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Is there a specific language we should use in prayer?

There is no specific language, but we should note that there is something called spiritual tongues in prayer. Paul once said of prayer in the spirit: “I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding” (1 Cor 14:15). Here, Paul is speaking of two types of language we use in prayer. First, “pray with the spirit” means praying in the Holy Spirit or praying with spiritual tongues. How do we know? We know from 1 Corinthians 14:14, where Paul says, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays...” We can think of prayer in spiritual tongues as a type of spiritual language we speak after we receive the Holy Spirit.

If you are confused about spiritual tongues, please refer to the questions related to the Holy Spirit. But apostle Paul also mentions “praying with the mind,” which means praying in a language we ourselves can understand. When we pray in the spirit, we will not understand what is being said, even though we ourselves are praying in a spiritual tongue, for we are speaking mysteries in the spirit, which only God understands without translation (1 Cor 14:2). However, even when we pray in the spirit, we can also pray with our mind, i.e., to pray to God in a language we understand. So, for example, if we speak English and we are praying in spiritual tongues, we can still pray to God, in our mind, in English. We reach out and speak to God with our mind in prayer, even though we are praying in a spiritual tongue.

The Bible teaches us that we do not have to use many words to have our prayer heard by God; rather, God already knows what our needs are (Mt 6:7–8). Since God already knows our needs in prayer, prayer in the Holy Spirit is often the deepest type of prayer, for the Holy Spirit himself can intercede for us in our weaknesses (Rom 8:26). But what should we say in our mind? What language should we use? Just continually repeat the Lord’s Prayer in our head? No. We should often give thanks and praise to God. We do not have to make a long list of our requests to God, which is not to say we can never petition God in prayer. But we must take care of our motives in prayer. Thanksgiving and praise are most effective in prayer.

In Revelation 19:1–6, the people of heaven, the elders, and the four living creatures all shouted “Hallelujah” to praise God. The voice of the many people in heaven sounded like the roar of rushing waters. Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is like a flow of living water coming out of our hearts (Jn 7:38). Acts 2:2 describes the Holy Spirit’s downpour as the sound of a rushing mighty wind. The church filled with the Holy Spirit, when praying in the Spirit, will sound like the roar of rushing waters. A spiritual church should always have the sound of God’s praise resounding within the church.

Publisher: True Jesus Church