Build Yourself Up!
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
I’m sure by now you know that we have all been commanded to pray. The Bible tells us that we are to pray without ceasing. Rather than being a burden, this instruction is really a privilege. God wants to be involved in the smallest details of our lives. He’s interested in you and me personally! When we pray continually, whether it’s on our knees or as part of making daily decisions, we honor God by including Him in the process. This is one of the secrets to keeping Him as the Lord of our lives.
In praying like this, we might find ourselves in a place where we don’t know what to pray. Maybe we’ve prayed about everything we could possibly think of to pray. Perhaps we don’t know enough about a situation in order to pray with accuracy or authority. That is why the Lord has given those of us who’ve been baptized in the Holy Ghost a prayer language called tongues.
Tongues are the first indication that we’ve been baptized by the Holy Spirit, and praying in the Spirit is the evidence of a Spirit-filled life. We should pray in English, if that’s our native language, but we should also pray in the Spirit, which is praying in tongues. Praying in tongues will benefit our Christian walks in three ways.
First, when we pray in tongues we process the plan of God for our lives. God has given us more authority over our own lives than anyone else and the things that we pray will come to pass. When we pray in tongues, we are allowing God to pray His perfect plan for our lives through us. If there is anything that we want to come to pass, it’s the perfect will of God for our lives. Praying in tongues is praying from God’s perspective. It processes the future so it’s ready for us when we arrive.
Secondly, there are times when we don’t know how to pray. This could be because what we are praying about is in the future or because there are things hidden from us due to our proximity or knowledge. Praying in the Spirit allows us to pray out mysteries. As we pray in tongues, we activate our inner man and revelation from heaven will be given to our spirits. Sometimes these insights rise to our understanding and sometimes they don’t. Either way, this process allows us to effectively pray through things we don’t comprehend.
Thirdly, as we pray in tongues, we fine-tune our spirits. Since praying in tongues is an exercise of the heavenly language, it serves to dial in our spiritual ears to the frequency of God. Things that God has been trying to communicate to us suddenly become clear. Why? Because we have adjusted our spiritual antennas to the frequency of God by praying in tongues.
So what should we do? We should pray with our understanding in our known language. We should pray scripture and ask for wisdom. We should also pray in the Spirit by praying in tongues, thereby building ourselves up in our most holy faith!
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
1 Corinthians 14:14-15
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.