Read closely Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 14:14-19.
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:14-19).
In describing his own gift of speaking in tongues, Paul wrote, “my spirit prays” (1 Cor. 14:14). This may be a reference to the Holy Spirit, or perhaps his own human spirit, or even a co-working of the two, which in effect constitutes the essence of a spiritual gift. (A spiritual gift is when the Holy Spirit energizes and enables my spirit to do what otherwise I couldn’t do.) The important point, however, is that when Paul prays in tongues his mind is “unfruitful.” By this he means either, “I don’t understand what I am saying,” or, “Other people don’t understand what I’m saying.” The former is more likely.
This is crucial. Many insist that if one’s mind is unfruitful, that is to say, if one’s mind is not engaged in such a way that the believer can rationally and cognitively grasp what is occurring, the experience, whatever its nature may be, is useless. The apostle Paul strongly disagreed. Since Paul asserted that his mind was unfruitful when he prayed in tongues, many would think his next step would be to repudiate the use of tongues altogether. After all, what possible benefit can ther