The Missing Piece of Armour
As Pentecostals, we have the ability to communicate with God as no other “believers.” The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, in the form of speaking in tongues, allows us the direct, perfectly fluent communication with our omnipresent, omniscient Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” (1 Corinthians 14:2)
Speaking in tongues is a sign that follows those who believe. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” (Mark 16:17)
Speaking in tongues is meant to be more than just a one-time experience as the initial evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit.
It is vitally important that we speak in tongues as often as we can.
When we speak in tongues, we are actually praying. Jude 20 tells us that “praying in the Holy Ghost builds up our most holy faith!”
Praying in tongues strengthens our spirit. “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself;” (1 Cor 14:4a)
The word “edified” means to charge (like to charge a battery.) Just as eating healthy food strengthens or charges the human body, praying in your heavenly language, strengthens or charges your spirit: your thoughts and your emotions.
The enemy of our soul knows what a powerful weapon praying in tongues is. He uses doubt to discourage the newly baptized-in-the-Spirit believer that nothing really happened to them. That what they experienced was just themselves saying some sort of gibberish. He discourages seasoned saints from praying until the Spirit flows through them because he knows they are not as effective when they do not pray “in the Spirit.”
Dealing with the enemy of our soul is not a game, but rather spiritual warfare. The enemy makes constant strategic moves against our spirit when we pray in a “known tongue.” What we need to understand is that we have power over him when we press through. When we pray in tongues, our spiritual enemy cannot understand and oppose our prayers. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:26-28”
Sometimes our own inability to understand what God may be doing in a situation can cause us to be off target in our prayers. Praying in our heavenly language allows God to make intercession through us so that His will can be accomplished in the earth.
Praying in tongues allows us to pray strategically, focused prayers. It allows us to add power as we intercede, aligning our prayer according to the perfect will of God.
I have heard of hundreds of situations where people have felt impressed to pray for someone, having no idea what might be happening or even who the person was, but when dates and times were compared, it was the exact time that prayer was needed to bring about God’s perfect will in the situation.
One story I will never forget was of a pastor’s wife who was praying while washing her dishes. God gave her a vision of a man in a bamboo cage and she literally fell to her knees in prayer and travail in the Spirit for this man. When the burden lifted, she finished doing her dishes. Years later she was in a church service and she saw the very man that was in her vision. Talking with him confirmed the fact that he had indeed been in a bamboo cage and that it was at the time of her prayers that a critical decision was made as to his release!
Unfortunately, many Spirit filled believers never develop their prayer language. Ephesians 6:18 admonishes us to “pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” The more we allow ourselves to pray in the Spirit, the easier it will become.
Jesus has given us many weapons with which to war against the enemy of our souls: the Word of God, the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, our faith, the word of our testimony, worship… However, one of the most powerful weapons of our warfare is praying in the Spirit, praying in tongues.
As we put on “the whole armour of God,” as instructed to do so in Ephesians 6:10-18, perhaps we are leaving off the most powerful piece. Could we actually be neglecting the seventh piece of armor?
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Eph 6:10-18)
The first six items in the armor of God are things we “put on.” The seventh is something that flows from inside of us that leads us to be bold as Paul mentions in verse 19.
Praying in the Spirit, praying in tongues, is a gift that Jesus has granted us so that He can truly use us in these last days. Jesus does not need our prayers to do anything, but He covets the relationship that prayer affords us as we spend time in His presence communing with Him.
I encourage you to put on the whole armor of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
By Joanne Putnam
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