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Lamenting in Tongues: Glossolalia as a Pneumatic Aid to Lament

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image of Journal of Pentecostal Theology

Vocalisation of pain and suffering in the form of lament is an important biblical practice that enables the sufferer to maintain honest relationship with God amidst the suffering. However, what needs to be vocalised can often fracture the limits of language leaving the sufferer struggling for words. This essay explores the possibility that the gift and practice of glossolalia as experienced most prominently and recently within Pentecostal and Charismatic spirituality could, in certain circumstances, be a divine gift that bridges the gap between silence and impossible speech with ‘sighs too deep for words’. In such circumstances, lamenting in tongues could pave the way to healing whilst also being a sign of the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.

Affiliations: 1: St Mellitus College North West, Liverpool, UK,


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