1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
v.4, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”
v.14, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
v.15, “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”
Jude 20, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,”
When we get baptized in the Holy Ghost like the early church on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4, we are filled with the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues. Very often the Bible describes this experience in various ways. It is really just a variety of ways to describe the same experience. It is called speaking in an unknown tongue in 1 Corinthians 14:2, and praying in an unknown tongue in 1 Corinthians 14:14. A careful reading will show you that praying with the Spirit is speaking in tongues and vice versa. In both cases, speaking in tongues is our Spirit speaking or praying which shows us, obviously, that our spirit must have a voice and the ability to communicate. There is great value and spiritual benefit from allowing our spirit to speak or pray. Whenever the Lord gives us something as a gift (Luke 11:13), He wants us to get the maximum benefit of it.
One of the benefits of praying with the spirit, praying in the Holy Ghost, or praying in other tongues is that we can edify ourselves. To be edified is to be built up. The word used for “edifieth” in Jude 20 is “oikodome” (from the Greek) which literally means to build a house/edifice/structure or to build up. When something is built or built up, all the pieces of the structure come together. I believe it is one of the main ways to help us keep it all together in our lives and not fall to pieces due to the pressures of life.
It is a means of building ourselves up spiritually. This is something we can do, as a spiritual exercise, on purpose, to affect ourselves spiritually. Just like a weight lifter can exercise with weights and build himself up, we can pray in tongues and build ourselves up spiritually. The weight lifter does not create more muscles, but rather builds up the muscles already there to full capacity. Praying in tongues builds us up to the full capacity of the faith we have. It does not produce more faith, but builds us up on the faith we have. Faith is the key to everything we receive from God. It affects our faith in the place where faith is, which is in our inner man. It is something like exercising with weights, that we can do “on purpose” or “at will” to affect ourselves spiritually.
We can help ourselves spiritually by allowing this spiritual blessing to flow through us. This will have the same effect that the Word of God does when it flows through us, it will build us up. Acts 20:32 says, “And now brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to BUILD YOU UP, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
Yes, we can help ourselves, spiritually. “Well that sounds selfish.” What’s so terribly wrong with helping ourselves? That would be like refusing to eat food and feeding ourselves because it’s just for us. What would happen if we didn’t eat for ourselves? We’d become weak and not be able to function. Eventually we would become overly dependent and in need of someone else to help us; now that’s selfish. We cannot lift others up if we are not lifted up.
I want to walk in the maximum of all God has for me and faith is the key to receiving it all; all the healing, all the wisdom, all the victory, all the endurance, all the guidance, and all the strength that God has for me. This is only by faith and by building up ourselves on our most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost, we can keep our faith battery (so to speak) operating at full charge.
We are also building up ourselves for a walk in faith and a walk in the spirit above a walk in the senses. We are empowered to walk in the Spirit above a walk of being dominated by the natural realm of what we can see, feel, and touch. All the failure we face in this world system is in the realm of what we see, feel, hear, taste, and smell; the sense realm. We can build ourselves up to live above domination by the sense realm. We do this by building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.