Interpreting Tongues

Recently I was in a meeting of believers. At the end of the meeting a couple of the leaders wanted to pray over a woman who was visiting. Apparently everyone in the crowd knew her but me.

I was asked to pray for her after the leaders prayed. I felt that the Spirit told me to pray for her to receive the gift of interpretation of tongues. I didn’t want to pray for that without some indication of desire on her part, though. If the Lord was calling her to that ministry but she didn’t want it, the prayer for her to receive it would be untimely and maybe wasted, even turning her away from the idea, perhaps.

I asked her if she had been praying for the gift of interpretation. She replied, “I was in a meeting the other day and everybody was giving me a hard time because I don’t speak in tongues!”

I repeated the question, making it clearer that I was talking about interpreting, not speaking. This time, she replied that she had not been praying for it, but would like it. I touched her and prayed for her to receive the gift, and I prayed that the Holy Spirit would keep her from being discouraged when she didn’t get an interpretation because someone was just making noise instead of speaking.

I reminded her of the abuse she had recently received from the people who were trying to make her believe that everyone has to speak in tongues. I told her that some people would be afraid enough of those annoying people that they would pretend to speak in tongues just to get them to leave them alone and stop accusing them of failure. If she encountered one of those or other unreal situations, she would think that she was the failure because she was not getting an interpretation if she didn’t get the revelation that there was no message to interpret.

She turned away from me just as I was speaking something in tongues to her. Still looking away, she said, “Yeah, I guess so!”

I asked her what she thought I had just said to her. She said, “You said the Lord said I needed to trust Him more,” which didn’t sound anything like the syllables I had just spoken. She heard the English so clearly that she did not even realize that I had spoken to her in tongues.

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