How to pray in tongues

It’s come to my attention that praying in tongues is quite a rare skill among my Christian readership.

North American and Western Europeans often have a major mental block against praying in tongues, because it requires releasing cerebral control. This is doubly true for the kind of people likely to be reading on the internet, i.e., introverted intellectual males.

Here are the preconditions for praying in tongues:
1. You are a Christian
2. You have been baptized in the Holy Spirit by someone who can pray in tongues

Here are some common myths and misconceptions regarding tongues:
1. How will I know I’m really praying in tongues?
2. If I just wait tongues will eventually happen, when God wills it
3. Tongues happens automatically
4. Tongues involves ecstatic experience
5. I just can’t do it

I’m pretty sure everyone can pray in tongues. However, it’s not easy. For me, it was as difficult or more difficult than approaching a girl when I had severe Approach Anxiety. The good news is that this initial block wears away to almost nothing with time. I can pray in tongues at will nonverbally, and pretty easily verbally, and it’s only somewhat difficult to do it in front of a stranger.

Basically, self-consciousness and excessive conscious control are the problem.

Ok, let’s go through the misconceptions:

1. How will I know I’m really praying in tongues?

If you achieve glossolalia, and meet the preconditions stated above, you are praying in tongues. It’s irrelevant that actors or witches or whatever can produce similar utterances. The question is not who can produce snakes, but whose snake eats whose (an allusion to Moses’ combat with the Egyptian magicians).

God will not put a lying spirit in your mouth. If you ask for bread, he will not give you a stone.

2. If I just wait tongues will eventually happen, when God wills it.

No it won’t, for the reasons outlined above. You have to try, really really hard at first.

Except in special cases, do not expect to be overwhelmed by an ecstatic fervor and spontaneously pray in tongues. It is a normal, everyday, conscious choice and mundane experience.

3. Tongues will happen automatically.

No. Answered above.

4. Tongues involves ecstatic experience.

It can, but usually won’t. And going crazy in the Spirit in the middle of church is discouraged because it’s disruptive. The charismatic loonies are off the rails there.

5. I just can’t do it.

Yes you can. Don’t be a pussy. God hates quitters.


Ok, with all that out of the way, how do you pray in tongues for the first time?

Satisfy the two preconditions, then go on a walk away from all people. The wilderness works great, if you can get to it. Nighttime in the city suburbs works too. Just make it dead quiet and be alone. And be walking through changing outdoor scenery. This will help prevent you from getting in a mental rut.

Meditate on God and spiritual matters while you’re walking. Try to force out some baby syllables of prayer. It helps if you’ve heard someone else praying in tongues; you can use a syllable of theirs to seed the process. Just repeat it until you get more.

Tongues is your spirit-man praying directly to God. It bypasses the conscious mind, but it fully involves the emotions. There should be inchoate thoughts and feelings accompanying the tongues, but usually no rational interpretation.

Just keep practicing until you get more linguistic variety and sophistication. It may never get very complex, which is fine, but it should develop with practice.

Eventually it will be no big deal for you to rattle a bunch of syllables off. That’s the goal.

Paul said he praises God that he prays in tongues more than all of you. You should be praying in tongues damn near all the time. Koanic Soul makes you do exactly that.