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UK News

Praying in tongues and prophecy, all part of Archbishop of Canterbury's daily routine

The head of the Church of England has admitted: "It's not something to make a great song and dance about, given it's usually extremely early in the morning it's not usually an immensely ecstatic moment."

The practice of 'speaking in tongues' is a phenomenon in which Christians speak in languages unknown to the speaker, or in a 'divine language' when praying to God or as an act of worship. 'Words of knowledge' and 'prophecy' are messages people believe to be revelations given to them by God about people or future events. Both are common practises in pentecostal and charismatic churches such as Holy Trinity Brompton, London where Justin Welby was a member before becoming a priest in the Church of England.

Welby said: "In my own prayer life, and as part of my daily discipline I pray in tongues every day - not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer."

He went on to say how he has also been encouraged by those words of knowledge and prophecy.

"I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies - some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God."

The Archbishop of Canterbury was speaking at the launch of Thy Kingdom Come, now in its 4th year, which has united over a million Christians from more than 65 different denominations and traditions, in more than 114 countries to pray for evangelisation. It takes place between Ascension to Pentecost which this year is May 30th-June 9th.

"What has surprised me is the number of people who have got involved. Methodists, Catholics, Orthodox and Pentecostals are all piling in. This is not a Church of England thing, this is a Church thing."

Welby continued: "It's very unusual for something like Thy Kingdom Come to gather churches together on such a global basis. I don't think it's unique, I think it's biblical. It started by looking at what the disciples did between the Ascension and Pentecost.

"During that time, they prayed and the Spirit came. This movement has no deeper rationale than the command of Jesus. He said 'go back into the city and pray for the Spirit of God.'"

He also warned against "the danger of putting 'charismatic' as a tribal category within the church", saying that "all Christians are filled with the Spirit, so every Christian is a charismatic in that sense."

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