Repair Your Body With God’s Prayer Gift
Dressed in smart-casual attire, he is often seen on Sundays greeting churchgoers with a bright smile and friendly handshake. When you talk with him, he is calm, attentive, and able to give you godly counsel, and he will pray for you should you need some help. He has also led groups of people to Israel, sharing precious truths from the Bible in the Holy Land.
Looking at this man, a fine leader in my church, you would not think that he once suffered from clinical depression and long-term debilitating panic attacks that made him suicidal. Add to that insomnia, severe sinusitis, gastritis, and an addiction to prescription drugs. He was taking up to thirty tablets a day — sleeping pills, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant tablets, and expensive antibiotics — and still making regular trips to the hospital when the meds couldn’t relieve his sinusitis symptoms.
To top it all off, he was jobless and in financial difficulty. When he did find work in the construction industry, it only brought on more stress that led to more terrifying panic attacks. The frequent attacks overwhelmed him with so many irrational fears that he didn’t dare to step out of his house, drive, or meet people. Tormented and cowering in a dark corner at home, he would call up his wife at work and ask her to come home to be with him. His body, mind, and family life were in shambles as he struggled to just make it from day to day.
By the grace of God, this brother was able to come to church and hear me preach about God’s love and restoration. He also heard me teach about praying in tongues. One day, he sensed the Lord prompting him to exercise this gift that had lain dormant in him. He obeyed.
Recounting that experience that kick-started his journey to full recovery, he said to me, “Pastor Prince, the moment I began to speak those few syllables in tongues, I felt a rest!” That sense of peace that he had desperately sought for so long encouraged him to pray in tongues all the more. And the more he did so, the more his fears and anxieties were replaced with inexplicable peace. His frequent sinus infections and painful gastritis began to clear up as well.
Every day, he would simply pray in tongues and listen to the gospel preached. The panic attacks and depressive thoughts began to leave him and he started enjoying quality sleep without the meds. The Lord even gave him a simple diet plan and he was able to lose the weight he had put on when he was under all that medication and stress. As for work, the Lord led him to turn his passion — repairing computers — into a business and it flourished. Best of all, he could once more function as a husband and daddy, only better as he had now discovered the power of praying in tongues!
This brother would not be the calm, stable, and successful man that he is today if he had ignored the Lord’s leading to pray in tongues. This precious gift of grace did for him what tons of expensive pills could not. I’m so glad he did not write tongues off as a useless gift. It’s unfortunate how some people have taught that tongues is just a “dinner bell” — to tell you you’ve received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That’s all, nothing more.
If you read Acts chapter 2, you will see that the church was born when the 120 disciples in the Upper Room were baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. The ability to speak in tongues was the very first supernatural gift that God gave to His beloved church. In such a momentous event as the birth of the church, do you think God would give a useless and powerless gift?
When God gives us a gift, you can be sure it is something that is powerful and keeps on giving. Take the air we breathe for instance. God created air for us free of charge and just this one gift has so many other uses. Air is used in various pneumatic tools, such as the jackhammer, delivering enough force to split even the hardest rocks. Then there is the gentle airbrush, with which artists create detailed and mind-blowing artwork. For builders, the nail gun is an indispensable tool. Air is also used in the ubiquitous car tire, and the less common hovercraft, allowing these machines (and humans) to travel far and wide over different types of terrain. One gift, so many benefits!
When you don’t know what to pray, pray in tongues, as the Spirit knows all things.
Would it be any different with God’s gift of tongues? Praying in tongues or in the Spirit has many applications and benefits. When you just don’t know what to pray for in a situation — perhaps because of its complexity or you don’t know enough about the problem — you can pray in tongues, as the Spirit knows all things and will intercede on your behalf to bring God’s best solution into your situation (ref.: Romans 8:26, NLT). When you want to praise God but your vocabulary fails you, you can magnify Him in tongues and take your praise and worship to a higher level (ref.: Acts 2:11). Perhaps you are famished and your favourite dish is served. Do you know that you can say grace in tongues and if you do, “you indeed give thanks well” (1 Corinthians 14:16–17)?
And as we have seen from the testimony I shared earlier, praying in tongues can also bring about healing of the mind and body. That’s what I would like to focus on here. If you have been suffering from panic attacks and depression, or some other debilitating medical condition, let me show you how using God’s gift of tongues can bring about peace and healing. Whatever your doctor or the experts might have said, let me share God’s truths about tongues with you, and I pray it will bring you comfort, hope, and restoration.
At this point you may be wondering, Can praying in tongues really heal my physical body? Well let’s see what the Bible says. It’s always good to have Scripture to stand on when you face a challenge. The apostle Paul, who unashamedly told the Corinthian church that he spoke in tongues “more than you all” (1 Corinthians 14:18), said this:
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.— 1 Corinthians 14:4a
What does the word edifies here mean? According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word edifies is translated from the Greek word oikodomeo, which means “to build a house, erect a building…to restore by building, to rebuild, repair.”1 Isn’t that interesting, considering that our physical bodies are the houses or temples of God’s Spirit (ref.: 1 Corinthians 6:19)? And doesn’t this tell us that we can rebuild or repair our broken-down bodies as we pray in tongues?
Some people have taught that when you pray in tongues, you only edify or charge up your spirit man or inner man. But 1 Corinthians 14:4 doesn’t say that only your inner man is edified. Look at the verse again. It states that he who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. Does himself include the person’s eyes, ears, nose, kidneys, liver, heart, brain, bones, joints, muscles, nervous system, and every other part of his body? Of course it does!
Your entire self — spirit, soul, as well as body — gets edified as you pray in tongues.
Beloved, your entire self — spirit, soul, as well as body — gets edified or rebuilt as you pray in tongues. God takes care of the whole package. So don’t limit this restorative effect to just your inner man. Start believing that as you pray in tongues, your body is also getting rejuvenated and repaired.
Randy, who’s been following my ministry, wrote to me about how a lesion on his tongue was so inflamed he couldn’t eat solid foods for a week. Even drinking and talking were problematic. Despite the pain, he prayed for healing, declared his healing, and then prayed some more — in tongues. The next day, the lesion was gone and he was completely healed.
That, my friend, is the restorative power of praying in tongues. Is there an organ in your body that needs repair? A heart that doesn’t always beat right, or perhaps an embarrassing skin condition that has defied all the remedies you have tried? Beloved, give it to the Lord and let His Spirit repair and restore that afflicted area. Let Him who heals all your diseases do a supernatural work (ref.: Psalm 103:3)!
Would you like another Scripture verse on how praying in tongues can heal your physical body? In the book of Romans, Paul wrote:
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.— Roman 8:26, NLT
One of our weaknesses is not knowing what to pray. Have you been there before? The challenge you are facing is so overwhelming you don’t know what to ask of God. The enemy has thrown you a curve ball and you are stumped. Perhaps you don’t even know what God’s will is regarding the matter. Or perhaps you have prayed about the same problem for months, petitioning or reasoning with God from every conceivable angle until you don’t know what else to say that you have not already said! Thank God the Spirit helps us by taking on the burden with us as we pray in the Spirit. He supplies the words we lack and we simply speak them out. He knows the perfect will of God and just what to pray that will produce the best results at the right time.
The Holy Spirit knows both the cause and the cure!
Now, the word “weakness” in Romans 8:26 doesn’t just refer to not knowing what or how to pray. This word — astheneia in the Greek — also means disease or sickness.2 In other words, when we don’t know what to pray with regard to a sickness or symptom in our bodies, the Spirit can help us. It doesn’t matter how long you have had it or how threatening you have been told it is. The Spirit intercedes for you as you allow Him to pray through you in tongues. He knows exactly where the problem lies and more than that, is able to bring about deliverance and healing. Doctors may be able to tell you what’s wrong, and an accurate diagnosis is certainly important, but what about the cure? Thank God the Holy Spirit knows both the cause and the cure! And we allow Him to repair and rebuild our sick bodies as we simply yield to Him and pray in tongues.
Doris, a young woman from Singapore, shared how she started to worry when her menstrual cycle stopped. For two years, she believed God for restoration of a regular cycle and described how her journey was like a roller coaster ride with some very low points when it got really difficult to stay in faith.
One day, she watched a sermon I had preached on praying in tongues. In that video, I taught on how tongues was like rivers of living water flowing out of the belly, pushing out defilement, edifying the spirit, and repairing the house of God — our bodies. She remembered how I had shared that the word for “belly” was also the word for “womb,” and she started to pray often in the Spirit every day and to partake of the Holy Communion each morning.
Doris shared, “This has become part of my morning routine. Through it, I have grown closer to the Lord in my spirit and I feel such shalom-peace in my heart every day. I also experienced my restoration after more than two years! Praise Jesus!”
My friend, perhaps you’re also waiting on the Lord for your healing breakthrough. As you look to Him, keep praying in tongues. When you don’t know how and what else to pray about your situation, pray in the Spirit. Trust that the Spirit of God understands all your concerns, sees where the problem lies, and is able to provide an answer and heal you when no one else can. Instead of trying to handle the situation in your own strength and getting anxious, rest in His love and let Him be God — “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
Now please don’t think that in talking about physical healing, I am downplaying the importance of building up your inner man. Scripture tells us that “the spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” (Proverbs 18:14). Have you noticed how sick people who are in good spirits — always cheerful and having a positive outlook — respond better to treatment and recover more quickly? The apostle John said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). Our being in health is tied to how well our souls are prospering. That’s why “a merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22a)!
When it comes to healing, God often goes to the root first, removing deep-seated fears, anxieties, hurts, and erroneous beliefs.
Many times, when it comes to healing, God goes to the root first, removing your deep-seated fears, anxieties, past hurts, and erroneous beliefs — mental strongholds that need to be demolished — before He deals with your physical body. The medical profession has been telling people how chronic stress, worry, fears, and depression can lead to all kinds of physical ailments. So, certainly, take full advantage of praying in the Spirit to fortify your inner man and build yourself up in faith and in the love of God (ref.: Jude 1:20–21). But as you do, be cognisant of the truth that praying in tongues can also repair your physical body. God wants you whole in every way, inside out!
Speaking of stress, do you know that praying in tongues also has the powerful benefit of helping you to unwind? We have already seen how it helped to deliver a precious brother from stress that manifested as panic attacks and depression. Stress is known as a silent killer, causing its captives to develop all kinds of ailments from stomach ulcers to heart palpitations, and to even suffer strokes and heart attacks. And it spares no one, not even children. I am so glad then that God in His grace has given us a supernatural weapon to combat stress. Look with me at this passage of Scripture:
For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear.— Isaiah 28:11–12
In the New Testament, Paul quotes from this passage when he teaches the Corinthian Christians about the use of tongues (ref.: 1 Corinthians 14:21–22). Since the entire chapter is on speaking in tongues, the “stammering lips” that brings about rest and refreshing may be interpreted in the New Testament as speaking in tongues — when we hear tongues being spoken, it may sound like someone stammering. What I want you to notice from the Scripture above is that speaking in tongues can bring about a rest and a refreshing when you are stressed out and wearied by life’s endless demands. This is another way speaking in tongues edifies you.
It is not just the daily demands and responsibilities of family and work that are stressing us out. We have an enemy called the devil and one of his objectives is to “wear out the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:25, KJV). He does this by stirring up storms in our lives (quarrels, crises, stressful situations), planting anxious thoughts in our minds, and invoking in us feelings of inadequacy and panic. Many times, we respond by leaning on our own efforts to manage and solve a hundred and one things! After a while of running around trying to do this and that to make things work, we end up mentally and physically exhausted, ready to just fall apart.
Friend, if I have just described you, I want you to know that God did not design you to live a life of stress but to enjoy a life of rest. He has given you a powerful weapon to counter stress: praying in the Spirit, which is able to rebuild and repair your entire self from the inside out. It costs you nothing, has no bad side effects, and isn’t dependent on external factors such as a quiet surrounding with mood lighting and soothing pan flute music. Tranquil environments are great — I myself like to take long walks in the park or along the beach. But what happens when you “come back to reality,” to the sound of blaring car horns, or your kids throwing their toys around and screaming at each other?
You need something that is more robust and goes deeper — God’s peace that surpasses understanding. And you can come to this wonderful place of rest and refreshing as you pray in tongues and sense His presence and love. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (ref.: 2 Corinthians 3:17). Let His Spirit free you from stress, worry, and anxiety as you unwind through your heavenly language.
Perhaps you already know how to pray in the Sprit, but for some time now, you have not exercised this wonderful grace gift. Can I encourage you to start doing it again?
Beloved, the Lord beckons you to draw near to Him today as you pray in the Spirit. He invites you to come to Him if your heart is full of labour and heavy with worry, and He Himself will rest you (ref.: Matthew 11:28). Let Him drive out all fear and confusion. Let Him bring perfect peace as in the eye of the storm, with a deep knowing that this trial too shall pass and all shall be well. The more you rest and are refreshed through praying in tongues — God’s R&R for you — the more you will break free from the frantic pace and stress of modern life and not become susceptible to disease.
If you have never prayed or spoken in tongues before but would like to, let me lead you in a simple prayer to receive this gift. If you have made Jesus your Lord and Saviour, rest assured that you qualify for this gift. Jesus Himself said, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will…speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). Do you believe in Jesus? Then you can speak in tongues when you ask in His name. Are you ready? Say this with me:
Heavenly Father, I am confident that You will give me the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the ability to speak in tongues. Inundate me, fill me, and baptise me with the Holy Spirit. Jesus has paid the price for me to receive every blessing from You. So I receive right now Your Holy Spirit to overflowing measure and I fully expect to start speaking in my new heavenly language in Jesus’ name. Thank You for all the benefits that praying in the Spirit will release in my life. Amen!
All right, release your heavenly language. Go ahead and speak in tongues.
Now, you might feel like nothing has happened and you’ve not started speaking in tongues yet, but don’t be discouraged. Once you have prayed asking God for the gift of tongues, know and believe that He is a God of His Word and has given you this gift simply because you asked Him for it (ref.: Luke 11:13).
Begin by speaking the syllables that come to you. The Holy Spirit won’t force you so you need to cooperate with Him by opening your mouth and speaking in faith. When you are in church, ask someone you know who already speaks in tongues to pray with you. You can also pray in the Spirit as you worship the Lord in church or on your own.
And if at first, what you hear is monosyllabic, childlike sounds that differ from the tongues of other believers, don’t be disheartened. Keep at it and more words will be added to you and you will become more fluent in your new language. I encourage you to spend some time praying in tongues each day. The more you pray in the Spirit, the more you will be supernaturally edified — spirit, soul, and body!
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the testimony givers.
Copyright © 2018 Joseph Prince. All rights reserved.
• The Prayer That Repairs Your Body, 10 September 2017