An extract from Dave Roberson‘s book “The Walk of the Spirit – The Walk of Power: The Vital Role of Praying in Tongues“
First Corinthians 14:4 tells us what happens when we pray in tongues for any amount of time: He that speaks in an unknown tongue EDIFIES HIMSELF; but he that prophesies edifies the church. The word “edification” is derived from the word “edifice,” which means a massive, magnificent building. So when you pray in tongues, you are actually erecting a superstructure, a divine operation, on the inside of your spirit to house the anointing of God and to qualify you for your divine calling.
Most of the time when ministers preach on the subject of tongues, they emphasize the fact that when you pray in tongues, you charge up your spirit the way you would charge up a battery in the natural. They tell you that your spirit is actually receiving a spiritual charge, a tangible force or anointing something like electricity. Then later when you lay hands on someone, that tangible force goes “pow!” and the power of God goes into that person to heal, deliver, and set free. Well, that’s true as far as it goes.
However, before that tangible anointing is manifested through a person, he must go through the edification process that causes it to manifest. Not many Christians seem to know anything about that process. Often they think that they receive some kind of “magical” charge from praying in tongues that will immediately begin to operate through them. I used to believe like that. I thought God would anoint me just as I was. Little did I know that He wasn’t at all intending to leave me in my carnal state! That isn’t what edification is all about.
I remember what a surprise it was to me when the Lord started to use me after I had spent several months praying in my prayer closet. The second meeting I ever held, the Holy Spirit prompted me to call a woman out of the audience. I was scared; this was all new to me. I told the woman, “Ma’am, you have something wrong with your body, and God wants to heal you.” Then I laid my hands on both sides of her face, closed my eyes, and began to pray my hardest prayer. But in the middle of my prayer, this lady left! Talk about humiliating! I was too embarrassed to open my eyes. Here I was, standing in front of a crowd of people, and the woman I was praying for had just left! When I had exhausted everything I could think of to pray and finally got brave enough to open my eyes, I looked around to see where the woman had gone — and there she was lying on the floor! I thought, Oh, Lord, look at that! That must be what it means to receive a charge from praying in the Holy Ghost! I didn’t know what to do. But when the woman got back on her feet, she was healed! For a long time, that was all I thought being edified in the Holy Ghost meant — God was charging up my spirit, pouring a powerful anointing into me to use when ministering to others. But as I kept praying in tongues, I began to realize that there was much, much more to this edification process than anyone had ever told me.