The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret,” (1st Cor. 14:13). He shared a number of profound truths about speaking in tongues and in this Bible verse’s context he was laying principles for the public speaking and interpreting of tongues.
When tongues are spoken for all to hear within the Church body, an interpretation is necessary for the edification of the congregation. Paul said that if he were to come to a gathering of believers speaking in tongues, it won’t be beneficial to those who hear unless there is a revelation or prophecy or word of instruction with an interpretation that is to follow (1 Cor 14:6-12). And then he states, “the one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret.” So, where do we start to receive the power to interpret?
If God has called you to speak in tongues publicly for the Church body to hear, Paul says you should pray for the power to interpret. You can interpret your own tongues, or if you are aware of interpreters within your church, God can use them to interpret the message in tongues. 1st Corinthians 14:27-28 says, “If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.”
The Secret Place
It is in the secret place of prayer, where it is just you and God, that you ask Him for the gift of interpreting tongues, beginning with your own prayer language. You can begin the process today! I’d encourage you to play some worship music and draw near to the Holy Spirit by faith. Worship and adore Jesus, and soon, ask Him for the spiritual gift of interpreting tongues.
After asking Him, begin to pray in tongues for a minute or so. Then pause and listen to His still small voice. If you have a journal with you, begin writing what His voice tells you. That is the interpretation of what you prayed in tongues.
As you do this more in your spiritual life you will grow in this spiritual gift. Then, if the Holy Spirit stirs on you to speak in tongues for the congregation to hear in the right moment, you can speak in tongues and then interpret them or wait for another interpreter to give the message so that everyone will be edified.
Excel in Edification
The Apostle Paul said, “Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church,” (1st Cor. 14:12). This includes prophecy and the interpretation of tongues for the edification, exhortation and comfort. Most importantly, this must be done in love, to build up the Church (1st Cor 14:1-5).
Listen to this amazing discussion I had about speaking and interpreting tongues. It’s available on Apple, Charisma, Spotify, Google, Libsyn, YouTube or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
Jared and Rochelle Laskey co-founded Fireborn Ministries to teach believers how to live a daily Spirit-empowered life. You can find their resources and learn more about their ministry on firebornministries.com. They also have e-courses such as Entry Level Prophecy, The Last Days, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit and more on charismacourses.com and the popular podcast, ‘Adventures in the Spirit,’ available anywhere you listen to podcasts.