In an article on Charisma News, Ruth Zschomler shared the amazing story on how the gift of tongues saved a woman’s life.
On August 9, 2011, Kathi and David Byker were abruptly awakened from their sleep in Grandville, Michigan by two men wearing hoods and brandishing knives.
The pair quickly bound Kathi with duct tape on her ankles and wrists and demanded that David pay a ransom for her release. One of the assailants put a knife to Kathi’s throat saying she would be killed if David didn’t provide the money.
After blindfolding Kathi and gagging her mouth with duct tape, Kathi was dragged into the family’s SUV and driven away.
David was then given a cell phone number to call once he had gotten the money. The message was clear without payment, Kathi would die.
As she was lying in the back of the SUV and being driven away, Kathi was terrified as the driver repeatedly warned her he would kill her if she tried to sit up.
Terrified, Kathi stated she wanted to pray but was unable to even think clearly. But then, she began doing a strange thing, though duct tape covered her mouth, she was still able to speak in tongues.
And as she prayed in tongues a calmness came over her.
“The fear factor was lessening as the God factor was going up.”
After speaking in tongues calmed her mind, scriptures began popping into her mind.
She pleaded the blood of Jesus for protection in the same way that the Jews in Egypt put the blood of the lamb on their doorways to protect their homes from the death angel that would strike that night.
She remembered Psalm 91 that God was her shield and protector and claimed those verses. Other passages popped into her mind, as well.
When the SUV finally stopped, Kathi was dragged out and taken into the middle of a field and tied to a telephone post with duct tape. When her abductor returned to the vehicle for more duct tape, he warned Kathi not to move because someone was watching her.
However, shortly after he left, Kathi quickly realized there was no one there and even though duct tape had been double wrapped around her hands and feet, she was able to tear it off like paper.
Freed, Kathi did not know which way the kidnapper had gone but sensed that the Holy Spirit guiding her to run straight ahead. If she had gone left, Kathi would have run into the kidnapper who was returning with the duct tape.
As she ran off into the darkness in her pyjamas and bare feet, Kathi stopped for a moment inside a large metal box and prayed. As she continued straight ahead, Kathi eventually came across a compound surrounded by a 12-foot chain link fence with semi trucks parked inside.
When she walked through the open gate, Kathi saw a parked semi with its lights on and engine running and was rescued by the startled truck driver when she pounded on his truck door.
The three men involved in the kidnapping were eventually caught by police and sentenced to prison for the crime. And Kathi knew she needed to forgive those men to release the anger, fear and bitterness that she had inside because of the ordeal.
Now some may disagree, but like the author of this article, I believe praying in tongues was a major contributor to this miraculous escape.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the gift of tongues has a twofold purpose.
First, he tells us that it is secret prayer language:
2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. (I Corinthians 14:2 NIV)
And through this prayer language the Holy Spirit is able to pray through us when we don’t know what to pray.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26 NIV)
When you are uncertain of the solution pray in tongues. The Holy Spirit who has full knowledge of the situation will utter the most effective prayers.
But then Paul describes an equally important benefit of speaking in tongues — self-edification (1 Corinthians 14:4).
And Jude provides an explanation of what takes place in this self edification process:
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 20 NIV)
It is important that we grasp what is happening here. Jude is saying that praying in the Holy Spirit will build us up in our faith. This does not mean that tongues will increase our faith, but rather it will strengthen us in the faith we have.
This is an important distinction because this suggests that as we speak in tongues it deals with the doubts and fears that have eroded our faith and caused unbelief.
When Peter briefly walked on water, we are told that he began to look at the waves and storm and became afraid and this fear eroded his faith and caused him to sink (Matthew 14:30). And when Jesus pulled Peter from the water, the Lord said “why did you doubt” (Matthew 14:31). Because it was this doubt or unbelief that sank him.
Peter’s fear literally sucked the Apostle’s faith out of him.
Speaking in tongues counters our fear and unbelief in trying situations.
I don’t believe it was a coincidence that after Kathi began speaking in tongues, that the Holy Spirit then began to pop scriptures into her mind about the promises of God’s protection, because at this moment she could believe and claim them.
So, when in doubt, pray in tongues.