I started to speak in tongues about 10 years ago. At that time, I was going to a traditional church. I never heard people speaking in tongues, and neither did I think it was possible. However, a friend of mine who was a new convert, became very interested and found a book on "Speaking in Tongues". Immediately, I jumped to the "how to" section.
3 Steps to Speaking in Tongues
I do not remember all the details, but I remember the author gave 3 steps:
Become a Christian
Pray to receive the Holy Spirit
Open your mouth and speak
Since I was already a Christian, I jumped to Step 2 to pray for the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, I heard a small voice coming from my belly which said, "You already have the Holy Spirit"! Then I thought, if I already have the Holy Spirit, I should be able to speak in tongues! So I opened my mouth, but since I did not know what to say, I just started to pray the Lord's prayer. After a few moments, my words changed to a strange sound which sounded something like the Vietnamese language. So, that was how I started to speak in tongues!
I Tested it
As I was still not sure whether I was actually speaking in tongues, or was it just my imagination, I repeated the same procedures again the next day. The same sounds came out from my mouth! Then I thought, even if I was actually speaking in tongues, how do I know what it means? So I prayed again for the Interpretation of Tongues, which is another gift from the Holy Spirit. Since that time, I sometimes get an idea of what I was praying about. Even though I could not interpret word for word, but I have an idea of whether I was praying for my family, for the country, or my work, etc.
I find praying in tongues especially helpful when I was so stressed that I did not even know what to pray. Usually after praying for a while, my heart felt very peaceful.
Covet Earnestly the Best Gifts
When I told my Christian friends about my experience, everyone has different response. But what surprised me most was, NO ONE ever asked me how to receive this gift! Didnt Paul tell us to "covet earnestly the best gift (of the Holy Spirit) ? How come no one was even interested?
1 Cor 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts ...
Importance of Speaking in Tongues
I hope Christians do not downplay the importance of Speaking in Tongues! As we are already in the end times, most of our battles are fought in the spiritual realm and not the physical realm. As Paul said in Ephesians,
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
I remember hearing an ex-Satanist talking about how they used to chant, practice rituals and use supernatural means to attack believers. However, it seems that most Christians do not know anything about it. Maybe for this reason, the Holy Spirit has given us supernatural gifts for these battles in the end times. I hope sharing my experience will help Christians who really covet these Spiritual Gifts from the Holy Spirit like me. As our Lord Jesus said, this is what He expects from His believers.
John 14:12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.