Gransnet forums


Praying 'in tongue'

(37 Posts)
Newatthis Thu 23-Aug-18 15:26:10

I have some friends who are devout Christians and attend an Evangelican church. They recently invited me to join them for a Sunday service. Many of the congregation were praying 'in tongue'. I consider myself a Christian, I attend church and I pray but I have never prayed in tongue nor believe that I would even know how. This had made me feel that I am not quite 'Christian' enough. They also praise and thank the Lord for everything - all the time. Recently, my friends daughter, who very allergic to wasp stings, got stung and my friend immediately got down and started praying whereas I went to the bathroom, got her anti allergy pen stick and injected her daughter with it (my friend was in a prayer frenzy at the time and therefore incapable of doing so) which subsequently saved her daughter from perhaps being hospitalised or worse. later my friend thanked The Lord (but no me!) . I truly believe that God has the ultimate power but does anyone else think that this is taking things too far or is it that I am not quite Christian enough?

MawBroon Thu 23-Aug-18 15:33:03

As you are a Christian I think it is much more likely that the Lord saved her by sending you the wisdom and presence of mind to use her Epipen
Thee is an old story to that effect which I shall now try to find.
Be reassured you are definitely Christian enough and as I do not wish to insult your friend I will keep my views on “praying in tongues” especially in place of sensible action, to myself.

MawBroon Thu 23-Aug-18 15:34:30

I think this is the one.

Newatthis Thu 23-Aug-18 15:49:03

Thank you MawBroon - I read the link, a very good story. I do wonder though what might have happened if i wasn't there at the time.

Anniebach Thu 23-Aug-18 16:07:19

Newathis, I am a practising Christian , I gave my life to God many years ago. I continue to fail him every day but I still try every day.

God knows you and your friend, it’s what is in your heart not what or how you or your friend pray. Christ taught us The Lords Prayer, says it all, praises God, asks for our needs .
You did the sensible thing , and the epipen was invented to save lives so for me it was God given , you used a gift from God.

Please do not doubt x

sodapop Thu 23-Aug-18 16:09:16

Quite right Maw the Lord moves in mysterious ways. Thank goodness you were able to help Newatthis.
People pray and express their faith in different ways, speaking in tongues is mentioned in the Bible but that method of prayer is not for me. If its a comfort and helps then I won't be critical.

PECS Thu 23-Aug-18 16:16:14

Newatthis fundamental religious folk of any faith who fail to address their children's welfare needs and rely only on the belief that a deity will intervene to help can be, and have been, prosecuted for neglect.
I understand that, as humans, God gave us choice! Choice to use the skills, abilities, brains we have to do either good or bad. If I were around on a judgement day I rather think your actions would be recognised as a good choice!

If all we had to do was pray and we get the answer we want that is a pretty poor religion to me! And we all know that is not how it works! It is too fatalistic and means that whatever we do is God's will and we are just ditching our responsibility to try to live a good life. God willing is all well and good but it might be God's will that we all actually do something!

Eglantine21 Thu 23-Aug-18 17:06:25

The New Testament is very clear the praying in tongues is a gift that God chooses to give, to some but not everyone. He has many gifts to bestow and I’m sure that to you as a believer he has given you other gifts equally as valuable if not more.

One of which seems to be the ability to act decisively in an emergency!

Speaking in tongues is in no way a mark or measure of Christianity. Only belief in Jesus. That is all Jesus required of his followers.

Actually I am not a believer but I do know the Bible.

merlotgran Thu 23-Aug-18 17:43:59

How fortunate that you had an epi-pen in your bathroom.

MawBroon Thu 23-Aug-18 17:45:59

I think it reads as if OP, the friend and her daughter were at their own house, doesn’t it?

merlotgran Thu 23-Aug-18 17:47:47

Ah yes. I've read it again. Thanks.

Wheniwasyourage Thu 23-Aug-18 18:00:55

As I understand the story in the book of Acts, the apostles were given the ability to speak in other languages, so that all the people from wherever they came, found that they could understand the message which was being given. I get really annoyed by the sort of prayer-addicts who think that it means speaking gobbledy-gook. What on earth use is that to anyone? angry (I am a church-goer.)

Well done, Newatthis for acting so quickly and probably saving your friend's daughter's life. I just hope that if/when my allergic DGC is ever in trouble again, that it is you and not your friend who is around to help! flowers

GillT57 Thu 23-Aug-18 18:19:48

I am rather uncomfortable with over devout religious behaviour of any type, thankfully you were there with your level head and sensible approach to potentially save the girl's life. Praying is all well and good, but an epi-pen was better! I wish no disrespect to anyone who finds comfort in religion but feel sorry that anyone should feel they are not 'Christian enough', this is the kind of belief that gets not 'Islamic enough' people killed in the Middle East.

Jalima1108 Thu 23-Aug-18 18:25:40

I did not think that praying in tongues was something you could 'just do' - as Eglantine says, it is a gift from God.

Many years ago I had a friend who could speak in tongues (not that I ever heard her) but she said that 'it just came to her'.

Well done Newatthis for having the presence of mind to find the EpiPen and inject the girl - and it was lucky that you knew she was allergic and needed that treatment.

Fennel Thu 23-Aug-18 19:28:25

What does it mean? (praying in tongues.)

Doodle Thu 23-Aug-18 20:11:06

fennel I was just going to ask the same. I consider myself a Christian (albeit not a good one) and I always thought it meant being able to pray in other languages so that many from different parts of the world could understand the word of God. If it is to speak in a language no one can understand I can't see the point 🤔

Jalima1108 Thu 23-Aug-18 20:14:23

I think it's speaking in tongues, sorry!

Apparently it means reaching a state of ecstasy where a person starts babbling in a language unknown to them - not necessarily a proper language as such.

merlotgran Thu 23-Aug-18 20:16:01

Yes. I always thought it was speaking in tongues. Gibberish!

Jalima1108 Thu 23-Aug-18 20:18:48


Anniebach Thu 23-Aug-18 20:40:53

I have heard speaking in tongues, it is not a language it is as Jalima has just posted , for me shared prayer means in a shared language , unless you are in a country where you do not speak the language

Newatthis Tue 28-Aug-18 10:30:15

Thank you for all your support and comments. This has helped restore my faith in my faith and how I choose to believe.

annodomini Tue 28-Aug-18 11:10:57

Some of the girls I taught in East Africa were 7th Day Adventists who had prayer meetings when they spoke in tongues. Apparently morning chapel wasn't enough so they were having meetings instead of lunch. When the head heard about this, she made it quite clear that God meant them to have lunch in order to make use of their God-given education. It worked.

Grannyknot Tue 28-Aug-18 13:21:02

anno there's a video doing the rounds at the moment of an American pastor preaching for Donald Trump and he "speaks in tongues" - seemingly at will, and it sounds like a take-off of an African language. Well it did to me anyway!

BlueBelle Tue 28-Aug-18 13:38:20

I think they often faint all fall as well don’t they or am I muddling that up with g else All seems very strange and overt to me

BlueBelle Tue 28-Aug-18 13:39:37

Meant to say over the top to me Such shame we can’t edit

aggie Tue 28-Aug-18 13:39:38

My Mum always said " God helps those who help themselves " , especially when we were praying for something and not getting off our knees to do something about it .
OH got caught up in a religious movement within the Church , he went to meetings where one man spoke in "tongues" , he came to the conclusion that in the Bible the Tongues bit meant everyone could understand what was being taught , and stopped going to the group because the tongues bit made it incomprehensible

mumofmadboys Sun 02-Sep-18 05:33:08

I think praying in tongues is sometimes used by people who have this gift to pray for situations where they don't know humanly what to pray for. It is the Holy Spirit within you praying to the Father.

absent Sun 02-Sep-18 06:17:55

I do remember a friend of mine who was a priest saying that God always answers everyone's prayers; just sometimes the answer is "No".

Luckygirl Sun 02-Sep-18 10:33:42

Praying in tongues - gee whizz! - what can one say!!!??

Well - I think I would say it is a load of nonsense! - ducks below parapet!

I am intrigued by faiths that insist on thanking God all the time - does the corollary also apply of expressing dissatisfaction at those things in this world that do not deserve thanks?

I also find it intensely irritating that clearly good people (like annie) feel they are constantly failing. What is this with religion and guilt?

Jalima1108 Sun 02-Sep-18 13:59:06

What is this with religion and guilt?
Organised religion and guilt = control of the people

Luckygirl Sun 02-Sep-18 14:24:18

Breath of Angels

I do not hear the breath of angels
I do not kneel and humbly pray
I do not sense the moving of the spirit
Or thank a lord for every dawning day

I do not see the need for praising;
I do not find the world that kind.
I do not share the guilt of ages
For ancient crimes I cannot call to mind

I do not place that burden on my children
I do not seek a meaning where there's none
I do not spend my time in striving
To solve life's mysteries; chase the sun.

I do not waste my life in speculation
I do not turn away reality
I do not rate the lives of mystics
Who hide away from life's brutality.

I do not shun the mess of loving
I do not seek an outside hand to guide
I do not want a ghostly being
Forever skulking at my side

I want to greet the world in all its sorrow
I want to taste the joy before it dies
I want the sullied purity of living
And do not look for heaven as a prize.

Willow10 Sun 02-Sep-18 14:39:03

I'm not a believer and am deeply suspicious of organised religion. However, a close friend once persuaded me to go to a Christian meeting - probably thinking it would change my mind. When they started speaking in tongues, wailing and fainting all over the place, I was scared stiff - I had no idea what was happening! Rather than changing my mind it strengthened my resolve that it was definitely not for me. But I do appreciate that it gives some people a lot of comfort.

GillT57 Sun 02-Sep-18 15:26:26

Luckygirl, that sums up my feelings exactly. To me, 'speaking in tongues' is a manifestation of hysteria, being carried away with the emotion of the moment. Anything that makes people feel inadequate, guilty, or that they are somehow not religious enough is not for me. I understand that people find comfort in religious practice and ritual, but they are no better or no worse than people like me who do not take part in any organised religious ceremonies.

Greenfinch Sun 02-Sep-18 15:57:32

A friend of mine was taught to pray in tongues by a missionary but I preferred not to learn because there is no evidence of Jesus speaking in tongues and I didn't see it as being helpful.Some people express their religion like this while others need to be more practical like the OP. I think it is important to be broadminded and accepting of all religious experience.We all do what we can and in my opinion the OP was an angel responding to an unspoken prayer if that makes sense.

Luckygirl Sun 02-Sep-18 16:12:23

OP is not an angel - she is just a fellow human being with her head screwed on who got on and did the right thing.

Alexa Sun 02-Sep-18 16:29:17

It's slightly unsafe to believe in God because of emotion or superstition. This sort of belief cannot tolerate reason, and so if the emotion fades or the superstition is recognised as superstition the faith in God will no longer give the support is formerly did.

Morality is not the same as theology and it's best not to confuse them.

Lazigirl Sun 02-Sep-18 16:39:39

I used to go to an evangelical church where speaking in tongues was the norm. They also "prophesied" about coming events and were very demonstrative in worship raising arms and singing choruses over and over and over until in a trance like state. A healing service was something to behold with the "laying on" of hands and folk dropping like ninepins. I know that type of expression of faith is very meaningful to some but I felt uneasy about the foundation for some of the beliefs, and in the end it didn't stand up to my enquiring mind, so I left. For a while I really missed the friendship group, but now have found my home with the humanists who seem to make more sense to me. Thanks for the poem Luckygirl.