Intimacy Tongues  -    Dr. Ezekiah Francis


We will ponder the privilege of intimate communication with God through tongues. All the other gifts of the Spirit bless others, but this unique gift of tongues helps our own personal life. It is the heart beat of our prayer life.

Prayer of understanding

There are two sides to a victorious prayer life. One is prayer in our understanding and the other is prayer in the Spirit. Most of our prayers and praises are done from our mind and emotions. Yet even those who excel in this kind of prayer are not perfect in their prayer lives. In fact, many prayer warriors become faint-hearted when their flesh becomes weak, their minds become feeble, their emotions lose their vigor, the answers are delayed and hindrances mount up.

Mighty prayer warriors fumbled in their prayer life. Those who stood in the gap slumbered. Jubilant worshippers became terribly discouraged. One of the main reasons is that they all prayed in their under-standing only. Our minds and will power are not as energetic in our old age as in our youth. Those who pray hard face the temptation of discouragement. That’s why Jesus connected the danger of losing heart with prayer life (Lk.18:1). At such times, the prayer language of the Holy Spirit comes to our aid. That doesn’t mean you don’t need the help of the Holy Spirit in your prayer of understanding. Of course, you need the help of the Holy Spirit in every area of your life. Only a Spirit-filled man can find fulfillment in his family life and fruit in his ministry. All kinds of prayer need to be energized by the Holy Spirit.

That’s why Paul says: “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” (Eph.6:18,NIV). Note the words “all kinds of prayers”.

Yes, there are many kinds of prayers. Prayer of intercession, prayer of supplication, prayer of faith, prayer of sin confession, prayer of spiritual warfare, prayer of intimacy, prayer of thanksgiving, prayer of praise and worship, prayer of authority, prayer of commitment and the list goes on. All these kinds of prayers can be prayed in understanding and also in the Spirit.

Praying with the spirit

When you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit directly communicates with the Father along with your spirit. The Bible is very emphatic that the one who speaks in tongues does not speak to men but to God (1.Co.14:2). Therefore, it is very clear that it is a prayer language.

“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. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified” (1.Co.14:14-17).

Praying with the spirit, blessing with the spirit, singing with the spirit, all points out clearly that it’s a communication language with God. Let’s first study about praying with the spirit.

Praying in the spirit

This kind of prayer bypasses your mind. There is no work for your brain here nor can your feelings, strength or self-will dominate. Your human knowledge cannot limit your prayer in the spirit. One of the greatest sins the Israelites and our modern Church commit is to limit the Holy One of Israel.

Many times we pray only within the limits of what we know. But God has kept wonders for us that our minds can never fathom. He has innumerable, great and unsearchable things for us. Sometimes our own mind becomes a stumbling block to receive them. The widespread teachings of unbelief in our churches today stop us from reaching God’s riches. The greatest blessing of this prayer language is that we leave our natural realm to enter God’s supernatural realm where we can pray with the mind of God. The mentally exhausted and emotionally damaged can easily break through their barriers by enjoying the blessings of praying in tongues.

If you lament over your distracted thoughts while praying, this is your solution. When you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit totally takes over your prayer life. The Holy Spirit teams up with your spirit and makes your tongue His weapon.

In a nutshell, when you pray in tongues you leave this earthly realm and enter the heavenly realm to pray in God’s language. When you pray in the understand-ing however, you pray from earth to the Father in heaven.

This special prayer is done by the power of the indwelling Spirit Who does exceedingly abundantly above all what we ask and think and dream about (Eph.3:20).

Don’t be confused whether it is the Holy Spirit or your spirit who is praying. He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1.Co.6:17). The Holy Spirit gives the utterance in your spirit, and your spirit transfers those words to your tongue (Acts 2:4; 1.Co.14:14). This spirit language is not understood by any human being or even by demons. This is the most glorious time of communion between your spirit and God who is The Spirit. No words can explain the blessings we receive from this prayer. Your mind will not comprehend the depth of it. I believe when we reach heaven we will be surprised at many of the results of our praying in tongues.

Praying in His will

When you pray in this divine language you not only go beyond your human limitations but also pray hundred percent according to God’s will. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”

(1.Jn.5:14). Our problem, however, is to know whether what we ask is His will or not. We can pray with confidence if our request is clearly promised in God’s Word, but the Bible is not very clear about some of our specific questions.

For example, we all know it’s not God’s will for a believer to marry an unbeliever. It is a clear Bible teaching (2.Co.6:14). Yet how can a believer find out God’s perfect match for his life, even among believers? This is a major problem for many believers. Like this, we have many issues where God’s will is not clearly spelt out.

Another tragedy is that many believers waste their time crying, fasting and pleading to get what they want, trying to manipulate God. In my ministry experience, this observation has shaken me to the core. I have seen many good believers wasting their life praying out of their own fleshly stubbornness for things God never intended them to have.

We see three dangers in this kind of prayer. We never receive what we ask because we ask amiss (Jas.4:3). It kills our time and energy. Some people might even backslide out of disappointment and frustration. I have even seen people going to the extreme of doubting God Himself.

Another danger is that the devil might deceive them into believing that what they ask is God's will.

Permissive will

There is still a greater danger. Sometimes God punishes our foolishness by granting our request if we are very adamant. Just remember the fate of the Israelites who craved for fish and meat, not satisfied with the God-given manna (Nu.11:4-35). God heaped them with quail for a whole month until it came out of their nostrils and became loathsome to them.

The wrath of God burned hot against them while the meat was still between their teeth. They were struck with a very severe plague. That place became the graveyard of those who craved and was therefore named Kibroth Hattaavah, the Graves of Craving. What a tragedy!

Friend, never stubbornly ask for anything if it is not clearly promised in God’s Word. Don’t waste your years and tears. Let not your tomb be found in that “craveyard”.

You live in God’s permissive will if you ask adamantly in your flesh. It was never God's perfect will to rule His people through kings, but because they kept asking, God gave them kings (1.Sam.8). From Saul’s time all through history, Israel lived in God’s permissive will, missing His perfect will. Just think about it! The people suffered under almost every king, with very few exceptions. Their lives became bitter. They were taken captive. It is all written for our warning.

Beloved, this fact is enough to shake us all. I tremble to say that the majority of God’s people today are not in God’s perfect will. They live most of their lives in God’s permissive will. With much pain I have witnessed this time and again in my ministry worldwide.

A life that is not in the center of God’s will is definitely a second grade life. Such life never gives full satisfaction. Life itself becomes a great burden. Of course, such people may see a few blessings and fruit in their ministry, but they will not enjoy the abundance of His perfect blessings. Yet there is no limit for those who live in the center of God’s will. Their ministry also will shine brighter and brighter like the light of dawn (Ecl.4:18).

For me, it is better to die than to live in His permissive will. I constantly ask God: “Lord, never grant me anything outside Your perfect will even if I ask”.

Dear reader, maybe you have already missed His perfect will in your life. Maybe you long for a solution. Don’t lose heart. God is well able to compensate. If you can turn back and do His will in any possible area, do it now. At least from now, stop asking and craving anything against His desire.

Praying in tongues is a great bonus for praying in His will. Paul made it very clear: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom.8:26-27). God wants to enlighten our spiritual eyes to see this vital truth. We all have our own weaknesses, and our failure in prayer is the worst of all. Victory in your prayer life is victory in your life and ministry. Failure here is failure everywhere.

Here you need the great help of your comforter. He prays through you with unutterable groanings. Your heavenly Father who searches your heart knows the thoughts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit intercedes in God-pleasing ways. This kind of prayer works all things together for your good (Rom.8:28). That’s good news for ’prayer-weaklings’!


Let me share my prayer experiences. Whenever I am burdened and confused, not knowing how and what to pray for, I heartily welcome the Holy Spirit. I honestly confess my ignorance and start praying in tongues. Then God takes over and brings His burdens before my inner eyes. Keeping that in mind, I continue to pray in tongues.

Sometimes, I burst out into loud crying. Other times, tears stream down profusely. That makes me see the deep concern of the Holy Spirit for that specific need. I don’t stop praying in tongues until my crying stops. Once the tears of my spirit man stop, the peace of God that passes all understanding fills me thoroughly.

My tears turn into joy, my prayer turns into praise. Sometimes I even burst into laughter. All these things happen when I intensely and extensively pray in tongues.

There are few times I just groan and sigh in the spirit without a single word. This could be called groaning in the spirit. However, it doesn’t happen regularly because our physical body cannot withstand such experiences frequently.

Sometimes even when I stand on the pulpit and look at the people, I am overcome with tears and groanings. At such times, I struggle to control myself from crying out loud in front of the crowd. I share this with you to show you there are greater depths to a life in the Spirit. I am convinced that we have hardly touched the shore line of an ocean of deeper prayer experiences.

Ezekiel’s vision of the river from the temple portrays this truth. Never be satisfied with ankle-deep, knee-deep or waist-deep water level! It is high time you reach for the swimming level (Eze.47). The waves of the Holy Spirit should sweep you along. Such depth of prayer lives would bring down heaven, shatter hell and create a new world.

This kind of prayer becomes your experience only when you walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit does all the praying while you are passive; nor does it mean you do the praying while the Holy Spirit is passive. The Word in Romans 8:26, “He helps us in our weaknesses” literally means a combined effort where two people together carry a heavy load.

Warfare tongues

There are times we wrestle with the powers of darkness in tongues. Those who pray in tongues for many hours can easily discern it. It’s not hard for a man who lives in the Spirit to discern when he is talking to God and when he is together with God fighting against demons.

You might have heard many testimonies of people like Paul Yonghi Cho fighting with demons in tongues.

He openly talks about his battles with the strongmen of different nations. In some countries, it takes him five or six hours of praying in tongues to get a break-through. In other countries, he could easily penetrate within two or three hours. In his own nation, Korea, he enjoys the liberty in prayer within an hour of tongue talking. Such experiences from the pastor of the largest church worldwide should not be taken lightly.

I love to narrate many such experiences of great men of God. Yet generally in my messages and writings I share only experiences even a new believer would venture to attempt.

However, you always need to desire greater and mightier things, as God is no respecter of persons. It is my firm conviction that any of the extraordinary experiences of the men of God in the Bible and in history could be experienced by any man if he covets more, believes like a child, and is willing to pay the cost. Earlier we saw that when Paul wrote about spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6, he mentions all kinds of prayer in the Spirit. Obviously tongues are included here. So we conclude: praying in tongues is one of the weapons of spiritual warfare. I believe that through this prayer language my spirit will be united with the Holy Spirit and raise up a banner against the enemy that comes like a flood. As Jonathan and his armor bearer smote the enemies as a team, you can team up with the Holy Spirit and combat the devil. Yet this is only possible when you are totally under His control and there is no barrier in between.

At times, the Holy Spirit will rise up in you and command the powers of darkness with authority. It could be in your own language or in the angelic language or in His own language. It is His choice. God is eagerly looking for such fellow prayer warriors in these last days of intense battle. Would you become His soldier?


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