When we pray in tongues we don’t always know what we are praying. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:14 that, “ if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” Although it is our spirit that is uttering in tongues, it is motivated, covered, enabled and directed by the Holy Spirit (see our other article about this).
Scripture instructs us to pray in the Spirit:
Jude 1:20 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,” (NASB)
Praying in tongues builds faith. One recent translation of this passage puts it this way:
“But you, my delightfully loved friends, constantly and progressively build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith by praying every moment in the Spirit.” (TPT)
Bishop Dr Bill Hamon, in his book, “70 Reasons for Speaking in Tongues - Your Own Built In Spiritual Dynamo” (essential reading for this topic!) writes the following:
“Faith is the currency of heaven as money is the currency of earth… [Praying in the Holy Spirit] charges a believer’s spirit and builds him up in his most holy faith… The more we pray in our spirit language the more we charge our spirit with faith and power. God is able to do all things in us and through us, but how much can be done is according to the amount of faith and power we have within us. The more ways we can find to increase God’s faith and power within us the more powerful and productive we can be in our lives and ministries.
To increase our faith we must know what produces faith, its area of operation and what activates it. The location and operation of faith is in the heart and mouth. The word of faith is in your heart and mouth - with your heart you believe it and with your mouth, you speak it. Therefore, speaking, whether in our native tongue or an unknown tongue, is the determining factor in our victorious living. That’s why the book of Jude tells Christians to build up themselves in the most of holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit with their spirit prayer languages.”
Dr Hamon later goes on to brilliantly describe (in his 27th reason) that, “Our spirit language is the key to God’s storehouse. Speaking in tongues is the car key that starts the engine, and continuing to pray in tongues works like the gas pedal that puts fuel into the engine and determines the power thrust and continuing speed of the car. (Matt. 16:19; Acts 1:8).