How to Activate Speaking in Tongues

how to activate speaking in tongues


After you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, how do you activate speaking in tongues?

There is a heavenly prayer language available to every believer who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

This language is referred to as praying in the spirit, praying in tongues, or speaking in tongues. So how do you start speaking in tongues?

Speaking in tongues can be activated at any time after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. To activate speaking in tongues, simply switch over from praying in your native language, to praying in your heavenly language by speaking out loud the syllables coming from your spirit. 

It may sound foolish at first, but that’s OK. Keep going.

The more you pray in tongues, the more developed the language will become. It will become easier and easier to switch over to praying in tongues. It will become quite literally a second language to you. 

This spiritual language exists in every believer who has been filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t doubt that it’s there inside of you.

The ability to pray in tongues is there, but you have to activate it. You have to speak. The Holy Spirit will not take control of your mouth. You have to move your jaw and your tongue and speak out the syllables from your spirit. 

If you’ve never prayed to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, stop now and ask the Lord for this incredible gift!

Prayer for Baptism in the Holy Spirit

How Do You Activate the Gift of Speaking in Tongues? 

Some people start praying in tongues as soon as they are filled with the Holy Spirit. This is ideal and available to everyone right away. But some people struggle to use their prayer language immediately because of bad teachings they have received in the past about speaking in tongues. If this is you, it’s OK.

Here are some tips to help you activate speaking in tongues: 

  • Begin to thank God that He has given you the ability to speak in tongues. Keep praising Him and thanking Him in your native language. As you discern certain sounds coming up out of your spirit, begin to speak them out. 
  • Turn on praise music and begin to worship God. As you do, relax your tongue and allow the syllables to come up. 
  • Read the written Word until you feel another language bubbling up. Begin to speak that out loud. 
  • Listen to someone else pray in tongues and try to “mimic” their language until your own language is coming out. Yours will not be the same as theirs, but sometimes this helps. 
  • Pray in your native tongue until you sense another language arising. Relax your tongue and jaw and begin to speak it out. 
  • Ask another Spirit-filled believer to pray in tongues with you.

The more you practice speaking in tongues, the more natural it will become. It is kind of like learning another language. At first it just sounds like a few broken up syllables, but eventually you will be fluently speaking. Keep at it! The gift is there. 

Can Speaking in Tongues be Taught? 

Speaking in tongues can not be taught because every spirit filled believer has their own unique prayer language.

This language comes from the Holy Spirit, not from man. There is no human that can teach you this language. However, listening to someone else pray in tongues can help get you started if you are struggling to activate the gift. 

You can mimic another person’s tongues at first if that helps you, but ultimately your prayer language will sound different than anyone else’s.  You will know when your own language has taken over. 

How Do I Know if I am Speaking in Tongues

At first, you may not be sure if the sounds coming out of your mouth are really tongues. You will have thoughts like “I’m just making this up”. That is common. Just keep going. Your brain cannot understand what’s going on. Just keep practicing and sooner than later you will know for sure that this is your prayer language. 

It is your own unique language, so it will not sound the same as other people when they pray in tongues. But it will sound like your language.

You will know you are speaking in tongues because it will start to sound like a language.

Every time you pray in tongues, it will sound very similar to the last time you spoke in tongues, if not exactly the same. This is your unique language and you are speaking directly to God!

For 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

You do not have to wait until you have a strong unction that overpowers you to pray in tongues. You can choose to pray in the spirit at any time, anywhere. You are able to switch it on and off at any time.

If you are bilingual, you know that you can switch back and forth from speaking one language to another at your choosing. It’s the same way with your heavenly language.

There may be times when you feel especially impressed to pray in tongues. Follow that impression and pray! But you do not have to wait for this feeling in order to pray in the spirit. The Bible encourages us to pray in the spirit all the time!

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

Who Can Interpret Speaking in Tongues? 

Paul encourages us to pray for the interpretation of our personal prayer language. 

Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 1 Corinthians 14:13-14

When we pray in tongues, we don’t understand what’s being said, but when we interpret, that hidden wisdom becomes a revelation that our mind is able to receive. The interpretation may not come at that exact moment, but will come in different forms if we believe for it. 

This is different from the public use of tongues for the edification of the Church. This is when someone speaks out a message in tongues, and someone else interprets. When someone in a Church service speaks out a message in tongues, it needs to be interpreted. This interpretation is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This is different from our own personal prayer language. 

If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27-28

Why is Speaking in Tongues Important?

Speaking in tongues is important because it allows for direct communication between your spirit and God. It should be a part of everyday life for a Christian. Paul said he prayed in tongues more than all the Corinthians. 

 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 1 Corinthians 14:18

This is probably how Paul received so much revelation! When you pray in tongues, you edify yourself until your mind is able to receive spiritual revelation. You will be able to start understanding spiritual things and understand the written Word like never before. 

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 1 Corinthians 14:4

When you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit is inspiring the words and allowing you to communicate directly from your spirit to the Father, without the hindrance of your natural mind. This gift of tongues allows you to pray perfect prayers!  It builds you up in your most holy faith and releases the hidden wisdom of God.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 20 

Isaiah prophesied that God would speak to His people using this language of the spirit. 

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

Notice it says speaking in tongues will bring rest and refreshing!  Praying in the spirit regularly will increase your immune system, keep you in tune with the Holy Spirit, and protect you from being deceived by deceptive doctrines and falsehoods.

As you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit is able to reveal to you God’s personal plan for your life! Holy Spirit is our guide into all truth. 

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13

There’s so many reasons why praying in tongues is important that I dedicated an entire article to discussing this entitled 9 Reasons We Need to Pray in Tongues.

Is Praying in Tongues for Everyone?

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