Prayer

What about Tongues?

Hello! This is Jeanne wishing blessings on your springtime, wherever you are!

A few weeks ago, someone asked me out of the blue, “Where do you get the idea of tongues?”  I could picture myself twenty years ago asking the same question.  Growing up, the only exposure I had to the “idea of tongues” was in the account of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11).  To me, it was a one-time event that happened 2,000 years ago, and had no bearing on my life.

Since that time, I have explored the concept of tongues through Bible study and my own experience, as well as that of others. 

The gift of tongues has two different expressions.  There is a public gift, where one person speaks in tongues and another one (or the same person) interprets the tongue in the common language.  I’ve only seen that in operation once, and can’t speak to it outside of what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 14.

On the other hand, there is praying in tongues or in the spirit, which all believers are encouraged to do.  

For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God… they utter mysteries by the Spirit… Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves… I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays… I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. When you are praising God in the Spirit, you are giving thanks well enough… I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.  (1 Corinthians 14, selected verses)

I purposely left out the limitations Paul gives in this passage, because he was addressing a church where people were going overboard with their tongues and prophecies.  He clearly was not saying the gifts were bad, but that they weren’t helpful to the church assembly if they weren’t expressed decently and in order.  I don’t think it’s possible to privately pray in tongues too much. 

One key is in verse 14: “If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays.”  We have talked before about how each of us is body, soul, and spirit.  The body is our physical flesh; the soul is our mind, will, and emotions; and the spirit is where we become a new creation in Christ when we believe.  Our born-again spirit is where we are the righteousness of Christ, holy, perfect, and blameless.  And when we pray in tongues (or pray in the spirit) we are uttering mysteries by the Holy Spirit. We are praying the perfect will of God, and we are building ourselves up in our most holy faith (Jude v.20).  Jesus says that God desires those who worship him in spirit and in truth.  We can pray with our flesh, reciting words without even meaning them.  We can pray with our souls, pouring out our emotions. But praying in the spirit involves yielding our tongues to the Holy Spirit, letting God choose what we say. 

Praying in the spirit involves yielding our tongues to the Holy Spirit, letting God choose what we say. 

James describes the immense power of our tongues.  If they can steer us down such a dark and evil path, imagine the incredible blessings on our lives if we turn them over to the Spirit!

If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body. Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies. consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest.  And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  (James 3:2-6)

Jesus addressed this same topic:

For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of his good store of treasure, and the evil man brings evil things out of his evil store of treasure. (Matthew 12:34-35)

When Jesus speaks, the Father acts!

The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, performing His works. (John 14:12)

When I was first filled with the Spirit, I rarely prayed in tongues.  My first experience with it was when one of my children was in a crisis situation that I had no power to affect in the natural, and didn’t even know what to pray.  For years, the only times I prayed in tongues were when I had reached the end of my human strength.  I gradually learned that this yielding to the Spirit brought with it peace, strength, and wisdom or revelation regarding the situation.  I’ve come to realize that these are the very words of God, coming through my mouth. 

I’ve come to realize that these are the very words of God, coming through my mouth. 

Whether I feel a mighty move of the Spirit while I’m praying, or nothing at all, I know that what I’m speaking is incredibly powerful in the spiritual realm.  I am watching God do things in my life that I wouldn’t have known or dared to ask for. To God be the glory!

Please share your experiences and questions in the comments. I'm excited to hear what you have to say!


Prayer & Fasting Preparation

LDM Fast 2022Hello,

All who hunger for more of God this year. As we fast this week, I'll offer a few fasting points to consider.

  1. Let your family know. Set up this week for the best success. Let your family know you are staying out of the kitchen. Help them to help themselves to meals. Let your spouse know you are fasting and ask his/her support to help them feed themselves. And ask them to refrain from tempting you.
  2. Have plenty of filtered water on hand. Have juices on hand and even a cracker if you feel faint.
  3. Give yourself grace. If you fall off one day, start again the next. Do the best that you can.
  4. Pray, pray and pray. Even if you don't fast. Pray. This praying at the beginning of the year is powerful and leads into 12 months of living life in His will.

Okay, See you tomorrow.

Lynn Donovan

Jesus is King!


I Need A Prayer

Post A PrayerHi Friends, Lynn Donovan here:

I'm coming to you today in the midst of a very busy season and yet hopeful you will take five minutes to step along side of me and especially my husband, Mike. 

I would love to receive a short, one-to-two paragraph prayer, for healing. I want to pass these short prayers to Mike, one a day, throughout his treatment with begins December 13. Cancer Thanksgiving Faith

Please take a minute to login here and post in the comments, a SHORT prayer, from your heart, that Mike could pray to build his faith for healing. 

I am absolutely leaning on you and your love during this season. 

I love you. I feel surrounded by your goodness, your love and your faith. Hugging you with a full heart today, Love, Lynn


Thoughts on Peace

Nitish-meena-RbbdzZBKRDY-unsplashPhoto by Nitish Meena on Unsplash

Hello everyone, Jeanne here with the post I planned to write last month.  I hope it’s worth the wait!

In the past ten years, I have had people ranging from family members to coworkers to people I’ve just met comment on my peaceful nature. Where does it come from, and how do I maintain it?

I have come to understand that just as “you are what you eat”, I become what I ingest.  In the computing world there is a very basic principle called GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.  Jesus says in Luke 6:45, “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” 

Scripture tells us to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1) and Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure… think about these things.  (Philippians 4:8)

We would all agree these are great goals, but the tasks of renewing our minds and focusing on excellent things are crazy difficult in today’s world.  Matthew 6:22 is another familiar verse that helps me.

The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Modern translations use clear, or healthy, or good in place of the word single, but the sense of the verse is if you are focused on the one right thing, your life will be full of light. 

Imagine there is a 6-month-old child in your living room.  The baby is surrounded by toys and loving adults and safe things to explore, but he is determined to crawl over to the burning fireplace. Every few minutes someone has to pick up the baby, turn him around, and distract him.  Sometimes our thoughts are like that.  Like the baby’s toys, we have many good things to consider and explore in our lives, but instead we keep thinking about the unruly family member or difficult situation. We need to get into the habit of changing our thinking by picking up our thoughts, turning them around, and filling them with good things. Even better, we can focus on the one right thing: keeping our eye single, looking to Jesus.

We are constantly bombarded with bad news and harsh words.  I am incapable of being exposed to that without being affected, so I avoid most mass and social media.  However, avoiding the garbage is not enough.  I need nutritious content to actually nourish my heart. A coworker once asked me, “If you don’t watch TV, who tells you what to think?”  My response: the Bible and the Holy Spirit do a great job of telling me what to think, and what to think about.

Not only are we surrounded by innumerable negative influences, but there are also hundreds of good causes that compete for our attention.  This is where I must rely on the guidance of Holy Spirit.  There are countless situations in the world and in my community that desperately need attention.  But I have limited time and resources.  To maintain my peace, I have to stay focused on my calling, and trust that God is raising up others to do the rest.  I can pray and contribute widely, but I need to “stay in my lane” when it comes to where I invest my time.

Replacing media time with time alone with the Word and the Lord has worked wonders for me. It’s in this time that God’s promises have come alive, and the seed of God’s word has borne fruit in my life. In John 14:1, Jesus tells us not to be anxious, and then he tells us how.  

Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God, believe also in Me.

Believe means to fully trust in and rely on God. It’s not just mental assent.  In Philippians 4:6, we find more instructions:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…

If I’m still anxious I ask myself, “Did you skip the part about ‘with thanksgiving’?  Are you rejoicing in the Lord??” (Yes, I talk to myself like that. Don’t judge me!)  Because if I did it right, I have the promise of the rest of the verse:

…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I’ve heard it said that if you’re still upset after you’ve prayed, that’s not prayer, that’s just complaining.  When I have trouble getting out of a negative loop in my head, I find a way to play some worship music, stand up or walk and praise God out loud until I have recalibrated my perspective.  When I focus on the truth that God is on the throne, and he’s already provided a solution for every problem I’m ever going to face, I can truly be free of whatever burden I’m carrying.  I know there is joy in the presence of the Lord.  I can choose to get into his presence, or stay in my own miserable skin.

If you struggle with swirling emotions and negative thoughts, try changing what you feed yourself. Replace some/more of your media consumption with regular time alone with the Lord and his Word.  Drown out those negative voices with praises for our powerful, loving God.  In the comments, share what works for you to deal with worry and fear, or tell us about your favorite scriptures or songs that lift you up. See you


Overcoming Unbelief

Jesus Wilderness 2When I was in high school, my mother signed me up to teach a Christian education class to first graders.  The church provided a curriculum, a classroom, and a roster of students.  The first day of class I took attendance and began to teach the first lesson.  Almost immediately, one of the boys went to the back of the classroom and started playing with the art supplies.  I told him to go sit down, but he did not.  I ignored him and kept teaching.  Soon another child got up and went to the back of the room.  By the third session of this class, all I was doing was taking attendance and keeping the kids in the room. I stopped even attempting to teach. 

The gospels tell a story about a man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus’ disciples.  To summarize, Jesus is on the mountain with Peter, James, and John, and when they come down there is a crowd waiting.  A man tells Jesus about the torment of his son, and says that his disciples were not able to heal him.  Jesus expresses frustration with this “faithless and unbelieving generation” and then heals the boy. Later,

… the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “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 but by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:19-21, NKJV

Different translations of this passage say “This kind of demon only goes out by prayer and fasting” but in the original language, “this kind” refers to the unbelief, not the demon.  Jesus is clearly telling them that the issue is their faith, or rather the lack of it. 

When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into convulsions and he fell to the ground, rolling around and foaming at the mouth.  I’m sure this was frightening for the disciples to witness, and though they knew Jesus had given them authority over the powers of darkness, they reacted with doubt.  The same thing happened to me as a teenager. I had the authority to place my hand on the wayward child’s shoulder and direct him back to his seat.  I lost control of the class simply because I did not exercise my rightful authority. In the same way, the disciples felt powerless even though they had the authority of Jesus himself.

These same disciples had successfully cast out demons and healed the sick in the past.  But in this circumstance, they had allowed what they saw to override what they knew to be true: that Jesus himself had given them the power to cast out demons.  It can be quite difficult to stand solidly on a spiritual truth when our flesh is screaming something contradictory. 

When Jesus stated that unbelief only comes out by prayer and fasting, he was referring to this tension between the facts (what we can see in the physical realm) and the Truth as defined and described by God. Jesus was always watching and listening to the Father.  He saw the same demonic seizure as his disciples, but instead of being intimidated, he focused on his Father’s will to heal and Holy Spirit’s power to invade the natural realm.  Jesus prepared for his ministry with 40 days fasting in the wilderness, and countless more late nights and pre-dawn mornings spent in prayer. Jesus got hungry and tired as we all do, but accomplishing the Father’s will was truly his life’s purpose.

To be honest, my flesh doesn’t always want to set aside my own agenda and spend time in prayer, and it surely doesn’t want to skip many meals. But look at the promise!  If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains… nothing would be impossible for you.

Jesus knows we can’t do this on our own. He is patient as we learn to follow his example, little by little.  If we increasingly trust him one minute, one hour, one day at a time, he will teach us to do what he did, and even greater things. 

Note: This story is related in Matthew 17:14-21, Mark 9:14-29, and Luke 9:37-43.