In reading Mark 16:17 ” … they shall speak with new tongues ..”, many believers today would ask, “Why would we need to speak in a new tongue?” Thankfully, there are people like you that are using these easy-to-do, simple-to-understand illustrations to give a solid, biblical answer in your teaching/preaching/sharing. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.
The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 13 – Gain the Aid of the Great Helper
For this illustration, you will need a Bible and a hank of rope.
For today’s teaching, I need a helper that knows how to play a game called Tug of War. (Bring a young child, perhaps a six- or seven-years-old to the platform.) Tug of War needs little explanation. It is a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line. In this teaching, we are going to play an imaginary game of Tug of War. I will give you the end of this hank of rope and we will pretend that you are playing the game with a bunch of your friends that are about the same age and height. (Give the child the end of the rope.) I’m going to ask my friend to show me how that they would hold the rope and how that they would stand while playing the game. (Allow the child to demonstrate.) It would be a fun game and a fierce competition, wouldn’t it! Now, let me add a twist to this game. What would happen if I came to stand behind you, wrapped my arms around you to grab the rope with you, and began to pull the rope together with you? (Demonstrate.) Bear in mind that I am older, much taller, much bigger, and much stronger than the kids on the opposing team. Who would win the contest? (Allow responses.)
The game of Tug of War illustrates one of the greatest reasons for praying in other tongues. The Bible (show Bible) tells us in Romans 8:26 that there are times that we are in a struggle and at a disadvantage (KJV – “our infirmities”; ESV – “weakness”) when we pray. (Have the child to hold the rope as though they are struggling in the Tug of War game.) It is in these times that the Holy Spirit (point to yourself) comes alongside to help. (Walk over and stand behind the child.) The word “helpeth” in this verse actually comes from three different Greek root words. One root word means “to take hold together“; the second means “with“; and the third means “against“. When put all together, we see that the Holy Spirit “takes hold together with us against our enemy”. Just as we saw in our Tug of War game, while we are praying in our heavenly prayer language (KJV – “groanings”), the bigger-than-us, more-powerful-than-us Holy Spirit (point to yourself) steps into the prayer (KJV – “maketh intercession”) and supernaturally wraps Himself around us (stand behind the child, reach around to grab hold of the rope with them) to help us (act as though you together are engaged in Tug of War) make up for our weakness (KJV – “we know not what we should pray for as we ought”) by giving what is needed to bring about the victory (high-five each other) against our enemy.