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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jun 4, 2006.
What is a private prayer language, and what are the Scriptural arguments for it?Joseph Botwinick
Prayer can take many forms.
The formal prayer: "Dear Father...
The informal: "God are you there?"
Mental or silent: " .... " :laugh:
Petitionary: "In my need, Lord, I ask...."
It needs to be done in a sincere, humble, and god-fearing way.
If I mumble a slather of unmeaning syllables with no particular meaning, how will I know when God answers??? ....or maybe His not answering means He's spending as much time answering as I did forming my words. :sleeping_2:
Still there have been times when I have been so grieved in spirit, that groanings and tears were all I had to offer Him.
And I was assurred that He heard me and comforted me in my great need.
Joseph, I have not experienced a private prayer language. I have however talked to people who claimed they have. They say it is something very special between them and the Lord. Verses that often come up in the converstation are:
1Corinthians 14:2,4 "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...He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself..."
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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."
Even though I have not experienced what I would call a "private prayer language", I have experienced moments of communication with the Lord where it just seems the Lord opens the floodgates of heaven and leads you in that personal time.
Again, I do not understand it all, but just a few thoughts.
This is the only verse I have heard as supporting a "private prayer language"
Romans 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.
edit *posted same time as pastorsbc
Paul had a private prayer language, see ICor. 14:18,19. " I thank God that I speak in tougues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue."
If Paul spoke in tongues more than them all and spoke very little in tongues in church, then it must have been in his private prayers, i.e. private prayer language.
Not necessarily. Paul could have been more evangelical with those who spoke foreign tongues, more than those he was addressing.
This is the position I've always taken on this verse -- just as the tongues at Pentecost were most likely known languages.
I have not spoken in a private prayer language and none of my friends have mentioned it, but it hasn't been a topic of conversation either. I will say that there have been times of distress that instead of praying words, I ached for the Lord (and relief and peace and any number of other things) with every ounce of my being, but I don't really think that falls into this category.
Paul knew several languags that were understood by man on this earth. These were not so called "tongues of heaven or angels" as when Paul spoke of this he was being sarcastic. It is an assumption to make this say that Paul had a prayer language. Any time Paul is speaking of tongues he is refering to known languages of men on earth.
Also if you will look at 1 Corinthians 14:22 paul tells us what the gift of tongues were for.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:
Tongues were a sign gift. They were a sign to "unbelievers only". Which has ceased.
Quite a jump of logic there.
"Prayer language" is not supported by the scriptures. Those who attempt to use the scriptures to back up their personal opinion have to use loose interpretations to do so.
But, then, public babbling in the "name of the Lord" isn't supported, either. The speaking of languages than were not previously known to the speaker in order to further spread the gospel IS supported, however.
Can you show us where it says they have ceased?
Also in 1 Cor 14:27-28 the subject is the order of speaking in tongues and Paul says if there is no interpreter, keep silence in the church and let him speak to himself, and to God. So if, as you say, tongues are to unbelievers only, where's the sign to unbelivers in that?
A private prayer language.
I have a private prayer language. I have never delivered a message in languages in a church. I have never been interpreted by anybody. Still I have a private prayer language and here is an incident in which it was triggered off. Coming back from a trip to Mexico with my buddy(a man I worked with had gone fishing with me) . when I stopped he decided to call home and check things out as we were still deep in Texas. I was filling the pickup with gas as he stepped out of the phone booth and said, you know my 45-year-old brother, who is retarded, was run over by a truck on the highway yesterday and is in the hospital in critical condition, immediately I felt to my knees and would've fallen completely on my face except I caught myself on the pickup truck bed and begin to experience a terrible pain when suddenly an unexplainablely I begin to speak in a deep voice as if coming from my stomach in unintelligible sounds. My friend rushed to me and said, are you okay are you okay? I was completely unable to answer him in English and this speaking continued for about four minutes.
To a person who has experienced this no words of explanation are necessary to those who have not experienced this I am sure it will appear very ignorant and foolish.
I didnt say they were to unbelievers only Paul did. v.22
1Cor 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
Okay, so Paul wrote that they are a sign to unbelievers, but where did he write that were given only for a sign? Obviously from verse 28 the tongues were not heard by unbelievers and so where is this sign?
1Cor 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
By the way, I am not here to say I have all the answers. I am here as much to learn as to share. Let us reason together.
Here's my question for those who believe there is no "prayer language": I know many sincere Christians who have (or think they have) this, and practice it daily. Most say it's edifying, some say it isn't. But regardless, when this "babbling" language comes out of their mouths, if it isn't the Holy Spirit, then what do you believe it is?
I'm not arguing either way - I am truly searching for the truth about this.
You answered your own question.:thumbs:
I have never prayed in a "private language". I have prayed with "groanings that cannot be heard", from the depths of my heart, when words would not suffice - just being in the presence of the Lord, and Him knowing my heart anyway.
That is conjecture.
Paul mentions here unbelievers who may enter the church.
This verse is not an indication of a prayer language as some believe. It simply means to "keep it to your self".
The tongues used at pentecost (known languages of men) were an endowment from the Holy Spirit to let those listening know that God was moving and sanctioned the message.
The tongues in 1 Cor 14 are not the same thing. This was simply men (who were multi-lingual) who were trying to speak in a language not known to all in the church. Greek however was known by most. Paul places rules on this action which is a huge indication that this act of tongues was not an endowment of the Holy Ghost as was the case at pentecost. Paul would have no business telling the Holy Ghost how to handle his business.
In just about 99.9999999% of the cases I have encountered of people who insist they do have a prayer language---this one solitary verse(v.22) is taken totally out of context and is purposefully misinterpreted.
Many I have encountered---insist that tongues are "signs" to be sought after---after I tell them what Scripture says about "signs"---they generally won't have anything else to do with me---Scripture says that a "wicked and perverse generation seeketh after a sign"
That is my understanding of this as well.