Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What is the Orthodox position on the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit", "speaking in tongues", "praying in the Spirit"? What is "praying in the Spirit"?

Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the door through which believers are ushered to the way of Salvation. The baptismof thevery distinguished saint, John the Baptist, was for repentance. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for the remission of sins, beginning with purifying the individual's corrupt nature from  the Original Sin and leading to everlasting unity with God. Through this sacrament,the Holy Spirit rests within the believer.The rebirth takes place when immersed in the holy baptismal water, emerging as a new spiritual creature, "That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).The seal of  rebirth is confirmed with the holy oil of Chrismation. Our Lord stated the need to be born again in John 3:3, andfor further explicit clarification, He restated this verse in detail in John 3:5, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

The Holy Spirit is the gift-giver. Each gift has a goal and purpose. St. John Chrysostom explains that these gifts are for edifying others and not for personal glory. He explains that tongues of men are the means of communication of the spoken and understood languages. The angels' tongues are illustrative of the manner by which angels communicate their perpetual worship, since they do not inhabit the physical attributes of worship as it is known to man. "Praying in the spirit" as it is known to man, is not a phantom language, but a sincere and passionate devotion of a contrite heart and a humble and gentle spirit trusting in God.

The Blessed Virgin Mother reveals her prayer audibly to the world in the Magnifcat: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior; for He has regarded the lowly estate of His maidservant" (Luke 1:46-48). Other examples of "praying in the spirit" is ceaseless prayer as taught to the monastics as a way to battle laziness and temptations, and remain vigilant (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Many such men and women inaudibly recite psalms, various prayers, or even "My Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me, a sinner." The prayer of Nehemiah the Prophet demonstrates the elevation of the spirit that humbly beseeches God: "I pray, God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which have sinned against You, Both my father's house and I have sinned" (Nehemiah 1:5-6).
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