpose is not well defined abuse becomes inevitable.
In I Corinthians 14, Paul dedicated the whole chapter to Praying in other tongues and prophecies in the church, stressing the need for church edification. He never meant to insinuate that praying in other tongues was less superior to prophecies only that he drew a comparison between the two in view of church edification. As a matter of fact, if he meant it was less superior, then he would not have said in vs. 18 that he thank God because he prays in tongues more than all of them in the Corinth church. For this same purpose of church edification, he said in verse 5 ‘I would prefer that you prophesy than pray in tongues because greater is he that prophesies than he that prays in tongues’. Though he had earlier stated in verse 4 that, he who prophesies edifies the church but he who prays in tongues edifies himself. On this very note, he then reiterated in verse 12 that everyone should endeavor to edify the church. His opinion was that prophecies will edify the church congregation rather than when someone comes out and all he is doing is to speak in an unknown language. This will definitely turn such individual to a statute to behold because the entire congregation will most likely be lost.
However, Paul admonished that if it becomes unavoidable that someone speaks in tongues during a church meeting, the interpretation of tongues as mentioned in verses 13 & 27 becomes necessary for the purpose of church edification. Notwithstanding, in the case where someone speaks in tongues while the church listens and no one interprets, then it means he is actually communicating to God and himself in which case the church members listening to him will obviously be lost. It is the same scenario he likened prophecies to in verse 19 that teaching through prophecies would not need an interpretation though it could be said in five words rather than a thousand words in tongues.
In I cointhians.14: 21-22 the idea of tongues being a sign for them that believe not is that through that they will hear some things that they naturally would not have expected to hear from such individual (i.e. what is being said in strange language is understood by the unbeliever); which implies that it is a medium for them to be blessed by the messages communicated through tongues. But prophesy is a sign to be manifested for the purpose of believers who upon hearing the messages being passed across find the relevance of such to themselves. In a similar development, while fellow believers are being exhorted by prophesies, any unbeliever that comes in and hears this same message, gets convicted because of the secrets of his heart that are made manifest. This was further stated as a continuation in verses 23-25.
His summary to cap the addressing of these misconceptions is that all things be done decently and in order, stressing the fact that when it has to do with congregating, seeking to edify the church should be the priority. All these he emphasized in verses 39 & 40 that they should covet to prophesy and also forbid not to speak with tongues. If we must pray in a church setting where people are gathered to worship then it is most appropriate to pray in our understanding i.e. pray in a language people will understand so that they can say amen when appropriate. This is the very reason Paul said I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also…I Corinthians 14: 15.
– adeyiga awomuti
Benefits of words reserved for the initiated…
Most times in life in a bid to show our deepest appreciation of what God has done for us, we go in search of words, acronyms and beautiful names. I often discover that at the end of the whole session of praises and prayers we run short of words considering the enormous privileges and achievements we have received in Christ so we conclude by saying “you are too beautiful for words to describe”.
If you have any time feel pressed that you should give praise to God in an unlimited way without running short of words, then praying in tongues will be sufficient. This and many other advantages are inherent on the pages of the scriptures.
At the first experience ever recorded in bible where they spoke with other tongues (Acts 2: 11), the onlookers heard them speak the wonderful works of God. They gave thanks to God and spoke of His wondrous works uncontrollably. Paul also in I Corinthians 14: 17 also established the same fact that anyone who prays in other tongues actually gives thanks very well.
Another advantage you surely stand to benefit when praying in other tongues is that you are building yourself on your most holy faith. It is a form of exercise that ensures spiritual growth in the believer- Jude: 20, and I Corinthians 14: 4. Have you being seriously desiring spiritual growth? I encourage you not to study the bible alone but to also take out time to pray well in the spirit.
Each time a Christian prays in an unknown tongue it is his spirit born after the Spirit of God that actually prays, all that he says can’t be reasoned by his human wisdom except the Lord enables him or her to interpret (I Corinthians 14: 14). In the real sense of it he is exercising himself in a purely spiritual activity. This action is considered to be directed towards God because he speaks unto God and not man thereby uttering words that are only revealed to the initiated (i.e. God and the new creature’s spirit) which is referred to as mysteries in bible (Greek word – moos-tay-ree-on) I Corinthians 14: 2.
Above all, praying in other tongues affords the privilege of not praying like the hypocrites and heathens. In Matthew 6: 7-8, Jesus said “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him”. In all sincerity and truth, most times when we have bothering issues on our mind we keep mentioning and rephrasing words in order to draw God’s attention thereby violating this verse and another Jesus statement in Matthew 21: 22 where He said “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”. This implies that faith requires us to mention that situation once and straightaway believe that God has taken control already.When we pray in other tongue, words spoken a times may sound like some kind of repetitions which bores you but the bible reveals that you are speaking mysteries unto God. Speaking in other tongues may sound repetitive sometimes but you are definitely not saying the same thing in the realm of the spirit.
For example, Daniel in the Old Testament would probably have handled the issue of the delay to his prayers if he had the privilege of praying in tongues during his time. “Then he said, “Daniel, don’t be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayer. The angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone in Persia” Daniel 10: 12-13. It was not revealed that the angel prevailed because Daniel continued for 21 days but it is evident that he never in his wildest imagination thought that there could be a delay. However this is not to say that the Christian should not exercise himself in such spiritual activity for as long as 21 days or more, only that when he is doing so he should gainfully utilize his time rather than spending it in vain repetitions.
These and many more are benefits we stand to enjoy in God each time we pray in the spirit or rather pray in other tongues. Remember your length of coverage cannot be limited.
– adeyiga awomuti
Seeking results? God is willing…
As dear and lovely a treasure is to you, much more are you to God. He treasures the lovely package freely made available to you through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. God desires to see all His children freely and rightly communicate with Him in prayers. It is not just enough to say I pray, but to say I PRAY WELL. Praying well entails praying in the right way and direction. As it has been emphasized in previous editions of this message, the very best way with a guaranty of reaching the heart of the father is to pray in the Spirit. One of the reasons is because the Spirit searches the heart and knows what is in the heart of the father so he will surely communicate to God better in your interest.
It is the Holy Spirit that gives utterances or enables the Christian to speak in other tongues as revealed in Acts 2: 4. You do not need to pay attention to the articulation of someone else in order to speak with other tongues. The enablement or utterances will come as the Spirit wills. All you need do is be willing to open your mouth and allow these utterances to flow. Likewise, this amounts to the reason why the believer can have a form of control on his praying in tongues because he can choose to close his mouth though the utterances want to flow.
There was an amazing experience that happened in Acts 10:44-46, “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message. The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God’s greatness. Peter spoke up…” These are people who never had the experience before or ever heard anybody speak in other tongues, so it was not that they learnt to speak by repeating what some people had said. It is amazing to note that while Peter was still preaching; those who heard the word i.e. those who were coming to terms and believing what Peter was saying caught the fire. The manifestation of God’s spirit to speak with other tongues is demonstrated in the believer’s willingness. One thing that was evident in them is that they had a ready and willing heart which prompted them to anxiously wait for Peter; remember that it is while Peter was still preaching that the Holy Spirit started moving in them and they began to speak with other tongues.
God is always willing to manifest in Christians but the question is – are we also willing to yield? If God the giver of this gift is willing to manifest it through us so that we can maximally enjoy the largesse, why should we not jump at it to take the advantages therein? In the next edition, we shall be examining other infallible benefits of praying in other tongue. Till then, keep praying in the spirit.
– adeyiga awomuti
Heavenly tongues with amazing results
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” Mark 16: 17. This is a statement credited to Jesus when He was on earth shortly after His resurrection from the dead. Though little did those who heard the statement knew that it is a weapon in their arsenal as Christians, until their experience in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). When Pentecost was fully come, there was an unforgettable event that took place. Aside the sound like a mighty rushing wind and the appearance of cloven tongues like fire, they made utterances that were startling to the conventional human listening pleasure. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak…When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? …yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”…”
They out rightly spoke in languages they had never spoken before, but notice that it is as the Spirit enabled them to do so. As far as the believers that were speaking in other tongues were concerned, utterances were given to them to speak but never knew that they were speaking some other people’s language; it was actually those that were around that realized they were saying things reasonable to them. Those that spoke with other tongues only manifested in what the Spirit of God will have them do just like Apostle Paul highlighted in his summary of the benefits of praying in other tongues in 1Corinthians 14: 21 In the Scriptures it is written, “By means of people speaking strange languages I will speak to my people, says the Lord. I will speak through lips of foreigners, but even then my people will not listen to me.”
Speaking in other tongues is not a sin but an asset you have received from God. Although some Christians kick against it by saying it is demonic, well if Jesus could say it is a sign that will follow those that believe in Him then you have the right to ignore any derogatory statements about it. Exercise yourself in this unlimited opportunity of exploring the riches in Christ Jesus and behold the amazing occurrences that will accord it.
– adeyiga awomuti
Why expected results can’t fail
If we are given two similar things but with one having a better function or greater advantage compared to the other, I know we will go for the better one. Likewise in our relationship with God, we are offered a seemingly automated way of getting to the father’s heart fast, better and always sure, compared to another way that does not really have assurance of getting it right all the time.
I Corinthians 2: 11 amazes me each time I read it – “For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” For the singular reason that only the spirit of God knows the things or mind of God should build confidence in us to always desire to follow after the admonition in Romans 8: 26. At the place of prayer, God searches and rather looks out for the intention of the heart. The first thing which is of interest to Him is to discover in such a heart if there is a spirit that looks like that of His i.e. the spirit that has been given life by His own Holy Spirit (born after His own Spirit). Upon finding this, God analyses and understands what is in the mind of the spirit, though this is only made possible because it is only such spirit born after Him that has a resemblance, link or flow with God.
I so much love how the sentence was concluded in verse 27 of Romans 8, “…because he maketh intercessions for the saints according to the will of God.” Are you still wondering why God will just understand what your spirit born after His own spirit is saying when you pray in other tongues? It’s simply because he surely must pray in accordance to God’s will. Since that spirit is no longer a dead spirit as it used to be, you need not worry because it is now redeemed and belongs to God alone. It has been eternally imparted by God and it has a full understanding of God even the mind of God.
It is certain that whenever you pray in the spirit or in tongues, you surely will pray in accordance to God’s will, you can never miss it. It is a spiritual exercise that involves His spirit who knows and understands His mind, and surely knows what God’s will is.
In no doubt, you are like God here on earth and you know all things because your spirit is born after God (I John 2: 20, I John 4: 17). I wish you fruitful and result oriented prayer as you take your place and exercise your privileges in prayer.
– adeyiga awomuti
|Getting results from groaning in prayer
It is not uncommon to hear varying types of deep sighs of agony and displeasure of heart in prayer rooms especially when we suddenly run short of words. And most times, we assume that God understands what we are unable to say in words, which is very true. But this does not imply that Paul was referring to such sighs when he wrote to the Roman church.
Whenever someone make low inarticulate sound as e.g. of pain or sorrow; or indicate pain, discomfort, or displeasure, they are still utterances and expressions. But Romans 8: 26 speaks of groaning which can not be uttered or too deep for words. Could it be that it is referring to something else? Yes it is.
Contextually, it suggest that the second phrase in verse 26 of Romans 8, speaks of praying in a way or form that human words can express and understand; and we have rightly discussed in previ0us editions of this topic, that the best of our articulation in prayer is still not the best way we ought to pray. Therefore, the third phrase reveals what the groaning of the Holy Spirit means; that is to express oneself in a language which can not be understood by the human mind. In essence, human grammatical constructions, word phrases and articulation does not play any part in this. This must be praying in another language which is different from that of men. It surely must be a language that is heavenly not earthly.
When a Christian prays in other language or other tongue as it is popularly referred to, it is not an expressible exercise in human understanding. I do not mean praying in another tribe language, but in the heavenly language. I Corinthians 14, “for if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful”. It is my spirit born after the spirit of God, and given life by the Spirit of God that prays. In as much as this is not like the initial dead spirit, then it means it has been given what it needs to fellowship with God Himself. The understanding that is unfruitful describe the inability of the human mind or sense of reasoning to be able to grasp the idea of what is being said when praying in other tongues.
As a matter of fact, when praying in other tongues, you most likely will pray about some issues that ordinarily you would not have mentioned if you were to pray in your known language. This is purely as the Spirit wills, and we will find out in the next edition about the “spiritual background” operations that makes this possible.
– adeyiga awomuti
Help that will never fail…
I know there are times we sit back to consolidate on our gains and often tell ourselves that this is too wonderful. I refer to periods that we can not help but praise ourselves for having diligently unraveled a mystery or achieved something. But have you ever encountered someone who seemingly makes a nonsense of all we claim to have achieved, I mean he promises to offer something far better than what oour widest imagination considered possible.
For example, have you ever prayed sweating and believing that you have c0vered all grounds possible? Or you prayed and imagined what else could you have prayed about or mention? Better still, you just finished praying and thought in your mind that how best could you have phrased your sentences and sequentially relay your prayer points? In all these our achievements, Romans 8: 26, states that “… for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: …” or as we should.
It amazes me that the best of our articulation, words composition, mind thinking, and grammatical constructions can not be compared to what we are offered in Romans 8: 26. This verse did not say what we mention when we pray is nonsense or bad, but it says the best of what we say can not be compared with what the help of the Holy Spirit can do. In a simple way, it says the best of how we pray are still not how we ought, or should. Paul further stressed that this is a weakness on our part or an infirmity, so he concluded by saying that the Holy Spirit stretches forth his helping hand to save us from such a predicament.
“But the Spirit it self maketh request for us with sighs, which cannot be expressed”or with groaning which can not be uttered connotes how the spirit helps our weaknesses in prayers. It is still a form of prayer but obviously different from what we may be used to or what we feel are best ways of communicating with the father. When we pray in the right way especially as proposed in Romans 8: 26, we certainly can not determine the extent of the impact such can have alongside the far reaching width and length of coverage we surely can achieve. For example, you might have been scheduled for a job interview or a business contract awarding interview and in your widest imagination prayers offered were for favour, outspokenness, etc. ; but suddenly a day before the appointment date some natural disasters like hurricanes, and storms erupts or a fire disaster and displaces the company. All these you might not have thought of to mention while praying but what is proposed by Paul in Romans 8: 26 will certainly take care of that.
We would establish in the subsequent edition of this message what it means for the Holy Spirit to help us with sighs which can not be uttered, and how he does this.
– adeyiga awomuti
Empowered to yield results…
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever; … But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14: 16 & 26). “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1: 7). All these verses of the holy bible gives some form of insight into what the spirit that abides within a spiritual worshiper does.
He is the spirit from the God head, dwelling within the Christian till eternity. He can not be scared away like the dove either by sin or the devil, because Jesus said he will abide with us forever (John 14: 16). The Holy Spirit comforts, gives insight into obscure things, reveals things to come, gives boldness, etc. Since he is the spirit of truth, he broadens the revelation of God in our heart. He stands in place of our weaknesses and proves himself so strong when the best of our fathomable expressions have been heightened and reached its peak. In essence, when a man accepts the truth (i.e. Jesus Christ as the full revelation of God) he also automatically receives the Spirit of God to dwell with him permanently and this mean you are well positioned to approach God without any hindrance.
Apostle Paul gave an insight into an unmatched work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer with respect to prayers. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what to pray as we ought: but the Spirit it self maketh request for us with sighs, which cannot be expressed. But he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the meaning of the Spirit: for he maketh request for ye Saints, according to the will of God” (Romans 8: 26-27 Geneva edited).
Beloved, have you ever desired to know and pray according to the will of God? Then you are on the right path, but don’t forget that it is not just the desire to know but you must actually find it out, establish the truth and stay with it by practically living it day by day. The mission of the Holy Spirit in our lives can not be overemphasized. We have been empowered by the Spirit of God to have result oriented prayers whenever we pray. I encourage us to utilize this God given gift residing in us.
Getting set to obtain results in prayer
“God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth”. This was Jesus response to the Samaritan woman He met at the well in John 4: 24. By the word “spirit” Jesus meant the nature of the Godhead, and not the third person in the Trinity. This declaration is fundamental. Since he is Spirit, he must receive spiritual worship.
In the world history, it has never been recorded that light produces darkness. Whenever light shines, it disperses darkness, even if such light is produced by a very small candle, it will still shine as light and not darkness. Since God is spirit, and it is required of those that will worship Him to do so in the spirit, that means in the first instance, they must possess the same nature that can produce such spiritual worship. No other nature apart from the spiritual can produce “spiritual worship”, for he is an infinite Spirit! This God can be pleased only with that which resembles him.
In resembling God, I must possess what makes Him who He is, which is eternal life (Greek word- Zoe). This is a truthful revelation John never overlooked – I John 4:17“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” Anyone who possesses God’s life has His nature and therefore is entitled to offering a spiritual worship to Him.
Worship or prayer that will get to the heart of the father must surely be void of canal or physical ideologies. God is a Spirit. As a spirit, he dwells not in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48), neither is he worshipped with men’s hands as though he needed anything, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things, (Acts 17:25). A pure, holy, and spiritual worship, therefore, is such as he seeks – the offering of the soul rather than the formal offering of the body – the homage of the heart rather than that of the lips. Our obligation and what is expected of us goes far beyond what earthly musical instruments can play but that which the musical instruments of our heart can make in melody to God. This is from a rightful heart unto a rightful throne; this is spiritual worship.
As many as are partakers of God’s life have been made to drink of the spirit with God. 1Co 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we beJews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” This is the Holy Spirit given to us as a seal of being redeemed from the claws of sin (Ephesians 1: 13). Before a man is saved on earth, he used to have a spirit that is dead unto God, but at the point of salvation that same spirit receives the life of God and is instantaneously made alive unto God. And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins… (Ephesians 2: 1).
Before the next edition of this message, I want us to ponder on this; could it be that the Holy Spirit was given so that I can just go round town and keep saying it, or are there some wonderful things I stand to benefit from this?
– adeyiga awomuti
The only truth needed when praying
One very important thing that characterized the worship of God many years ago was a regular visit to the Mountains and Jerusalem, where people congregationally lifted up their voices. The activities embarked upon ranged from praises, supplications, intercessions and requests. In John 4: 19-20 the Samaritan woman thought that the status quo of worship was still relevant, so she proudly and confidently made known her stand to Jesus. “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship”. But Jesus answered and said to her “God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (vs. 24).
A fundamental truth and pathway to the father’s heart is being revealed in this statement by Jesus. Relating with God requires TRUTHFUL and SPIRITUAL intensions. Any other thing outside this can not help in drawing God’s attention. You may be on the roof top, highest mountain, in the deepest hole or in the auditorium of the most beautifully built church, once your devotion or prayer to God is not done truthfully and spiritually you can not be heard by God.
To worship in truth simply means to worship in sincerity and verity of heart; and sincerity of heart stems from a wealth and depth of knowledge concerning who God is. This is referred to as truthful worship. This simply means a sincere worship from an open heart, not concealing anything. Better still, it is a pouring out of one’s heart in totality and submissiveness. I make bold to say again that this can only be done with an understanding of who God is. In John 14: 6, Jesus says He is the way, the truth and life. He actually meant He is the revelation and effulgence of God, the glory of God without concealing anything at all. I am the way to the father means I am the path, i.e. the way to reaching, understanding and relating with God.
In acknowledging and accepting Jesus as the truth, we are actually accepting God, and also accepting the true revelation of who God is as it is evident in Christ. This same fact is reiterated in II Corinthians 4: 6 “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”.
The father is desirous of such people that walk and dwells in this depth of knowledge as manifested in Jesus and revealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Such in-depth understanding of God stirs the right prayers in the right direction and all these you will find revealed in bible. Beloved I welcome you to the revelation of God’s will for you when you worship or pray, as we study together in the subsequent edition of this message that is titled “Getting set to obtain results in prayer”.
– adeyiga awomuti