Tongues vs. the Gift of Tongues
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God … 1 Corinthians 14:2
If you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and have received your prayer language, what do you do now? Jude 1:20 says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying in tongues. This is your prayer language to speak to God not to men (1 Corinthians 14:2). However, do not just pray in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 says, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” When you pray, pray in the spirit (tongues) and pray with the understanding (your normal speech). 1 Corinthians 14:4a says, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Please note the “himself”. This is to be done in your prayer closet to edify and build you up. Your prayer language does not edify others (1 Corinthians 14:17). The gift of tongues is different though.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 reveals the 9 Gifts of the Spirit. Verse 7 says that the manifestation of these gifts is for the profit of all, not just yourself. 2 of the 9 gifts are tongues and the interpretation of tongues. If someone is moving in the gift of tongues in a gathering of believers, there should be a person that receives and gives the interpretation of the tongue (1 Corinthians 14:28). This is how all profit from the gift of tongues. You may have seen or heard someone praying for a person and speaking in tongues. One might say, there is no interpreter. That is not the gift of tongues. This is that person’s prayer language/tongue. Remember that your prayer language is used to edify yourself. If you are praying for someone and do not know what to pray, you can pray in tongues to edify yourself so you can know what to pray for that person. Your prayer language is for you to be edified and the gift of tongues is for the Body of Christ to be edified.