As a parent, one of my joys was to have special words, phrases, or even songs that I shared with my children. Most of them had to do with experiences or memories that we all shared as a family. For example, one of our favorite songs to sing was the “Best Friend Monkey Club Song” and our favorite way to cool off on a hot day was to have a drink of “cold best friend water, which must be super cold and super best friend”—you get the idea! To the unknowing observer these would be difficult to comprehend, but in our family they reflected the existing love and bond that we share. Going back even further, when my children were babies, they didn’t have a clue what we were saying, but what they did understand was how such words made them feel—closer to Daddy.

There is nothing in the world quite like the gift of tongues, but it does remind me of the “secret language” I shared with my children, especially back in the days when they were too little to comprehend the words being spoken. Tongues can enhance our personal prayer times, bring comfort and peace, and it focuses our mind on the things of the Spirit and eternity. First Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.”

Tongues may be given to us in times when we are overwhelmed with the awesomeness and majesty of God, in times of spiritual warfare and trials when we are literally at the end of ourselves and beyond words that we can articulate, and everything in between. That’s why Paul states, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). I like how Paul says, “I will pray.” Whether it was in the spirit with tongues he did not understand or in a known language he did understand, either way he was committed to pray.

Perhaps you have been confused, misinformed, or even fearful of the gift of tongues. Let go of those burdens today and remember that your heavenly Father only gives good and perfect gifts. If the Spirit has placed it on your heart to desire the gift of tongues, ask for it with boldness! Trust that if you need it, the Lord will grant it. If He doesn’t, then be at peace with His decision. Regardless, let the fear of the unknown be left behind you and instead move forward with eager expectation for all the marvelous works that God wants to do in and through your life. Special words are just the beginning!

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