Purpose of this Session
Many believers struggle with their ability to focus when praying in tongues. It is easy to lose focus, have your mind wander and not effectively engage. Here are some ways to prevent that.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17).
This is why it has been important for us to look carefully at what the scriptures say about tongues. Part of the problem people have in this realm is that they wander off in their mind when praying in tongues. This is often because they have never studied what the Bible says about tongues, and therefore have no basis for faith and direction when the gift is exercised. Once we have an understanding, and have revelation about the important benefits of tongues we will begin to recognise and flow in faith with the Holy Spirit as He moves in diverse manifestations through prayer.
Become familiar with the different flows and set your mind in agreement. If you are in a warfare flow know that you engaging powers of darkness. Release your faith that you are pulling up, tearing down and establishing the will of God through your utterance in tongues. Sometimes the Holy Spirit may bring to your mind a picture, or a Scripture. These also give something for your mind to concentrate on as your release your faith.
Lynne Hammond touches upon this in ‘The Master is Calling’:
“Speaking in tongues is a vocal miracle. So, no matter how often we do it, we must never cease to reverence it.
We must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit by flippantly turning our mouth on automatic pilot, chattering away in tongues while our minds wander off to the baseball field or the shopping mall. Such a heartless manifestation of tongues is not only unprofitable for us, it is rude…
…(many) have the mistaken idea that because our minds don’t understand the words we are saying, it makes no difference what we do with them. Nothing could be further from the truth. For tongues to be the genuine form of communication God designed it to be, we must have our hearts and minds hooked up to Him. Mentally we may not be able to grasp exactly what we are saying but we can maintain an attitude of reverence and appreciation for God, turning our attention toward Him as we speak.
Making that one adjustment alone will change the way many of us now use tongues. For if we must employ our whole selves – heart, mind and mouth – in the effort, we won’t be so apt to resort to tongues simply because we’re too lazy to put together a prayer with our understanding.”
“How can you release your faith if you don’t know what your saying? It’s easy. You just believe that as you speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit is accomplishing your intended purpose. For example, if you are worshipping, you believe you are giving thanks well just like the Bible says. By faith, you expect God to inhabit your praises and manifest His presence to you.”
‘The Master is calling’, Lynne Hammond, ISBN 1-57399-006-X, Published by Mac Hammond Ministries, pp145-147
Concentrate and listen to your spirit
Acts 2:4 in the Amplified says:
“And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words].” (Acts 2:4 AMP)
Furthermore Paul describes how each expression has meaning and purpose:
“There are, I suppose, all these many [to us unknown] tongues in the world [somewhere], and none is destitute of [its own power of] expression and meaning.” (1Cor 14:10 AMP)
Although we may not understand exactly what we are saying, a simple key to concentrate the mind and release the force of faith when we pray in tongues is to make sure we speak with clear, loud expression, enough to be able to hear ourselves. Articulate your expression, don’t dribble your tongues, but learn to speak from your spirit fluently and eloquently. Listen to the words as they flow from your spirit. Engage your whole man in the exercise, not just your mouth. As you do this you will find that you begin to form and flow in new and fresh expressions. Your fluency will increase, and with it the sense of power flowing from your inner man.
Set your sails
At times you can simply engage the Holy Spirit and set your course in tongues, believing that as you do so the desired expression will be released. For example, you might say to the Holy Spirit, “Right now I want to speak forth the counsel of God into this situation, so I am going to speak in tongues, believing that You will give me clear and loud expressions which will do just that.” Then speak forth in faith, yielding to the flow of the Holy Spirit from your inner man.
Interpret your tongues
Another powerful way to focus the mind is to interpret our tongues. The Bible speak of this in a number of places and Paul encourages His readers to believe God for this supernatural manifestation:
“Therefore, the person who speaks in an [unknown] tongue should pray [for the power] to interpret and explain what he says.”
(1 Cor 14:13 AMP)
Tongues alone can leave the mind ‘unfruitful’, but together with interpretation edifies both soul and spirit:
“For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody]. Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.” (1 Cor 14:14-15 AMP)
The same well from which the supernatural utterance in tongues proceeds is also the source of the supernatural utterance in interpretation. Faith can be engaged for interpretation as simply as for the initial tongue. Sometimes we become so familiar with expression in tongues that we forget that it is impossible to speak fluently in a language we have never learned! It is no less supernatural than an interpretation in our known language, yet sometimes our mind chokes on the idea of interpretation. Paul did not think this way, he simply says, “Hey, when you speak in tongues you don’t understand what you are saying, ask God to give you the interpretation. Speak in tongues and then speak the same thing with your understanding. That way you receive edification for the whole man.”
Interpretation may come in different ways also. We may see a picture on the canvas of our imagination, we may just get a very real sense of what we are praying for. Sometimes certain things will just be revealed to your spirit. Interpretation may also come later, as you are going about your daily business. Maybe you were praying in tongues for direction and counsel, and the following day or week you receive a revelation in your spirit giving you the answer. You may pray in tongues one day and pray forth the English interpretation the following day during prayer. Sometimes interpreting your tongues is not the problem, it is simply recognising the interpretation when it comes!