Q: I would like to know what Urantia Book says about praying in tongues?
My understanding of praying in tongues is that it was something that came over certain people, or developed over time as a result of the events surrounding Pentecost. In fact, many times, paintings of that event contain little tongues of fire descending on the Apostles and others as they received Jesus’ good spirit – the Spirit of Truth.
The Urantia Book does not ever mention “praying in tongues.”
In the section called: What Happened at Pentecost, we read the following passages:
194:3.1 Many queer and strange teachings became associated with the early narratives of the day of Pentecost. In subsequent times the events of this day, on which the Spirit of Truth, the new teacher, came to dwell with mankind, have become confused with the foolish outbreaks of rampant emotionalism. The chief mission of this outpoured spirit of the Father and the Son is to teach men about the truths of the Father’s love and the Son’s mercy. These are the truths of divinity which men can comprehend more fully than all the other divine traits of character. The Spirit of Truth is concerned primarily with the revelation of the Father’s spirit nature and the Son’s moral character.
194:3.20 Prayer did not bring the spirit on the day of Pentecost, but it did have much to do with determining the capacity of receptivity which characterized the individual believers. Prayer does not move the divine heart to liberality of bestowal, but it does so often dig out larger and deeper channels wherein the divine bestowals may flow to the hearts and souls of those who thus remember to maintain unbroken communion with their Maker through sincere prayer and true worship.
According to some Christian thought, praying in tongues is an indication that the person who speaks like that has Jesus inside of them; but when we read about this good spirit in The Urantia Book, we find out that the Spirit of Tuth was bestowed on ALL mankind – not just a selected few.
This good Spirit works with each person’s Thought Adjuster (God within us) and also with the ministry of the Holy Spirit to aid all of us into a closer understanding of God and his holy will.
Having witnessed myself the practice of praying in tongues, I have to say that it appears to be something that not everyone can do; in fact, it seems a very odd thing to me to watch and hear. In my opinion, if this was something that Jesus intended that his followers do, he would have done it himself, and he would have taught it. But that is not the case. And if it is not something for everyone, it probably isn’t a true teaching of Jesus’, or something that we all need to do.
I don’t believe that there is anything particularly WRONG with praying in tongues – but it seems like one of those things that may be born out of the “rampant emotionalism” described above that can come over some people in worship. Again, when we look to the Master and how he lived his life we never see him doing something like this, something that is so out of character for most people. His method of prayer and worship was very calm, very meditative, often alone, and very concentrated on only one thing: communion with the Father. And this is something that all people CAN do.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with this wonderful passage about Jesus and prayer:
196:0.10 Jesus brought to God, as a man of the realm, the greatest of all offerings: the consecration and dedication of his own will to the majestic service of doing the divine will. Jesus always and consistently interpreted religion wholly in terms of the Father’s will. When you study the career of the Master, as concerns prayer or any other feature of the religious life, look not so much for what he taught as for what he did. Jesus never prayed as a religious duty. To him prayer was a sincere expression of spiritual attitude, a declaration of soul loyalty, a recital of personal devotion, an expression of thanksgiving, an avoidance of emotional tension, a prevention of conflict, an exaltation of intellection, an ennoblement of desire, a vindication of moral decision, an enrichment of thought, an invigoration of higher inclinations, a consecration of impulse, a clarification of viewpoint, a declaration of faith, a transcendental surrender of will, a sublime assertion of confidence, a revelation of courage, the proclamation of discovery, a confession of supreme devotion, the validation of consecration, a technique for the adjustment of difficulties, and the mighty mobilization of the combined soul powers to withstand all human tendencies toward selfishness, evil, and sin. He lived just such a life of prayerful consecration to the doing of his Father’s will and ended his life triumphantly with just such a prayer. The secret of his unparalleled religious life was this consciousness of the presence of God; and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship—unbroken communion with God—and not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.
I recommend reading that whole paper called BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, so you can see what really happened, and why. Also, please follow the underlinedlinks in this reply so you can expand your understanding of these ideas.