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Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit?

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Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit?
1 Cor. 14:15, states, "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."

Some people believe this "praying with the Spirit" has to be praying in tongues. "Singing with the Spirit" has to be in tongues also.

I believe Paul is speaking about his spirit, not the Holy Spirit. He is saying he would want to pray in his native language so he will understand what it is he is saying(praying with understanding). He would be doing this in his mind or spirit.

What do you think?


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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
I am not charismatic or pentacostal in my interpretation of scripture in any way. So what I say is what I am reading.

I believe from the context is that he is talking about using other languages in worship service. He has clearly said that these must be known languages and must be interpreted.

I Co 14:12-14 prefaces this as "So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.." quite a statement where there current practice is causing division! "For this reason anyone who speaks in a language should pray that he may interpret what he says. "For if I pray in a language, my spirit prays, byt my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself amount those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?"

Oops I just kept going to verse 16.

So it seems that the use of "your spirit" in verse 16 would mean that this does not refer to the Holy Spirit.

It seems that in verse 15 he is creating an analogy. Can you say something, not understand it, and yet be built up? No. So it is in the body of Christ. If you speak in a language that is not known to the congregation that no one understands, then no one is built up. We must understand to be able to be able to worship God.

This is a huge weakness in charismatic theology. Speaking in tongues is to build up the individual. It creates a division between those who can and those who cannot. Those who cannot have judgement pilled on them and preasure to do so. This is the doing exactly the opposite of what scripture speaks.

Now another issue that I will not attempt to understand is this question. Is Paul refering to someone speaking an unknown language by supernatural intervention? Or is he speaking of someone who has prophetic(forth-telling) knowledge and is only able to speak it in a native language that is not common to those gathered?
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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Just a comment on "charismatic theology." All theology of any persuasion has its weaknesses as man attempts to understand God and His fullness. Speaking in tongues is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It may be used for purposes of prophecy,which builds up and edifies the church or an individual may speak in tongues to edify their faith. To speak in an unknown language in a public setting as one might prophecy is not recommended, unless someone interprets, otherwise it brings confusion. However, for one to speak in an unknown tongue as in personal prayer or worship is quite correct. In this instance the person is being build up in the Lord, which we all need. Any gift that God gives is good. When we know certain gifts are available then we make the choice as to whether we wish to pursue them or not. There should never be any pressure as in doing so we are indicating that one gift is more important than an other. The Pentecosal or Charismatic theology is correct to the extent that any other theology is correct. It is not a denomination item, but all gifts are available to all believers.

Blessings. KingsKid
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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Okay, So the manifestation of the Spirit in Acts is not a demonstration of a personal prayer language, and I Corintians is obviously talking about the use of a gift in a corporate setting so it neither talks about a personal prayer language. So what scripture relates to a personal prayer language in an unknown tongue? The Jews believed that 'the languages of angles' was Hebrew and most of the new testament writers were Jewish or had Jewish sources then such a language would not be used to communicate with or through angles or God.

Second, you need some scripture references for choosing your gift. The references that I know of says that Jesus gives gifts with an emphasis on Him organizing them (an eye cannot say I want to be a hand, he gives some to be apostles etc.).

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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Hello brother Peter,

Spontaneous expressions of the inner flooding of our own pneuma, is nothing but the emanations of the Holy Pneuma channelled through us. This could be 'utter silence', 'unconscious outpourings'-in prose, or poetry, or vocalisations-, in tongue(s),own, known or unknown. the biblical reference to the spirit groaning and sighing is coming under the nuance of this explanation.

What is a prayer? is it in rat-tat-tat staccato , sentences read or said with cadence, or unenchantingly non-chant? The core of the subject, is being filled over by the Holy Spirit. It then should not matter, if one is saying, sighing or singing. One can do it without any visible, audible, tangible, or sensible token of the powerful indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Perhaps, Jesus said to us iwhen He said..When you pray, shut the doors, windows, and pray in solitude,to the Father.. etc...)

If vocalisation is the hall mark of the Spirit, then the dumb will be cut out of the kingdom of GOD(???)

Unfortunately, many a time, we may come across 'Legions in the Spirit's skin' who utter, utter gibberish, attributed, to the Holy Spirit, with a view to establish a false identity as the people close to the Spirit, forgetting, how more difficult than catching a wisp of wind, is the netting of the Holy Spirit! The Bible says 'The Spirit blows, where It wills'

The lord's prayer was not taught in tongues, but in Aramaic, the language of the natives. Jesus must have had intimate communion with 'Son's Spirit and of the Father', and there would be no language, because he was 'Word made flesh'. So we might as well put behind us the exultation and exaltation of the gift of tongues, as the sure sign of having arrived with the Holy Spirit. Instead we shall practise receiving and spreading His many other fruits and gifts.

So in the Holy Spirit, may we all be one..


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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Romans 8:26

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.

The above verse of scripture was not intended by the author to imply or set a doctrine that the Holy Ghost drives us to speak in an unknown tongue. While it clearly implies that the Holy Ghost works on our behalf or is our intercessor, the original greek language does not allow for any other implications.

The main thought in this passage(the context) is that the Holy Ghost is our intercessor during our times of our greatest need. The context is not refering his method for doing so. That idea is not in this particular passage.

If we are to pray in the spirit we can do so by praying Gods word, and asking as well as waiting for God to guide our prayers, all the while searching his word for his character and attitude about our need.

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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Hi all, Peter

After reading the posts so far in this thread I would like to point out just a couple of things.

It is not really important that the tounges spoken of in I Corinthians 12-14 and Acts 2 are of the exact same nature to the formation of charismatic theology. The events in Acts 2, as well as the subsequent descriptions of similiar events throughout Acts, and the instructions to believers in 1 Corinthians are able to stand alone based on the strength and clarity of the passages. I just kind of scratch my head when I find a cessessionist asserting that the phenomena aren't related like it is some huge deal. I mean, I would dissagree, but even if the point was correct, so what?

Throughout the text of 1 Corinthians we see ideas that don't make any sense whatsoever unless Paul is refering to the utilization of a what charismatics have recently began to refer to as a 'prayer language.'

For example: 14:23 Why would everybody speak in a natural language, especially their native one, simultainiously and out loud to the point that a visitor would think they were crazy?

14:19 The use of the word intelligible as opposed to 'a tongue.'

14:16-17 Why would someone not understand my giving thanks? These people fellowshipped together and had a common language, even though theyhad divers backgrounds.

14:13 If someone is praying in a tongue why should he pray that he-himself-may be able to interpret what he is praying unless he does not have an understanding of his utterence?

14:9 the word inteligible again

14:2 Not speaking to men but God while uttering mysteries with my spirit seems to contraindicate a natural phenomena or a desire to revert to West Virginian hickspeak(in my case).

13:1 human and angelic language being set forth as possibilities

12:10 The whole issue is described as a manifestation of Holy Spirit.

12:30 Tongues is included in the list of supernatural phenomena with miracles & healing. Now, if tongues is in the context of a natural thing I suppose healing here is regards to the practice of medicine and miracles is in reference to new scientific breakthroughs or something.

You'all can believe how you like. I would just submitt to you that many people have been blessed and their spirituality enhanced, as well as their perception of the presense of God and sin awareness being increased, through the seeking after and enablement to pray in this fashion.

As always, I agree that their are excesses among charismatics. There are excesses among Lutherens, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, and Methodists as well in various areas.

There are also groups that are to reserved.

I am quite sure I could personaly use a good tune up and balancing myself.


Why is it that the bumper sticker sentiment of "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" go away when the charismatics are looked at?

By the way, where is it indicated that tongues is the least of the gifts? I mean, "He who prophecies is greater than one who speaks in tongues unless he interprets" so in saying that tongues with an interpretation is placed at the same level as prophecy, and in the prophetic function, which we are encouraged to seek even above the supernatural gift of healing(1 Corinthians 14:5 & 1).

Love you'all. I just had a big ole' helping of new responsibility put on my plate, so I won't be around as much. Even if I don't have time to respond, I will look forward to checking out your responses.


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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
We have many people who speak many languages in this country.Yet I find it interesting that even in a mixed crowd people find it more comfortable to speak their first language.

It was this way in I Corinthians. Paul was a very well educated man who spoke numerous languages. There is the very real possibility that I Corinthians is speaking of tongues in a language known to the speaker and unknown to many others. The reason they may need to be able to interpret or have someone else do so does not have to be becuase of some eccstatic tongue unknown to man but that the wisdom of God may be more than clearly understood without help.

Verse 22 creates a problem for some ideas about this issue of tongues. Wherefore, tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:

In Acts ch 2 the Apostles spoke in tongues. What was spoken was the gospel. Verse 22 backs up what happened in Acts 2.

The Apostles never having spoke in tongues before, and being filled with the Holy Ghost, now spoke in tongues. And they seemed to get it done correctly. Paul writes to the Corinthians to correct their behavior. This pulls away from the idea that what they were doing was the same as the day of pentecost. If the Corinthians were acting by a move of the Holy Ghost Paul would not need to correct such a move. Paul makes the case that what they were doing was not of God in verse 33. "For God is not the author of Confusion,".

The context of 1 Corinthians is not tongues nor is it prophesy but it is unity. The people were not acting in unity in their worship service. Paul was just pulling them together. Today in to many churches people are trying to do their own thing. it hinders the Spirit.

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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Excuse me, there is absolutely no way the supernatural elements of being enabled to discern information through the Holy Spirit, effectively pray for physical/emotional healing, and praise God/prophesy in a language unknown to the speaker can be removed from 1 Corinthians 12-14.

The point that Paul made was that the Corinthians were doing the right thing out of order in most cases and, sometimes, for a wrong motive.

He told them to eagerly pursue spiritual (supernatural) gifts, especially that they may prophesy, and stated "do not forbide speaking in tongues."

Why would anyone forbide translating from Aramaic to Persian or whatever?

Again-if a person was instructed to pray that they were to be able to interpret what they themselves prayed it defeats this whole weird idea that 1 Corinthians 12-14 concerns controversy over natural translation.

You guys are smarter than this, and I mean you to, Peter. There is no way you can honestly assert that your unbiased exigessis of 1 Corinthians 12-14 indicates that Paul felt church should be conducted in any manner that resembles the average cessessionist assembly(ie:when you come together each of you should have a word, song, tongue, interpretation, prophecy, teaching, etc, each of you may prophecy in turn, and the directives for the proper use of an uninteligible language for the use of praise and sometimes prophecy).

At least charismatics and pentecostals are trying.

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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Some are quick to point out that Paul said not to forbid to speak in tongues. But v.22 is always overlooked. "Tongues are a sign to unbelievers.." However it does not say "and a prayer language".

The church in Corinth as I said was made up of many cultures and many laguages. The common language was greek which was a result of Roman rule. People were no diffrent then as they are today,and they felt more comfortable in their first tongue. The key to this passage is in v.33. "God is not the author of confusion", While natural abilities can be abused and misguided, the supernatural cannot. Where God intervenes directly is always perfect as he is always perfect. If this was supernatural intervention there would be no need for Paul to correct God.
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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
The assertion that if something is an enablement of the Holy Spirit it must be perfect and require no instruction or guidence is a human line of reasoning that does not bear witness with the scripture.

Whether it is the school of prophets(indicating learning/process) referenced in the OT, instructions that were giver to various individuals by the LordGod but imperfectly carried out, or Paul's instructions to the Corinthians the involvement of humans negates perfection.

I believe the creation as a whole is not quite perfect, but headed that way.

Last entry in this thread. If you'all will work this hard to blindfold yourselves to the plainly written instructions in the epistles there is nothing I can write that will be productive.
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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
I will 2nd that last part, and its inconceivable how someone who consistently posts against jews, insists the way Jews beleive--"thru signs and wonders"---has to be taken up in any congregation today.

especially in a way thats unscriptural.

nothing about that, could EVER edify or convince the BODY to "engage" in tongues in an unbiblical manner.

its not of the Holy Spirit of God.
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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to

You are right on one point. The average assembly I have visited or attended looks nothing like the picture I get when reading Acts and I Cor.. That includes slightly charismatic meetings I have visited. However, the fact that some meetings don't have some parts right does not give anyone permission to not follow scripture in other areas.

I did, for many years, fellowship with a small assembly that looked to me to be very similar to the New Testamnt assemblies pictured in the Bible. Since I now live about 2 hours away from the nearest such meeting, I no long attend. These meetings would not be a big hit in today's world. Any male could give a word, suggest a song, pray, or otherwise take part. That appears to be how it was back then. There was no one man ministry. Rather, a group of two or more elders lead/governed the assembly. No tongues were present.

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Re: Praying with the spirit ? or Spirit? In reply to
Now another issue that I will not attempt to understand is this question. Is Paul refering to someone speaking an unknown language by supernatural intervention? Or is he speaking of someone who has prophetic(forth-telling) knowledge and is only able to speak it in a native language that is not common to those gathered?

Steve, that is a question which I have never thought of. There's been plenty of theological question which have popped into my head, but that is one of the most "original" ones I've ever come across. However, I think that you and I would both agree that there will be some people who will play fast and loose with their abberant theology AND who will wrongly divide the Word of Truth to get their spurious point across to deceive the masses.