“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit”
(1 Corinthians 14:2).
Many people who have reservations about speaking in tongues don’t even speak in tongues in the first place. Yet, they make themselves judge and jury over an issue that the bible is clear about. One of such popular misconceptions people have about speaking in tongues is that it is wrong to do it as a group.
But this thinking is not consistent with God’s word. Everyone in the upper room spoke in tongues at the same time (Acts 2:4).
We see another example in Cornelius’ house in Acts 10:45-46; “The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God…”
In 1 Corinthians 14:6, the Apostle Paul is not talking about a corporate prayer, but ministering to others. See what he says: “Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” See 1Cor 14:26-28: “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”
One would be mischievous to say that this text means people are not allowed to pray in tongues as a group. Paul the Apostle is saying here that if someone wants to minister to the church, i.e teach or prophesy in tongues, there must be an interpreter. This is so that people can understand and be edified. Some have taken this to mean that you can only speak in tongues when there is someone else around to interpret. But bible is clear on this count as well. Even when there is no interpretation, you can speak to yourself and to God whether you’re on your own or in a corporate service.