Can Children Speak in Tongues? Should They?
Do children have the ability to receive the gift of speaking in tongues? Is it even appropriate for children to receive this gift?
Children can speak in tongues if they are born again Christians and have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Children have access to every gift of God, just like adults.
The ability to speak in tongues is a gift from God for everyone who has received salvation and asked for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Children are not excluded from anything in God’s Kingdom!
It is wonderful for children to speak in tongues when they are ready, but they should not be forced, or pressured, or coerced into doing so. God never forces His gifts on anyone, and neither should parents.
Why Is It Important for Children to Speak in Tongues?
Please don’t think that your children don’t need the help of the Holy Spirit because they are children! They have an enemy, the devil, who does not play fair when it comes to children.
Children need the prayer covering and watchful protection of their parents, but as they grow, they need to learn to lean on the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit within them. They need the baptism of the Holy Spirit as soon as they receive salvation.
Speaking in tongues has many benefits (insert link), but one of the most important is that it allows the Holy Spirit to pray perfect prayers through your children. The Spirit of God knows exactly what your children need at any moment, and when they allow Him to pray, He is praying exactly what needs to be prayed.
Speaking in tongues will also edify, or build your children up in faith. It allows the Holy Spirit to grow and mature them from the inside out. They will begin to understand spiritual things and how the Kingdom works. The Holy Spirit will give them understanding of the Bible and make the love of God real to them.
What Is An Appropriate Age for Children to Start Speaking in Tongues?
I would not recommend forcing spiritual things on your children. But as they see you praying in tongues, they will likely be curious or even imitate you. I’ve had little babies try to imitate me speaking in tongues!
Children need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. They need to understand salvation and receive it by their own choice. It has to be real. The good news is, Jesus is in full time ministry when it comes to loving on them! He will draw them to the Father.
The most appropriate age for children to start speaking in tongues is when they have a true understanding of what it is.
This means that they need to understand what salvation is and why they need it. This means they need to understand what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is and why they need it. Once they understand these things, they can understand what praying in tongues is, and why they need it.
If children are receiving these things just to please their parents, it probably won’t last. It needs to be an authentic relationship between them and Jesus.
How Can Children Start Speaking in Tongues?
Children can start speaking in tongues in the same way adults do. After they have received salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the ability to pray in tongues is already there within them.
For more help with teaching your children how to activate this gift and begin speaking in tongues, you can read How to Activate Speaking in Tongues or How to Receive the Gift of Speaking in Tongues.
Praying in tongues with your children will help them not feel so silly as they do so. In our home, praying in tongues is a normal part of everyday life and everyone understands what we are doing and why we are doing so.
Does God Want Children to Speak in Tongues?
God desires for everyone to receive salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, including children. This is His will.
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4
When the gift of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in the book of Joel, it included everybody.
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29
Children can have a real relationship with God just like adults. Children can hear the voice of God and understand spiritual things just like adults. Children can prophesy and have spiritual dreams and visions just like adults.
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Matthew 11:25
In fact, many times children can hear the voice of God just as easily, if not easier than adults can! The Lord Jesus loves children.
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18: 2-4
For more about leading your children into spiritual things, read How to Disciple Your Children.