Otherwise if you bless [and give thanks to God] in the spirit only, how will any outsider or someone who is not gifted [in spiritual matters] say the “Amen” [of agreement] to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?
Otherwise, if you bless and render thanks with [your] spirit [thoroughly aroused by the Holy Spirit], how can anyone in the position of an outsider or he who is not gifted with [interpreting of unknown] tongues, say the Amen to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?
Otherwise, if you are giving thanks with your spirit, how will someone who has not yet received much instruction be able to say, “Amen,” when you have finished giving thanks, since he doesn’t know what you are saying?
[L Otherwise] If you ·praise God [or pronounce a blessing] with your spirit, those persons there ·without understanding [or without the gift; or who are inquirers/seekers; vv. 23, 24] cannot say “Amen” [C from a Hebrew term meaning “it is true”; 1 Chr. 16:36] to your prayer of thanks, because they do not know what you are saying.
If I pray in a “tongue” my spirit is praying but my mind is inactive. I am therefore determined to pray with my spirit and my mind, and if I sing I will sing with both spirit and mind. Otherwise, if you are blessing God with your spirit, how can those who are ungifted say amen to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are talking about? You may be thanking God splendidly, but it doesn’t help the other man at all. I thank God that I have a greater gift of “tongues” than any of you, yet when I am in Church I would rather speak five words with my mind (which might teach something to other people) than ten thousand words in a “tongue” which nobody understands.
for if you praise and thank God with the spirit alone, speaking in another language, how can those who don’t understand you be praising God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t know what you are saying?
So, when you pray in your private prayer language, don’t hoard the experience for yourself. Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into that intimacy. If I pray in tongues, my spirit prays but my mind lies fallow, and all that intelligence is wasted. So what’s the solution? The answer is simple enough. Do both. I should be spiritually free and expressive as I pray, but I should also be thoughtful and mindful as I pray. I should sing with my spirit, and sing with my mind. If you give a blessing using your private prayer language, which no one else understands, how can some outsider who has just shown up and has no idea what’s going on know when to say “Amen”? Your blessing might be beautiful, but you have very effectively cut that person out of it.
Suppose you are praising God in the Spirit. And suppose there are visitors among you who want to know what’s going on. How can they say “Amen” when you give thanks? They don’t know what you are saying.
Otherwise, if you make a bracha [in leshonot] with your neshamah, how will the am ha’aretz, who have no idea what you are saying, answer the "Omein"? [DEVARIM 27:15:26; DIVREY HAYAMIM ALEF 16:36; NECHEMYAH 8:6; TEHILLIM 106:48]
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