Have you ever heard the words, “If I would have only known, I would have…”? This is one of the comments that I have heard over and over again about the importance of praying in other tongues. Often, people don’t know because they simply haven’t been taught. 

Together, you and I can change this. I am excited to share another easy-to-do, easy-to-understand illustration that shows the importance of praying in other tongues. Just as I have done in the previous illustration posts, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize and add to the illustration to create a powerful teaching tool for a sermon, object lesson, or devotion with your child or grandchild.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 21 – Helping No-Go Praying

“And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty
to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray,
or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf,
pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.”
Romans 8:26 (The Passion Translation)

For this illustration, you will need a Bible and a can of Play-Doh (or some other brand of modeling clay) 
Note: The illustration can be done in one of two ways. First, you can create the Play-Doh objects yourself. Second, to create some fun, if time allows you can use two cans of Play-Do and have two participants from the audience create and then showcase their Play-Doh objects.

Just for a few minutes, let’s go back in time, become little kids again, and enjoy a few minutes of carefree fun. To make this happen, all that we need is this one item. (Show Play-Doh.) Here is where the fun kicks in. With this Play-Doh, I can create a tree. (Create a tree.) Or, I can create a dog. (Create a dog.) Here’s one of my favorites. I can create a mini-me. (Create a miniature version of yourself.) As great as playing with Play-Doh can be, there is a Play-Doh reality, one that I call No-Go Play-Doh. Here’s what I mean by this phrase. Try as I may, I can’t use Play-Doh to create (attempt to create the following) wind or sunlight. When I try to create or form the wind, it is definitely a No-Go. The same can be said for the sunlight. It just isn’t possible. I have reached my end. I can’t go any further. So, now you can understand my No-Go Play-Doh phrase. (Put aside the Play-Doh, and, if you used participants, thank them and return them back to their seats.) These are just two of the many things in this No-Go category.

Let me use what we’ve just seen with the Play-Doh to talk about something that can happen while we are talking to God. I know that you love to pray. It is one of the coolest things about being a Christian. We can talk to God at any time, any place about any thing. In these times, it is so easy to create or put together the words needed to express exactly what needs to be said. Am I right? But there are times when what needs to be said, to use a word that I used earlier, is a “No-Go”. Just as in our example with the Play-Doh, we have reached a limit as to what we can do. We are clueless.

I am thankful that the Bible (show Bible) tells us that God knows that we need help in this matter and has the answer. In Romans 8:26, we see that in these No-Go times of prayer, the Holy Spirit connects with our spirit (“the Holy Spirit rises up within us”) and starts to do what only He can do. Ready for this? The Holy Spirit begins to put together a supernatural communication with heaven conveying what our mind and regular everyday human words can’t formulate and express (“to super-intercede on our behalf”). It’s in this time of praying in our heavenly prayer language that the No-Go limitations (“we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for”) have to exit. We can be confident that our Spirit-enabled, deep-from-within, understood-only-by-heaven (“emotional sighs that are too deep for words”) prayers will soar up to the very presence of God.

(I’ve given a brief skeletal overview. Now, it’s up to you and the Holy Spirit to do the teaching.)