A Book Review: Speaking in Tongues

I was asked a while ago to participate in a pre-publication review of a new book called, Speaking in Tongues: Enjoying Intimacy with God Through Tongues and Interpretation by Kathleen Schwab.

Coming from a charismatically-conservative spiritual background, I honestly had no idea what to do with “speaking in tongues.” I grew up hearing that it was still used for translational purposes, but it was only “real” if there was an interpreter. I had seen a few people speak in tongues, but honestly, it was weird and left me questioning what the purpose was or if it was even authentic or just a show. Through my study of Acts, I understood how God used tongues as a sign of spiritual baptism upon the choice to give one’s life to God, but as I read Paul’s instructions from 1 Corinthians 12-14, I simply had no idea what praying in tongues looked like and certainly had no idea how to apply this instruction.

When I agreed to be part of this book launch team, I began earnestly praying that God would use this book to answer some of those questions, to reveal his truth on the subject, and, in his incredible grace, to even bless me with the gift so I might experience him in this new way. I prayed for four weeks before I felt God nudge me to pick up the book.

So I did. I devoured it in one sitting.

From the beginning, it became clear that this woman had a profoundly intimate relationship with God. She sought him constantly through prayer in tongues. She was humble and her words clearly grace-filled.

She describes prayer in tongues as a way to deepen spiritual intimacy with God.

Oh, how I craved that!

As I prayed my way through Kathleen Schwab’s words, God answered my prayers for practical understanding, for spiritual enlightenment, and for relational fruit. He blessed me with words, simple sounds that weirdly bubbled up from within me; when spoken, they sounded like nonsense. *It still sounds weird to me!*

The second half of the book relays the experience of her husband who has the gift of interpretation of tongues. He explains in the first chapter of his section that we are told to ask for interpretation. The whole point of this spiritual prayer language is to deepen our relationship with God, and how can we do that if we have no understanding of the conversation? Again, I prayed my way through it. Before I could even utter the words asking for interpretation, I heard God’s voice whisper in my ear the meaning of the gibberish that came from my spirit.

It has been one of the most profound experiences of my spiritual walk. The words I heard from Him were words I needed to hear in the most desperate of ways. Words I didn’t even know I needed. As Paul describes in 1 Corinthians, it edified me in a stunning way.

God said through Jeremiah, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

God wants to be found by you. He has made himself available to you in so many different ways. Speaking in Tongues by Kathleen Schwab describes one of these tools and how we can use it to find God in true spiritual intimacy.

If you are like me and want to know more about this spiritual practice, I cannot recommend this book enough.

1 thought on “A Book Review: Speaking in Tongues

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been on the same journey of tongues. Growing up Amish it was not taught and a subject that was talked about or encouraged to study into. A few month I experienced for the first time speaking in tongues for myself as a testimony of the baptism. Thanks again for sharing. I think the church underestimated the power of this gift.


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