In 1 Corinthians 14:14 I read "If I pray in tongue, my spirit is in prayer but my mind is unfruitful." I do not believe that the gift of tongue-speaking exists today, so I have a few questions. (1) If, for example, I pray in Chinese, my spirit would be in prayer but my mind would be unfruitful. Is that right? How would my spirit be in prayer? (2) Is my mind is unfruitful because I don't understand Chinese? (3) Or does praying in Spirit mean prayer in tongues but when one's spirit is in prayer? -- Guy (Abijan, Côte d'Ivoire)

Most Pentecostals think that praying in the spirit means praying in a mystical language. This is an unnecessary conclusion. The Bible never defines praying in the Spirit as anything miraculous. As I reason in my book The Spirit:

  • Praying in the Spirit – the term found in 1 Corinthians and Jude – simply means praying spiritually.
  • Praying with my mind means I and others understand my prayers. I'm focused. 
Paul is saying that we should pray with our mind and our spirit whenever we pray.