'I PRAY IN TONGUES...'

There are times when Paul likes to make his boasts in the Lord. Remember this same Apostle was the one that wrote that we are the generation that 'has no confidence in the flesh'. In Romans 9:16 he revealed how utterly helpless we are without the help of God. He pointed out succinctly, "It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth but God that showeth mercy". This same Apostle revealed in Acts 26:22 how through 'the help of God' he was able to continue in the ministry that was given to him!

I say this so that you can know that Paul's spiritual boastings are not to glory in the flesh but sometimes to reveal in the same scripture how grace and God's commitment answers to our spiritual responsibilities.

In 1 Corinthians 15:9-10, Paul 'boasted' about how he moved from being the least of the Apostle to a leading Apostle. But he was quick to point out that it was all by the grace of God and yet in the same statement he made us realize that this grace answers to spiritual responsibility as he himself labored more than them all! And yet this humble Apostle went further to let us know that there is grace for spiritual labor. The fact that he could labor more than the other was also down to grace! Now that's what a spiritual boasting in the Lord is: it is as humble as it is responsible!

In Romans 8:35-39 another of Paul's boasting in the Lord is recorded here, its one of the scriptures that really made its mark on my young mind as a young believer growing up in the Lord. This spiritual boasting has inspired many believers during diverse situations and circumstances to stay strong in the lord! Many faced with the death threat of renouncing their faith in the Lord have had to quote this scripture aloud and stand by their faith,  'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?'. And like Paul went on to reply,  'Nay in all these things we are more than a conqueror through him that loves us, for I am persuaded that neither death nor life....can separate us from the love that is in Christ'. Hallelujah!!!

In this scripture, Paul highlights his total commitment to the cause of Christ and also how through Jesus Christ we have been made more than conquerors! Here again, we see a show of Paul's commitment and spiritual responsibility and at the same time the riches of Christ grace that is made available to us! Paul said, "I am resolved to follow the Love of God through all circumstances because through Jesus Christ I have been given the victory".

But there was another kind of audacious claim and boasting that Paul made that we can put in the same breath with these other declarations. And Paul was very unequivocal about this declaration in 1 Corinthians 14. It was about his prayer life and in the real and literal sense of spiritual boasting you can put this next statement from Paul in that category, for in this scripture Paul claimed some spiritual standing with God that he said none of his followers can boast of, though in his usual manner he still gave thanks to God for that ability! We read in 1 Corinthians 14:14-18

'For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 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? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all' (1 Corinthians 14:14-18).

Here Paul declared and showed us insight into his prayer life, he showed us first how he prayed: it was always praying or singing or giving thanks in the spirit first and thereafter in his understanding. He pointed out here in the scripture, "I will pray in the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also". Then he talks about singing with the spirit and thereafter singing with his understanding, furthermore he pointed out that when it comes to giving thanks it is best done in tongues! And then finally he sums it up with one powerful statement: "when it comes to praying in tongues generally, I pray in tongues more than ye all".

This was no empty boast because if you read from 1 Corinthians 14 from the very first verse Paul begins to expound to us the benefits of praying in tongues. But for Paul, we would not have understood the power of praying in the Spirit. Earlier in Romans 8:26-27 Paul showed us how the Holy Spirit stands in the intercessory gap for us by praying in tongues and groanings which cannot be uttered! Much of what we know about praying in the spirit/in tongues today was all down to Paul's revelation! It is therefore not surprising if Paul makes that claim, 'I speak with tongues more than ye all'.

How was Paul able to pray 'always in the Spirit', 'pray without ceasing' despite the fact that he has to make long travels throughout his ministry? How was he able to pray in the prisons, while working as a tentmaker to provide for his own needs? It was by praying in tongues always!

Quickly consider some of Paul's injunctions on prayers which at first look sounds impractical. In Ephesians 6:18 Paul advised us, 'Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints'. Here Paul tells us to pray always in the Spirit. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 he enjoined us to pray without ceasing! Now he didn't just ask us to do what he wasn't doing himself for in many scriptures that we have considered during this study Paul talked about how he 'pray without ceasing' or pray 'night and day' for the saints.

How was Paul able to pray 'always in the Spirit', 'pray without ceasing' despite the fact that he has to make long travels throughout his ministry? How was he able to pray in the prisons, while working as a tentmaker to provide for his own needs? It was by praying in tongues always!

You can pray in tongues while driving, reading, waiting on a queue, taking a work, typing on your computer, practically while doing any other thing that does not involve the use of your mouth for each time you pray in the spirit, your mind is not the one praying but your spirit! This is why we can pray in tongues while involved in other activities. Now i see a picture of Paul while walking on his next tent project walking around in his worship with His tools, setting out his work, but yet praying in the Holy Ghost! Hallelujah!

Now all of us can emulate Paul and pray like Paul. Indeed Robert Lairdon said he has declared a holy competition with Paul and has vowed he would pray in tongues more than Paul! How will we know the winner? When we get to heaven! But before then let's get in on the act and pray in the Holy Ghost! Let's join in this Holy competition of praying in tongues more than Paul!

Still looking for more reasons to pray in the Holy Ghost? You can download my free e-book, KEYS TO POWER, 30 days devotional with the Holy Spirit. In the book, I listed about 100 reasons why you should pray in the Holy Spirit. You can download anywhere on this site or click here http://www.powertalk.com.ng/keys-to-power-devotional/

Paul through his declaration unveiled to us what works in his prayer life and what made him have unrestricted access to God(1 Corinthians 14:1-3), it was by praying in tongues! And i believe this is one spiritual benefit that we all can have if we do what Paul did. You can start even now as you begin to pray in the spirit! Amen.

 

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