Speaking in Tongues: Necessity or Ceremony

I grew up in church and so I knew there was this strange language that some Christians spoke around me during prayer times but that was all I knew. I finally mustered up the courage to ask someone why they were praying that way and she replied, “I am praying in tongues”. TONGUES? What’s it about?

What is Tongues?

If you’re asking this question then you’re at the right place because this post is dedicated to telling you all you need to know about tongues. Come along! But first, let’s see what tongues are.

Tongues is a language of the Spirit addressed to God. Tongues is communication with God through the Holy Spirit.

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries in the spirit.” (1Corinthians 14:1-2)

The Greek word for tongues used in these passages of the Bible is “glossa” which means a language specifically one naturally unacquired. That means it’s not something you learn. It’s not Yoruba or Igbo or other naturally acquired languages.

• Tongues are void of intellectual understanding.

• Tongues is a divine language used in communicating divine mysteries to God.

• Tongues is a sign, a direct confirmation that Christ died, rose again and is now seated at the right hand of the Father glorified. Nobody before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus ever spoke in tongues.

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
(John 7:37-39)

The first to do so were the disciples in Acts 2. Now the disciples had gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost after the death, burial and resurrection and the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began speaking with tongues. Some people who were not present in the room but overheard them thought they were drunk. Peter decided to address them and you’d be amazed at what he said!

“Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning. Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about: ‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message. “Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you. In accordance with his own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him. But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold him prisoner. God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are all witnesses to this fact. He has been raised to the right side of God, his Father, and has received from him the Holy Spirit, as he had promised. What you now see and hear is his gift that he has poured out on us.”
(Acts 2:15-18, 32-33)

• Tongues is also a confirmation and a mark that someone is saved and can be identified as a believer.

“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:17-18)

It is an evidence of the indwelling of the spirit in a believer. Nobody unsaved can speak with tongues. This is because no other gift is a direct confirmation to the death and resurrection of Christ. Every other one was manifested before then.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. (Acts 10:44-46)

All that heard the gospel spoke with tongues!

So now that you know what tongues are about, who should and can speak in tongues? You may ask. I dare say that every believer can and should.

As seen in Mark 16:17-18, it is for ALL THAT BELIEVE.

Every believer can speak in tongues because it is an evidence of the indwelling of the spirit on your inside which you have received from the moment you believed.

Ephesians 1:13– And you also became God’s people when you heard the true message, the Good News that brought you salvation. You believed in Christ, and God put his stamp of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised.


As I grew up spiritually, I realized that there exists some people who are Christians but do not speak with tongues because they do not see or know its importance. Perhaps you are wondering, “Why must I speak with tongues?” Well, I only have one question in return WHY NOT?

No provision God made available in Christ is unimportant or unprofitable. Every provision in Christ is of tremendous benefits to every single believer and in this case we look at some of the numerous profits of tongues to and for the believer.

Tongues is a great aid to spiritual growth. There are some steps in the growth process of every believer that the study of the word alone cannot fill and vice versa. And the truth is if you are a real and serious student of the word, you will understand the importance of tongues for the believer. When as believers we pray in tongues, we edify and build up ourselves.

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.” (1Corinthians 14:4)

The Greek word for edify “oikodomeo” and it means to build a house, erect a building from scratch, to restore by building, to repair. So the believer that prays in tongues is a builder, one that is responsible for their growth spiritually and actively works at it.

“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 1:20)

There won’t be any remarkable growth without it. So you want to grow spiritually? Pray more in tongues.

The more conscious we are of the Holy Spirit on our inside, the easier it is to function in the things of the spirit.
It is also important to know that a believer can’t grow in the things of the spirit without tongues.

“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.” (1Corinthians 14:15-17)

Basically as the Scriptures say when you give thanks in the spirit, you do it excellently well.

Tongues is God’s system/way of ensuring that there is power in your life all the time and so when we pray in tongues, we stir up the power on the inside of us.

Tongues make you bold. A man of prayer is always bold. There are so many examples in the Bible but for this course let’s look at Peter. Peter was the kind of man we was mostly what we would call terrified today, he couldn’t even stand up for himself before a young child that could do nothing to him when he was accused of knowing and moving with Jesus. But we see the same Peter in Acts 2 after he had been filled with the spirit with the evidence of speaking with tongues, stood up to address up to 3,000 people about the same person, Jesus. What a change! (Acts 2:14-41)

Dear extraordinary believer, you can pray with precision by the spirit. Take advantage of this!

However, it’s important for you to know that the fact that you haven’t spoken in tongues doesn’t mean you can’t, neither does it mean it’s not for you!

Dear believer, you can and should speak with tongues.


    Chisom March 10, 2020 Reply

    Ayeee…no Provision in Christ is unimportant! I walk in the fullness of All.💃
    Thank you for this awesome Piece.

    Chisom Reply

    No provision in Christ is unimportant or unprofitable!. Thank you so much for this awesome Piece💃

      Lemuel Chuks-Emmanuel Reply

      yesss! you are very welcome dear

    Emmanuel Reply

    Thanks so much for this! I was actually struggling with my standing with God recently; I wasn’t sure where I stood with him. when I read this, I tried to say a few words in the spirit- and they just flowed out! he who is unsaved cannot speak in the spirit; therefore, I AM SAVED!!! No more confusion for me, THANK YOU JESUS!

      Lemuel Chuks-Emmanuel Reply

      hallelujah! so good to hear that. keep speaking in tongues Emmanuel!

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