The Holy Spirit has given us a powerful prayer language that we can use as a weapon against the wiles of the enemy. By Mary Alice Isleib
Are you using all the weapons in your spiritual arsenal? Many are adept at wielding the sword of the Spirit and pleading the blood of Jesus against principalities and powers. Others do spiritual warfare through walking in obedience and love. Still others dispatch ministering angels, worship or prophesy against the enemy, declaring his ultimate doom.
But Scripture teaches of another weapon that Spirit-filled believers can include in our artillery as we press in to do damage to enemy forces in the hostile clash between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light: praying in tongues.
Seeing prayer as a part of God’s war arsenal can be difficult for some believers to grasp. Tradition teaches us that our prayers only touch God and that in order to be holy we should be quiet and still. However, the Bible declares that effective fervent prayer releases God’s power (James 5:16). When we pray, we are permitted by Scripture to be fervent (passionate, bold, expressive, free, demonstrative, intense, and the like). When we pray along these lines, God’s power is then made available to work in three spiritual levels.
First of all, that prayer power works in the highest heaven where God is; it engages all He is and all He has promised. Secondly, that power is released against the demonic strongholds of the principalities and powers in the “second heaven” (the atmosphere from terra firma to the starting place of God’s domain in the third heaven). Finally, the power of God is released in the physical realm to work in and through human beings. The enemy can and indeed does influence individuals. That’s why deliverance ministry and a prayer life set people free and keep them free. We must deal with the enemy and all his tactics.
Perhaps one of the least used forms of prayer in our clash of the kingdoms is praying in the Holy Ghost. While praying in tongues edifies us, it also allows the Holy Spirit to express Himself when we don’t know how to pray as we ought. When it comes to spiritual warfare, despite spiritual discernment, we still see through a glass darkly. We still don’t see everything that is coming against us in the realm of the spirit. Therefore, speaking in tongues is a valuable weapon in our spiritual arsenal.
Notice that the Scripture says the Holy Spirit gave them “clear and loud expression” (Acts 2:4 AMP). In the world of tongues, there are clear expressions, different expressions, and loud expressions. God is a God of personality and variety. He expresses His personality through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will give you clear and loud expressions when you speak in tongues; specific expressions and utterances that are supernatural, that are divine in their origin and purpose, and that have different purposes before God in the spiritual world.
Notice that the Bible says we speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues can be compared to speaking a natural language with all the various tones and sounds of that language. It is not just a form of monotone prayer, but a spiritual language and vocabulary that we use to pray with.
When we begin to speak a language in the natural, many different things open to us: experiences and avenues of expression that were formerly closed take on a whole new meaning. This is so with the supernatural as well. When we begin to speak in tongues, many new things and ideas open to us.
In the language of tongues there will be expression, purpose and communication in what you are speaking in the spirit world. For example, you will find when you get into the spirit realm that you can be before the Lord, but not necessarily speak directly to Him, although that’s a part of it, too.
There is another side, where you can be before Him in the spirit, and speak in tongues by the Holy Spirit as a form of spiritual warfare. You are not speaking to God, and you are not praying against God; you are in the spirit world, before the throne of God. Away from that place, when you use the language of tongues, you can correctly handle prayer requests and needs in a spiritual way with the help of the Holy Spirit working in and through your prayer language.
To be clear, you are not speaking directly to the devil in tongues. People sometimes ask, “Does the devil understand tongues?” I don’t think the devil understands tongues. The thing he does understand when we speak in tongues is the Holy Spirit and His power behind the tongues. The source of the tongues is the Holy Spirit, whether we’re speaking directly to God or we’re speaking out into the spirit realm, dealing with an enemy.
Whenever you deal with a supernatural enemy, God has supernatural weapons to overpower that enemy. Tongues is one of those weapons. The force behind the tongues is the Spirit of God, and He is a weapon! Jesus Himself said that He cast out devils by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28). You have the same Holy Spirit within you.
As we engage in a spiritual face-to-face conflict we allow God to dominate as He empowers our spiritual weapons and uses them to counter the enemy’s activities. Satan may be legally defeated, but he is still the lord of this world and he is busy at work. God is calling apostolic and prophetic believers to use each and every weapon at our disposal to enforce Kingdom rule on earth. Pray in tongues, stir up the gift and weapons of God within you, and let your most powerful prayer partner help you overcome the opposition.