Prayer Language in the Bible Explained

The prayer language is a personal and powerful gift from the Holy Spirit and should be used continuously.

We’ve always read about spiritual gifts like prayer language but have not understood what they are and how they work. These gifts are biblical, yet not all Christians fully grasp the importance of having these gifts in our faith and spiritual journey. One of the gifts we’ll explore is a Christian prayer language. We’ll look into how we can receive our prayer language and the significance of this gift. But first, let’s begin with the definition of a Christian prayer language.

What is a Prayer Language for Christians?

A prayer language is when the Holy Spirit prompts us, and we pray in a tongue unknown to us. It is a gift God gave His people to allow them to speak directly to the Father (1 Corinthians 14:2). It is a personal prayer between you and God, and in doing so, we edify ourselves. 

Prayer Language

Is Prayer Language and Speaking in Tongues the same?

Origin of Speaking in Tongues

We first read of speaking in tongues in Acts 2:3-4.

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

This happened after Jesus ascended into heaven. A gust of wind which was the Holy Spirit came to the disciples as they gathered, and after, they began to speak in tongues. When the disciples went to Jerusalem, they could speak in other languages so that people worldwide could understand them. The disciples didn’t know what they were saying, but they knew that the Holy Spirit was speaking through them. 

Origin of Praying in Tongues

Praying in tongues is different from speaking in tongues, but it is still considered a gift from the Holy Spirit, which allows us to talk to only God. We can read all about praying in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:1-25. Paul tells us that when we pray and don’t understand what we are saying, we pray in tongues. Though we do not understand the language, God can, and it is a personal form of communication between you and the Father.

According to Romans 8:26, praying in tongues is a way for us to let the Holy Spirit speak and pray in our stead. 

“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 through wordless groans.”

Praying in tongues is mainly done in private since it is personal communication with God, though others pray in tongues with other people. From what we can gather from the verses above, praying in tongues will sound bizarre to the people who hear us because it is in a language we don’t understand. And praying in tongues is also when the Holy Spirit intercedes us when we don’t know what and how to pray.

What does the Bible say about Prayer Language?

1 Corinthians 14:2

“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.”

Here we are given information on what prayer language is, a language that allows us to speak directly to God. When we allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us, though we do not understand the words, we know God hears and understands us.

1 Corinthians 14:14-16

“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 understanding; I will sing with my spirit and understanding. Otherwise, when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving since they do not know what you are saying?”

When we use our prayer language, we let our hearts and the Holy Spirit speak for us rather than our minds. Our minds our easily distracted but praying through the Spirit allows us to delve deeper into God’s presence and cherish the moment of peace with Him.

Romans 8:26-27

“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 through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people by the will of God.”

It’s okay not to know what to pray for because we can ask for help from the Holy Spirit and let the burdens of our hearts do the talking. Not learning what to pray for isn’t a weakness but an opportunity for us to be used by the Holy Spirit to speak to God directly.

Ephesians 6:18-20

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and pray for all the Lord’s people. Pray also that whenever I speak, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Our prayer language isn’t only for our benefit and those who need it. Use this gift to pray for the people around us that are suffering yet have no idea what to do next.

Acts 10:46-47

“For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

Here we see that to receive our prayer language, the Holy Spirit must baptize us. We also see here that everyone can have a prayer language, and it isn’t a measure of how strong our faith or trust in God is.

Benefits of a Prayer Language

Prayer Language

Our prayer language strengthens us personally.

A prayer language is a sign that the Holy Spirit has baptized you. That itself gives us confidence in our faith and strengthens it even more. According to 1 Corinthians 14:4, when we pray in tongues, our spirit speaks, not our minds. In doing so, we build ourselves up in faith and remain in the presence and love of God.

When we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit will lead us in prayer.

Do you ever feel the urge to pray, but the words just aren’t coming out? Or you don’t know what to pray for, but your heart feels the need to go into prayer? Once you receive your prayer language, the Holy Spirit guides and speaks through us in worship (John 16:12-14). Though you won’t understand what you’re saying, the Holy Spirit will lead you to pray according to God’s will.

Praying in the Spirit shapes and strengthens our faith.

A prayer language is a secret language between you and God alone; it says so in 1 Corinthians 14:2. No one will ever understand this language because it’s your spirit that directly communicates with God. Such a personal gift will help build up and strengthen our faith in God. It gives us a newfound appreciation whenever we share with Him.

Our prayer language is a spiritual weapon.

Because our prayer language comes from the spirit and not our minds, we can pray rightly and accurately to God without being distracted. Having a prayer language renews our minds and prevents the enemy from distracting us with foreign thoughts whenever we communicate with God. It is considered a spiritual weapon because though the enemy may plant doubt and temptation in our minds during prayer, we push through still and allow our spirit to continue talking to God.

How to Receive Our Prayer Language

We receive our prayer language when we ask and have been baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:46-47). Usually, when this happens, you immediately receive and can speak in tongues. Using our prayer language and speaking in tongues just flows right out of us and doesn’t require overthinking. Once the Holy Spirit prompts you in prayer, it flows out endlessly.

Church Views on Prayer language

Pentecostal’s View

After a person is saved and has repented their sins, the Pentecostal church believes that the Holy Spirit lives in that person from that moment forward. Though the Holy Spirit dwells in them, they don’t have a prayer language yet. They would have to be baptized by the Holy Spirit first. Pentecostals strongly believe that having a prayer language is a spiritual gift and is wholly welcomed by the church.

Baptist’s View

Most Baptists do not believe in a prayer language. Southern Baptists believe that having the gift of prayer language and speaking in tongues has ceased. Some who believe in having a prayer language presume that not all Christians can have this gift. This topic mainly varies from pastor to pastor, and the difference in beliefs depends on which church you’re a member of. 

Charismatic’s View

The Charismatic’s view on prayer language is a little similar to the Pentecostal’s. They presume that the Holy Spirit already baptizes you after you receive salvation. However, they do not believe that everyone baptized by the Holy Spirit will have a prayer language. Charismatics do see these gifts as an essential part of worship and can be beneficial during personal prayer.

Prayer Language

In Summary

God presents us with tools and gifts of the spirit to help us build a strong relationship with Him; one of those gifts is prayer language. Having such a personal and powerful gift should be used regularly. Doing so strengthens not only our faith and relationship with God but also enhances our offering. 

Remember that God encourages us to ask for the things we need because it builds our trust in Him. Don’t be discouraged if you do not have a prayer language; not having one doesn’t mean your faith is weak. It also doesn’t mean God listens to those who have it more. God listens to us all equally. He has given us all gifts; maybe we just haven’t asked and found them. 

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Alex Shute
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.

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