1 Corinthians 14:39 (NIV)

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

In the early church, the gift of tongues was a common gift which almost everyone received, as we see in the church in Corinth as an example. Paul had to give advice on how to utilize their spiritual gifts in an orderly manner in the church.

However, I can't find any specific method/instruction given in the New Testament on how to receive the gift of tongues. If I want to receive the gift of tongues, what must I do? Is there any instructions given by the early church fathers on how to receive the gift of tongues? Since the New Testament doesn't give any specific instructions on how to receive the gift of tongues, there must be some writings from the church fathers on this issue.

  • I disagree with the premise of your question that "the New Testament doesn't give any specific instructions on how to receive the gift of tongues". I note that you have several answers to this question: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/19751/… and have even accepted an answer. I'm happy to attempt a more specific answer to that question, but what greater area of specificity are you looking for beyond that already covered? May 30, 2014 at 5:35
  • 2
    Gifts are given freely by the giver of the gifts ...
    – user13992
    Jul 19, 2014 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


Yes and No

The church fathers gave no specific instructions on how to receive the gift of tongues.

However, we can ask God for anything (including gifts) and he can give it to us. There's also credence to believe that the more often and sincerely we ask for them the more likely he is to give them to us (like in the parable of the persistent widow and the evil judge).

John 14:13-14 NLT Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Luke 18:7b-8a ESV And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.

Paul here is telling the Corinthians that they can pray to ask God for the gift of interpretation. It stands to reason that they could pray for the gift to speak in tongues as well.

1 Corinthians 14:13 ESV Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.

But in the end it's all in the wisdom and decision of God to give his gifts to whom he wills. You can ask all you want and God might still say 'No'; but he might say 'Yes'.

1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV All these [gifts] are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

  • 3
    +1 for ending your answer with 1 Corinthians 12:11. A lot of people in my area completely disregard the fact that the gifts are given as God wills.
    – Jesse
    Jul 24, 2014 at 14:52

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