Praying in the Holy Spirit

Get ready to discover the secrets of praying in the Holy Spirit and witness the extraordinary effect it can have on your faith, your relationship with God, and your ability to tap into God's supernatural guidance and provision.

This ancient practice, often called praying or speaking in tongues, has been a mysterious and misunderstood aspect of prayer for centuries. However, when understood and embraced, it can unlock practical spiritual power and transform your prayer life.

Let's dive into the depths of this prayer topic and experience the transformative power of praying in the Spirit and seeing practical results.

Practical Praying in the Holy Spirit for Powerful Results

By Don Bell | Reading Time: 12 minutes.

Concept Photo for Praying in the Holy SpiritPraying in the Holy Spirit Can Transform Your Life
(Source: ©DarkBird/

Are you longing for a deeper, more intimate connection with God? Do you desire to see your prayers answered and experience breakthroughs in your life? In this article, we will explore the powerful practice of "Praying in the Holy Spirit."

Prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit can be beneficial for edification, intercession, overcoming, revelation, engaging in spiritual warfare, and offering heartfelt praises to God. It helps overcome weaknesses, brings emotional healing, strengthens your faith, and fosters greater intimacy with God.

Paul says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).

We can pray in tongues at will for needs and prayer requests, not just for ourselves but also for others. And, we can always expect results because we are praying in perfect alignment with God's will.

Believing is the key to receiving what you ask for in prayer, and praying in tongues helps build up your faith to believe that God can answer your prayer and overcome any situation.

Identifying Types of Prayers

The Apostle Paul advocates, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints …" (Ephesians 6:18).

Understanding the exact meaning of the words is not possible while praying in an unknown heavenly tongue, as you're speaking mysteries to God. However, with experience, you can often discern the "type of prayer" being conveyed by the Holy Spirit through the tone and intensity of your spoken delivery.

Also, you might find that yourself speaking in a different tongue depending on the type of prayer you're engaged in. Remember, it's the gift of tongues, plural.

You can begin to sense whether you are edifying yourself or interceding for a particular person or circumstance. You will also know when you're engaged in intercession, overcoming, spiritual warfare, or offering praises to God.

For example, if your prayer is focused on edification, you'll sense a growing confidence, and a strengthening in your faith. If your prayer is one of praise and thanksgiving, it's not uncommon to find yourself becoming elated and eventually expressing your praise in your natural language, as your emotions surface.

Occasionally, the Holy Spirit might also reveal the gist (condensed interpretation) of what you're praying in tongues. And, all the while, you'll be building yourself up in the most holy faith. Praying in the Holy Spirit can benefit us in so many ways. God is so good!

Let's consider practical examples of the types of prayer you will engage in when praying in the Holy Spirit.

Prayers for Needs

Jesus recommends, "'When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him'" (Matthew 6:7-8).

Some people pray the same prayer over and over using many words in their natural language, begging and pleading with God, hoping to be heard. Avoid vain repetition when praying and any semblance of New Age-like repetitive prayer.

A powerful prayer goes beyond merely listing needs and adding "in the name of Jesus" to secure the agreement. Sorry, but it's not the length of your prayer and faith in a religious phrase that brings results. Rather, it's the earnest and sincere prayer coupled with unwavering faith in God Himself that truly makes a difference.

Pray in the Spirit and build up your faith to know God's will. Then, as Jesus teaches, "Whatever things you ask in prayer, BELIEVING, you will receive" (Matthew 21:22, emphasis added).

Prayers for Intercession

Paul explains, "The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26).

An intercessory tongue is far from being a light, surface-level prayer. It can deeply resonate within your inner being. Its words can be accompanied by sighs, groans, and even tears, depending on the intensity of prayer.

Your spirit might feel burdened and even grieve at times. It's not uncommon for burdens to arise while praying in the Holy Spirit, and specific individuals and circumstances to come to the forefront of your mind.

Through my experiences of interceding in tongues for individuals with impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease, I have sensed a profound connection with their inner spirit. Despite their cognitive limitations, I believe their spirit remains open to the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Although we may not always know with certainty what we are praying for in an unknown language, we can have complete confidence that our prayers align with God's will, and we can persevere until we can sense the burden has lifted.

On one occasion, during a profound intercessory prayer in tongues, the Holy Spirit carried my spirit to another location. The location was where the individual who I was interceding for was then. I didn't initiate this experience; it's beyond my complete understanding, and I leave its explanation with the Holy Spirit.

The person in need could unmistakably see me and clearly hear the encouraging words from the Lord that I delivered, relieving their distress. However, after the message was delivered, my presence faded from the person's sight. The person had felt no fear, feeling only the peace of the Lord.

Only when I had the chance to meet this person and hear their testimony did I understand what had taken place. Before this, I was only aware of interceding in tongues, and losing track of time while praying.

An intercessory prayer in tongues can be very powerful, as you are praying in the will of God and available to minister on His behalf. There's nothing to fear, as He will never involve you against your will and beyond your capabilities.

Never give up in the midst of interceding. Continue to pray in the Holy Spirit, and when you sense the breakthrough has come, praise God for the prayer victory. You might never know what amazing things God accomplished through the prayer.

Prayers for Overcoming

Overcome Discouragement

Praying in the Holy Spirit can be an effective way to overcome thoughts of discouragement and depression. Begin praying in tongues to rise above the negative emotions. Remember, we're seated together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6).

However, it's important to recognize that a prolonged depression might indicate an attack from the enemy. Utilize the gift of discerning of spirits to determine if a demon is tormenting you.

If this is the case, pray in tongues to strengthen your faith before commanding the demon to leave. Demons are forced to leave when you stand firmly in faith and in the authority of Christ.

Depression can have non-spiritual causes as well, so it's important to be open to the Holy Spirit giving you guidance though either words of knowledge or wisdom. God's insight can reveal the underlying cause of the depression and suggest a course of action to take.

The gifts of the Spirit operate together, much like our natural senses, helping us assess and navigate various situations.

Overcome Difficult Circumstances

Pray in the Spirit when facing difficult circumstances. Either your innermost being and emotions will be strengthened to accept the circumstance with peace, or you will be given God's wisdom on how to best handle the situation.

I knew a mother who prayed for her daughter to remain at their church, and she also prayed in tongues about this matter. Meantime, her daughter was praying to have greater freedom in the Spirit, and God was leading her to a Spirit-filled church where she would be fed spiritual truths.

Since the mother's prayers in tongues were in the will of God, those prayers won out over her self-motivated natural prayers, and her daughter was blessed in her new church, while the mother received grace to accept the result.

Sometimes, believers will complain during God's cleansing process when a deeper cleansing is required to remove habitual weaknesses. Trust God to always answer prayers motivated by the Holy Spirit, knowing the answer will be according to His will and in your best interests.

Prayers for Spiritual Warfare

Preparation for Battle

The Holy Spirit will use the gift of tongues to build up our faith in preparation for spiritual warfare, as adequate preparation is vital for an effective battle, and a victorious result.

Paul urges, "Be ready in season and out of season. …" (2 Timothy 4:2). We must be ready always by having our faith built up. Once a battle begins, it's often too late to prepare! That's why Jesus cautions, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, …" (Luke 21:36).

By being prepared ahead of the battle, we align ourselves with God's knowledge of what lies ahead. Without proper readiness, we might lack the necessary faith and knowledge to endure and minister effectively.

Praying in the Holy Spirit benefits us by strengthening our faith and preparing us for battles whether they're days, weeks, or months ahead.

Satan's Understanding of Tongues

Satan and his demons can understand human languages and directly influence our thoughts when praying in our natural language; however, Paul says, "He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for NO ONE understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries" (1 Corinthians 14:2, emphasis added).

The word "mysteries" implies something hidden and secret, something confided only to participants in the conversation. It's possible that God enables us to speak in heavenly languages that are unknown to the forces of darkness.

However, even if Satan could understand the tongues being spoken, our prayers in the Holy Spirit are pure and undefiled before God, and they are directed to God. Satan cannot interfere with what we're praying to God in the Spirit nor can he prevent God's answer.

Satan's Focused Attack on Tongues

Satan and his demonic forces cannot manipulate our prayers spoken in tongues. However, they can plant seeds of doubt and apathy in our minds and erect obstacles to hinder us from praying in the Holy Spirit.

The forces of darkness focus on spreading misinformation and lies about the gift of tongues. Their aim is to cause uninformed believers to argue that tongues are no longer relevant in our present age.

By distorting the church's understanding of tongues and other gifts of the Holy Spirit, the enemy's objective is to prevent believers from strengthening their faith and fully accessing the power of the Spirit to combat the forces of darkness.

Satan knows his days are numbered as ruler over the nations of the world. He also knows that he can delay the manifestation of the Kingdom of God if he can keep believers weak in faith, relying on their natural abilities instead of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Prayers for Fasting

Fasting combined with praying in tongues can have a significant impact on our spiritual lives by inclining our heart to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit and by strengthening our faith in God. Fasting subdues the flesh to reveal the Kingdom.

However, it's important to understand that the beneficial results from fasting and prayer are not always immediate. Sometimes they can manifest long after the fasting period has ended.

For example, after the Holy Spirit had descended upon Jesus, He fasted for 40 days while resisting the devil in the wilderness. It was only after this time of fasting ended that He began His earthly ministry with great faith in the power of the Spirit.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus speaks clearly about the need for prayer and fasting:

And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him."

Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me." And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." (Matthew 17:14-21)

The Greek word ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos) translated as unbelief, means lacking confidence, or having little faith.

Jesus prepared them for future encounters with demonic powers and for times when they would need to minister in seemingly impossible situations by encouraging a combination of prayer and fasting to increase their faith and confidence in God.

Prayers for Revelation

Praying in tongues enables believers to tap into revelation directly from the mind of God. It gives us access to those hidden truths that would otherwise remain inaccessible. Only God knows with certainty what our future holds, and His plans for us. And only He knows how to best prepare us for whatever lies ahead.

Paul teaches clearly about receiving revelation from God:

It is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Corinthians 2: 9-10, 12)

Praying in tongues serves as an open conduit between us and God, enabling us to receive divine revelation that can transform our lives by expanding our awareness, unlocking new areas of spiritual growth, and preparing us for God's plans and the future.

Prayers for Intimacy with God

Praying in the Holy Spirit through the gift of tongues strengthens our intimate relationship with our heavenly Father, allowing us to experience a closeness and belonging that surpasses our human understanding.

Paul emphasizes, "You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:15-16).

Paul underlines the close connection between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. The more we pray in tongues, the more our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit sharpens and deepens, as our spirit links with His. It heightens our ability to hear His voice clearly, and discern and understand His leading and guidance.

Prayers for Praise and Worship

Praising God in tongues leads to a supernatural connection where your spirit communicates with God beyond earthly limitations, expressing a deep flow of reverence, gratitude, and love, leading to worship.

Times of pure worship can enable a seamless transition between praising God in tongues and praising Him in your natural language. Praying in the Holy Spirit benefits us by providing an authentic, personal means to communicate with and worship God on the deepest spiritual level.

Pray Without Ceasing

Praying in the Holy Spirit is a practice that connects you to God's transformative power and enables you to experience His perfect will for your life.

Paul urges, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Don Bell of Kingdom Anointing

By Don Bell, follower of the Christ.

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