By Perry Stone
Being raised in a Full Gospel minister’s home by a father who was an anointed preacher and diligent prayer warrior who spent practically every day, at some point, praying in the prayer language of the Holy Spirit, it was never difficult for me to believe in or accept the supernatural power of God as a vital part of our spiritual lives. However, those who were raised in a family or denomination that taught against spiritual manifestations (including the nine spiritual gifts – 1 Cor. 12:7-10) often have mental blocks, fear or unbelief they must battle when encountering this type of New Testament charismata.
Speaking of my dad, Fred Stone, there are three things he taught me through his life example. First, was to be a person of your word and maintain integrity. The second was to be absolutely certain the Holy Spirit has spoken to you before you announce to anyone that the Lord has given you something to share with others. Third, was the visible example he set by his intense and intimate prayer life. I have never met another man in my lifetime who prayed more earnestly or with such energy.
I once asked him when or where he had learned to pray with such an anointing and why he prayed so much in the prayer language of the Holy Spirit (called speaking in unknown or other tongues, meaning a language no known to the speaker – Acts 2:1-4; 10:46; 19:6; 1 Cor. 14:8). Dad said that he learned the importance of praying in the Spirit when ministering and praying with his Uncle Rufus Dunford, a man who operated in the gift of divers tongues and interpretation (see 1 Cor. 14). When Dad and Rufus prayed, they often interceded for at least one hour and much of the prayer was praying in the Holy Spirit. Both Dad and Rufus noted the passage in Jude which read, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).
The Bypass of the Holy Spirit
When a believer prays in their native tongue, such as English, the human intellect can build a wall of unbelief, especially when a person is praying over what seems to be an impossible situation. When we pray for situations that are not complicated or in need of miraculous intervention, it is easy to pray and believe. But when special intervention is required or physical healing appears impossible, the voice of the human inner conscience can whisper, “This can’t happen! You know people die when they are struck with this disease. The doctor has already given up on them and healing is impossible!”
To bypass unbelief, God has provided the avenue of the Holy Spirit in which to release prayers that are spoken directly to God out of your spirit through the language of God. By praying in the Spirit, Paul informs us that “our understanding is unfruitful” (1 Cor. 14:14). The Greek word unfruitful here is arkarpos, which means to be barren, meaning that when you are praying in the Holy Spirit, there is no interrupting barrier being created by your human intellect.
Since age 11, I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and have exercised this gift when praying in “unknown” or “other” tongues (the prayer language assigned to me by the Holy Spirit”. In my earlier ministry, when local church revivals would extend for many weeks, I would spend the greater part of the afternoon prior to each service in prayer. During those seasons of intense intercession, I would pray with my understanding, then pray in the Spirit, then return back to my understanding. I began to observe that the revelation the Lord would give me concerning the nightly message often came after praying in the Spirit. This is because the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God (Roman 8:26-28), and when we pray in the Spirit we are speaking spiritual mysteries (1 Cor. 14:4) that can be interpreted back to our minds for our understanding. Thus, we can all tap into the will of God when praying in the Spirit.
The phrase “building up yourselves” (Jude 20) is a Greek phrase referring to building a building upon a foundation. The cornerstone of our foundation is laid the moment we receive Christ as our Redeemer and Savior. Christ is the chief cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6), and we are lively stones built upon a spiritual house to offer up spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet. 2:5). By praying in the prayer language of the Holy Spirit, we are building a spiritual house, with the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles as the foundation. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, we build the house: the bedroom of intimate prayer; the kitchen of feeding from the Word, the living roomof fellowship with believers, and the private study of revelation of the Word.
Previous generations in the Pentecostal and Full-Gospel congregations emphasized the importance of being filled with the Spirit, teaching that once a person was converted to Christ they should immediately seek the infilling of God’s power through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The danger today is that conversion to Christ has become a ritual, and some churches seldom, if ever, have a service in which they pray for those desiring the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Once reason is the fear of emotionalism or someone getting “out of order” and offending the others. Our ministry, however, has seen over 100,000 individuals from all denominations baptized in the Holy Spirit. One of my first messages at age 17 was on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. After almost 37 years of ministry, I have observed that amazing transformation and higher levels of faith and joy follow the spiritual truth that accompanies the infilling of the Holy Spirit
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Perry Stone is a sought-after Bible expert. He has written more than 40 books and produced hundreds of videos, DVDs, and audio teachings. His weekly television program, Manna-Fest, can be seen via cable and satellite on TBN, Daystar, INSP, LeSea and other networks. Visit voe.org to learn more.