Leader of the world’s Anglicans, Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury, prays in tongues daily and seeks “words of knowledge” and prophecies.
But he added “It’s not something to make a great song and dance about, given it’s usually extremely early in the morning it’s not usually an immensely ecstatic moment.” Welby was interviewed by UK broadcaster, Premier Christian Radio.
Speaking in tongues is one of the “spiritual gifts” described in the Bible and refers to speaking in a language unknown to the speaker. In the most famous example in the Bible at the beginning of the book of Acts, a multi-cultural crowd heard the Apostles speak in their native tongues. Tongues, prophecy and words of knowledge are common in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches such as the Australian Christian Churches network. Some other Christians known as “cessationists” believe these gifts ceased early in church history.
Welby said: “In my own prayer life, and as part of my daily discipline I pray in tongues every day – not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer.” Premier reports he went on to say “I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies – some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God.”
Welby was speaking at the launch of “Thy Kingdom Come” a campaign to get Christians to share the good news of Jesus Christ. It has speed beyond the Church of England (CofE) and Anglicans (churches that have grown from the CofE) to more than 65 other networks and 114 countries.
Welby told Premier “It’s very unusual for something like Thy Kingdom Come to gather churches together on such a global basis. I don’t think it’s unique, I think it’s biblical. It started by looking at what the disciples did between the Ascension and Pentecost.
“During that time, they prayed and the Spirit came. This movement has no deeper rationale than the command of Jesus. He said ‘go back into the city and pray for the Spirit of God.’”
He also warned against “the danger of putting ‘charismatic’ as a tribal category within the church”, saying that “all Christians are ﬁlled with the Spirit, so every Christian is a charismatic in that sense.”