Southern Baptist agency disallows private ‘prayer language’

Missionary qualifications amended
The Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board says it will no longer appoint missionaries who use a “private prayer language”—a controversial practice related to speaking in tongues and previously practiced by IMB president Jerry Rankin.

The agency already excludes people who speak in tongues—the utterances called glossolalia—in public worship from serving as missionaries. But IMB trustees voted November 15 to amend its list of missionary qualifications to exclude those who use a “prayer language” in private.

The restriction of “prayer language”—widely understood as a private version of the charismatic practice of tongues-speaking—was approved by a vote of 25-18, according to the IMB’s Web site. Some trustees did not vote on the issue during their meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, the agency reported.

 

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