“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.”

– I Corinthians 14:15 NKJV

Have you ever found yourself in a foreign country where you don’t understand the language? Even if what they are saying to you is for your benefit, it will sound like gibberish. The Apostle Paul uses the same analogy to describe what it’s like to speak in tongues without interpreting.

He said, “There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.” (I Corinthians 14:10 NKJV)

And so he admonishes concerning tongues thus: “Let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.” (I Corinthians 14:13 NKJV)

The significance of tongue interpretation is well understood in the context of corporate worship. We can use it to edify, exhort, and comfort one another (1 Corinthians 14:5). On the other hand, you cannot bless others in tongues because they will not understand what you are saying (1 Corinthians 14:9, 16)! You only end up edifying yourself at best. (See 1 Corinthians 14:4)

However, if you want to excel in spiritual gifts for the edification of others, especially through prayer, you must pray to be able to interpret. This is true not only in church but also when you are alone, especially when you are praying for others. Pray with the spirit, as Paul did, and with understanding (i.e interpret your tongues). Sing with the spirit, sing with the understanding. (1 Corinthians 14:13-16)

You will experience such vibrancy in your corporate and devotional life if you practise tongue interpretation. Also, keep a note nearby so you can record what the spirit tells you in the place of prayer. You can help others today by praying with the spirit and with the understanding. 

Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 5-7

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