Just a bit of correction. When one uses the phrase common gift of prayer tongues, the primary meaning is that everyone can receive it…we, common folk. Praying in common (with the big guys) is one of the joys given by the Holy Spirit.
There has been so much counterfeit in the Christmatic world that I thought that the Catholic Christmatics were faking-it. Not intentionally of course, but the fact that the members in the group I was in went to classes to learn how to pray in tongues made me think that they were trained seals.
There can be “counterfeit” regarding the common gift of praying in tongues. Let’s just shorten that to prayer tongues. “Counterfeit” can happen when a person does not receive the gift of prayer tongues immediately when prayed over. Without proper instruction, the person becomes embarrassed when she or he feels like the odd ball. At that point, the person will say something just to be saying something.
Some years back, when a few individuals posted serious questions about prayer tongues; for example what happens physically when the gift is received, I started posting information to fit the person’s questions. Baptism of the Spirit–this is not the Catholic Sacrament of Baptism–can be emotional especially when one commits their life to Our Lord. Many Catholics are not used to the idea of Jesus being their personal Lord and Savior. What else is He?:doh2:
So naturally, they are not as relaxed as they could be. This is why I make sure that I post that often a person is not comfortable with tongues until later. This “later” is usually when a person is taking a shower. Laugh, if you will. But is there a better place to relax and sing (or first pray in tongues) where no one can hear you?
Regarding classes to learn how to pray in tongues. Traditionally, the Charismatic prayer group would offer a seminar titled “Life in the Spirit.” Everyone possible would be invited. There are different versions of this seminar.
The seminar was one night a week for five or six weeks. The first weeks were basic Catholic education, some testimonies, and occasionally small group discussions. There would be mentors so that a person could ask questions privately. Lately, these seminars have been condensed into a weekend or maybe a three evening retreat type thing. Usually, instructions about prayer tongues are toward the end. However, I did hear of a Charismatic presentation where it sounded as if prayer tongues were talked about and demonstrated up front.
As I recall, information about the classical Holy Spirit Gifts listed by St. Paul was rather brief. However, back then, this type of instruction was presented during a regular Charismatic meeting. “Continuing education” is important.
One interesting point about prayer tongues is that often people need to be helped in yielding to the Holy Spirit, especially the control freaks. One way I can do this is to ask the person to imitate the sounds of my own prayer tongues. I will softly pray in tongues and let the person try to imitate them. I do this so that the person can experience her or his voice mechanism making unusual sounds. Also, I let the person know that her or his personal prayer tongues may be just one sound which is repeated.
Sometimes the one imitating me will find that almost unconsciously different sounds are added to mine. Sometimes the one imitating me will find that her or his desire to yield to the Holy Spirit merges with new sounds. Sometimes nothing happens. The essential thing is that the person is yielding to the Holy Spirit, really yielding one’s voice mechanism. The person needs to decide that it is o.k. to trust the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the person continues to yield to the Holy Spirit and let hapen whatever sounds occur.
The above could be considered temporary “counterfeit prayer tongues” with the goal of yielding to the Holy Spirit and receiving the real gift of prayer tongues. Nonetheless, I am well aware that both gifts of tongues can be faked. As for fake prayer tongues, I cannot judge those and I should not judge them because prayer tongues are between the individual and God. When I am personally asked if specific sounds are prayer tongues, I usually go by the person’s intention to freely yield to the Holy Spirit and I lean toward the positive. This is because often the intial sounds of prayer tongues can change as time goes on according to the wisdom of the Giver of the Gift, the Holy Spirit Himself.
Regarding the Classical gift of speaking in tongues, as DebChris pointed out, there has to be discernment as a safe guard. This is done in a number of ways. When the person speaking in tongues (the Classical gift for the benefit of the community) says that the congregation should pay for an Olympic size swimming pool in the Pastor’s back yard, discernment is definitely needed.
Truthfully, with my Protestant anointing I clam-up when the leader says pray. The anointing must fall on me and I must sense the Presence of God first. Also, that group leader didn’t allow Impartion and laying on of hands to help people get baptize in the Holy Spirit, which made me even more supisious
I have some ideas about these comments. However, I need a bit of time before replying. Also I noticed your usage of Christmatic. Please tell me more about that.