Q. From reading your articles and answers, you seem to indicate that the prayer language is not the same as the gift of tongues, and that it should not be spoken in a public place. Does the Bible says that it exists, and if so, is there a case for using it in private (e.g. is it meant to edify oneself as mentioned in 1 Cor 14:4)? My church teaches that this prayer language is for everyone, although it is not required evidence for being Spirit-filled. I have been prayed for many times to receive it but it has not manifested, even though I have tried to be “co-operative” with the Holy Spirit.
A. In my experience, relatively few people have the gift of tongues as it’s described in the Bible. The gift of tongues is the supernatural ability to speak in a language one has not learned, but which can be understood and translated either by a person with the gift of interpretation or by someone familiar with the language being spoken. In his teaching on the gift of tongues Paul made it clear that it’s meant to be translated and its message is meant to be understood (1 Cor. 14:27-28). Otherwise it doesn’t benefit anyone.
Most people who claim to have the gift of tongues are really manifesting something called a prayer language, which cannot be understood by humans, and for which there is no clear Biblical support.