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Key:  There Are Two Types of Speaking in Tongues                   

The first type is for all believers.  It is called speaking in tongues.  It is also called your “Heavenly prayer language”  or praying in tongues.  What Paul was saying is that since no one can understand what you are saying, it is better to pray in tongues to edify yourself in your own private time with the Lord, like during your personal devotions.  You can pray in tongues whenever you want to according to your own will to pray out the perfect will of God for your life or for others.

The second type is the gift of tongues.  This gift of tongues is only as God wills.  In a church service, usually after praise and worship when there is a holy silence, the Lord may move upon a person to speak out a tongue.  Then God will enable them to speak out the interpretation or if God has not given them the interpretation, then God will move on someone else to interpret that tongue so that the whole church body can be edified.

           If there is a gift of tongues spoken out and there is also an interpretation, then that is equal to prophecy or a prophetic word. Many times in a church service (usually after the praise and worship when there is a holy hush), if the Pastor is open to the gift of prophesy, then he will allow a church member who has the gift of prophecy to speak out a prophetic word to edify, encourage and comfort the whole church.  There are no tongues and interpretation because the prophecy is already in English, so they can all understand.

          In the chapter of 1 Corinthians 14 Paul was teaching the Corinthian believers the difference between these two types of tongues and how they should be used in a church service:

I Corin. 14:4  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

1 Corin 14:13-15 and v. 18   Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.  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….I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all.

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