Friday 13 May 2011

Life In The Melchizedek Order VIII : Rees Howells and the 2nd World War

Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb
article by William R Wilkie
One of the most effective intercessors known to the 20th century, Howells and his student intercessors in Wales were even called upon to intercede with God for the wellbeing
of Britain during the Second World War. p. 231-257
Norman Grubb’s biography reveals that there were important spiritual truths (see back side) that Howells discovered regarding the ministry of an “intercessor” from the Holy Spirit and George Mueller’s life in 19th century England.

God’s call to intercession “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the
hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none...”
Ezekial 22:30

A Model of Intercession
God identified with mankind to the extent that He became man. If we are one with the Godhead or if the Holy Spirit is doing his work through us, then we will also manifest this pattern in our life.
Christ also was willing to die to His own desires and interests for the benefit of mankind. His death on the cross represented the ultimate sacrifice.
20th Century Example of Intercession
On March 29, 1936 Rees Howells came to the Bible College he had established in Wales and was called forth in regard to Hitler’s threat to Britain: “Prayer has failed. We are on slippery ground. Only intercession will avail. God is calling for intercessors — men and women who will lay their lives on the altar to fight the devil, as really they would have to fight the enemy on the western front.”
It was made clear that a soldier at the front has no say in where he goes and what he does; he cannot take holidays or attend to the claims of the home and loved ones as other people can; and the Lord was telling them that if, as readily as that, some would become bond slaves to the
Holy Spirit for every creature, and would throw their lives into the gap (Ezekial 22:30), He would give the victory and avert war. A large number of staff and students made the
surrender. “We came right through” said Mr. Howells,“and I knew from that time on, Hitler was no more than a rod in the hands of the Holy Ghost.”
Surrender and Intercession
“We had thought that there was some virtue in our surrender: that we, with thousands of others, would be the people to evangelize the world in this generation. But now He (Holy Spirit) had come, and we were out of it—except in so far as our bodies would become the temples in which He would dwell and through which He would work. He said, “I have not come to give you joy, or peace, or victory. I have not come to give you any blessing at all. You will find all that you need in Jesus.
But I have come to put you to the cross, so that I may live in your body for the sake of a lost world;(Col 3:3; 2Cor 4:10; Gal 2:20).”
Pray for laborers, a remnant of powerful intercessors right now. May they lay down their lives on the altar day after day... willing to die for the sake of the Truth!
May they be closed into God Himself... calling for His desires...pleading for His purposes, crying
for His attention! Dead to themselves... alive unto Christ! Separate. Hidden.Cleansed, Holy vessels of warfare, armed for the battle ahead, filled with the Holy Ghost. God, call forth your
intercessors for this generation!
Bondslave or Living Martyr
“It even came into his mind momentarily whether it was possible to turn back from ‘this life of surrender, this bondslave life, this daily dying, and just live an ordinary
Christian life, and preach the gospel and help the poor,’ as many of his friends did.” p.108 “There was some questioning,as there always was until he actually come up to becoming one with the Holy Ghost in what He was doing…”

p. 108. Madame Guyon’s writings had a profound effect at this time, “I ask no more, in good or ill, but union with Thy holy will.” p. 105

Place of Abiding
Rees Howells understood the necessity of daily maintaining his place of abiding” in Christ taken
from his study of John 15. His discernment, power, authority and faith all were the result of meeting the initial conditions of abiding which for him were:
(1)…fasting two meals a day,
(2) living in the attitude of prayer—
which meant being hatless,
(3) giving up all outward work at the
mission , and not going to one
service and
(4) three hours each evening to be spent on his knees—two
hours in reading the Word and the last one in waiting
before God. Rees knew there were to be other places of
abiding, but they were not yet given.” p. 114

Guided Prayer
By maintaining his place of abiding, Rees Howells was guided by the Holy Spirit regarding intercessory prayer. This was usually a specific and intense call to intercede.

Gaining a Position: Categories of People
“Gaining a position” was an identification process that would last weeks or months until Rees had gained the faith to believe that God would deliver categories of people from an adverse situation. Once a position was gained, God could use Rees Howells at any future time to intercede in
parallel situations without having to go through a position of gain. Once a position was gained, Rees would cease praying to avoid prayer resulting from his doubt.

Hidden Away
A call to intercession is usually the first step away from public ministry. Howells shared that the Holy Spirit trained him, to care more about what God thought, than what man thought; nevertheless, “… he was going to be turned aside from his work among men to deal only with God.” p. 113
He had to die to self, before God could use him as an intercessor.Romans 12:1-2 was the critical passage.

Stands in the Gap for Strangers
Early on in Howells’ training, he was allowed to intercede on behalf of people whom he was personally ministered to...but later, he was to intercede for specific people whom he never met. “There was a soul whom he had never met, whom he had no possible means of influencing except by way of the Throne...” The Lord said, “This will be the test case of your intercession.” “...for this he was going to be turned aside from his work among men to deal only with God.”

Prays What God Calls Forth
An intercessor is given over to theministry of the Holy Ghost, through whom spiritual warfare is waged.
God has a remnant of intercessors,filled with the Holy Spirit with only one purpose in life… to do that which the Holy Spirit commands! To stand in the gap and bring the victory to reality. Hidden away, living by faith… standing on the promises of God… praying what God calls forth, by His Word.
Company of Intercessors Set Apart
In the latter stages of Rees ministry, God placed him at the Bible College of Wales among a group of faculty, students,and staff. They were to be raised up as a company of intercessors prepared to deal with Rees’s visionary “every creature commission” in the context of World War II. This
is an extraordinary description of God’s use of intercessors in history.

Every Creature Commission
The driving force behind Rees Howells at the Bible College of Wales was Rees’s vision that everyone would be reached by the Gospel in his generation. It was the precipitating
factor in their intercession during World War II. They were concerned about keeping countries open to missionaries and the Gospel. They accomplished God’s purpose through them during this horrible war. Some people believe their intercession eventually defeated Hitler.

"Whatever legacy the reader feels these men leave behind them, they should know Rheinhard Bonnke (evangelist through whom millions have come to know the Lord....sometimes a million in one day) and Bryn Jones (a main leader of the 70s UK house church) both shared a room together in this college." Chris Welch

During the four years previous to the outbreak of World War II, as we have already seen,the Lord was changing the burden on Mr. Howells from local concerns, centering on the development of the College, to national and international affairs. As he said, "The world became our parish and we were led to be responsible to intercede for countries and nations." We have also seen how the Lord was preparing in the company at the College a special instrument of intercession for the coming world crisis.

It was in March, 1936, that Mr. Howells began to see dearly that Hitler was Satan's agent for preventing the gospel going to every creature. As he said later, "In fighting Hitler we have always said that we were not up against man,
but the devil. Mussolini is a man, but Hitler is different. He can tell the day this 'spirit' came into him." For several years Mr. Howells stressed the fact that God must destroy him, if the vision of the Gospel to every creature was to be fulfilled.
At first, he believed that God would prevent war altogether. We have seen how the
College fought through on their knees during the Munich crisis and how they believed for peace.
As the clouds over Europe grew darker, Mr. Howells still believed that God would
intervene and prevent war. He stood to his prediction right up to the day of the declaration of war between Britain and Germany on September 3, 1939. Even then he was not moved. Although people said that the prediction was wrong, he thanked God he had made it. "If I had a choice again about making this prediction," he said, "I would make it to-night, although it 'has gone much farther than we thought it would. Hitler must be put out of the way', because if he isn't, he will come up again in another two years. I want to know that the Holy Spirit is stronger than the devil in the Nazi system. This is the battle of the ages, and victory here means victory for millions of people."
On the day of the declaration of war, he published the following statement: "The Lord has made known to us that He is going to destroy Hitler and the Nazi regime, that the world may know that it was God and God alone who has scattered the dictators. Three and a half years ago, the College prayed this prayer for weeks and months, and we firmly believe He will now answer it. He has isolated Germany so that He may get at this evil system, which is the Antichrist, and release Germany, the land of the Reformation. He will deal with the Nazis as He dealt with the
Egyptian army in the time of Moses. God will cause Hitler to fall on the battlefield or by a mutiny or a great rising in Germany against the Nazis."
So far from the declaration of war shaking him and those with him, it only sent them
more determined than ever to their knees. They were now called in a new way to pay the vow they had made three years before -- to give their lives over "to fight the battles of the Kingdom,as really as if called to fight on the Western Front." This stand of faith against war in order that the Gospel might not be hindered, was proved to be God's way of placing upon that company a responsibility from which they could never come free, until the enemy that God was dealing with should be destroyed.
When, after a month of hostilities, an offer of peace was made by Hitler, the College
stood with the Prime Minister in stating that war must be continued, "until Hitlerism is overthrown," even though, like so many more, the College had much to lose by its continuance.
The conviction of the College was expressed in the title of a book which Mr. Howells wrote in the opening weeks of the war, and which was published in December, 1939, called: God Challenges the Dictators -- Doom of Nazis Predicted. In it he said, "The God of Daniel will deliver Pastor Niemuller, and the hundreds of other German Evangelicals, who have followed him to the concentration camps... their places will one day be occupied by the fanatical Nazi leaders, if any of them escape a speedy death."
After an indictment of Mussolini, he stated, "When victory over Germany comes...
Ethiopia should also be given back to the Ethiopians, and this may also be in God's divine plan to evangelize Ethiopia." He also declared that "Bolshevism and Soviet Russia are being used in the plan of God to break the evil Nazi regime"; "but of Stalin he said, "The devil has used and may yet use this man to be the greatest foe to the Church that the world has ever known."
Although his confidence was that God would intervene to deal with the enemy, he wrote, "We may have many a set-back before He does so... it may be that we, like the Israelites (referring to Judges 20), will have to cry out to God in our extremity for the help which will
certainly come."
It is truly remarkable to look back now and realize that these things were in print before the end of 1939.
Shortly after this, Mr. Howells made a further prediction, which was published by The
Western Mail on January 8, 1940, under a headline of "Welsh Bible College Director Urges Prayer to Stop War

It quoted him as saying: "If all the righteous in the country will send up
effectual prayer, we feel sure that we shall prevail and open Penllergaer on Whit-Monday without war or blackout... what a relief to millions of people if God will intervene and bring the war to an end by Whitsuntide." Little did he imagine when that prediction was made, that the days around that Whit-Sunday, May 12, were to be the blackest in the history of our nation, and the nearest we had come in nearly 400 years to the invasion of our shores; for on May 10 Hitler's armored columns broke in on Holland and Belgium, and May 29 was that never-to-be-forgotten date in our history, the Dunkirk evacuation, to be followed shortly after by Mr. Churchill's memorable call to "blood and sweat and toil and tears".

In spite of this apparent set-back, as we read the diaries of the daily College meetings,three meetings on most days, we find ourselves among certainly not a fearful, not even chiefly a praying company, but rather among those who are already on victory ground, when all around men's hearts are failing them for fear; and what gave them such clarity and assurance that theirs was the victory, was the outward "death" of the prediction! If we say God was not with them, we may well ask ourselves this question: "Was there anywhere else in the whole of Britain or
America or elsewhere among God's people another such company, maybe a hundred strong, who were on their knees day by day, holding fast the victory by faith, while our soldiers across the water were retreating mile by mile, whole countries surrendering, and the enemy within sight of their goal?" From this time on, through all the years of the war, the whole College was in prayer every evening from seven o'clock to midnight, with only a brief interval for supper. They never missed a day. This was in addition to an hour's prayer meeting every morning, and very often at
midday. There were many special periods when every day was given up wholly to prayer and fasting.
In the meetings just before Whit-Sunday, Mr. Howells said: "Through God we made the
prediction, through God we stand to it, and through God we are going against the enemy. He tells me tonight, 'Don't you fear because of that prediction you have sent out, don't you fear the Nazis.' I think what a glory it is that we don't need to change our prayers one bit, in spite of the present developments. I am so glad that it has been the Kingdom we have had before us all the time in the last nine months, and I haven't a single regret. The Lord has said, 'I am going to deal with the Nazis.' It has been a battle between the Holy Spirit and the devil which we have been
fighting for four years."
On Whit-Sunday, when, instead of peace being declared, only two days before, Hitler had invaded Holland and Belgium, Mr. Howells said in the College meeting: "We shall never defend the prediction. The point is, can God put a doubt in us who have really believed? If the Lord tells you that this delay is for His glory, then you must take victory in it. There is no glory in delay,unless there was faith to put it through. I would be a different man today if there was failure, but the Holy Spirit is not a failure. I can really thank Him for the delay. I wouldn't be without this experience for the world. Very strange that what is death in the eyes of the world, is victory to the Holy Spirit."
The next day he said, "We could never have had a greater death than in this prediction being delayed. But we are not going to have resurrection on one point more than has gone to the cross. I preached victory yesterday without a visible victory. There is a death in every grade, but as really as you die, there will be fruit to a hundred-fold.
"We are going up to the battle, and I am as sure of victory as of the" dawn. If you know you have faith for something, would you not go on until you got it? I would like this to ring out to the world: 'The Lord, He is the God!'"
As the Nazis poured through Europe, the College stood daily before God: We quote from
notes taken of Mr. Howells' messages in the meetings:
May 16, 9.80 a.m. The clay after Holland had surrendered: "To-day is probably the
greatest battle in history. Can God do something today? Now when the Germans say, 'We have got the Allies on the run', can God do it? Keep your eyes on God today and get this victory.
2 p.m. The Lord has made very plain that the victory is from Him and no one else, and He is to have all the glory. God gets at the enemy visibly and invisibly, through the army and through us
5.30 p.m. The position is most serious in France, but even if the French and British are fighting against such great odds, the Lord is well able to help them."
May 17, 9.30 a.m. "God will not do a bit more through you than you have faith for. The victory last night was in seeing that no matter how near the enemy came, the Holy Ghost is stronger than he. You are more responsible for this victory today than those men on the battlefield. You must be dead to everything else but this fight.
1 p.m. Because you have committed yourselves, you are responsible. You will never have peace again, until the world has peace, but you have a place in the cleft of the Rock.
8.30 p.m. We are here until these Nazis are
put out.
7 p.m. If the Lord finds us quite willing in this death-life, and that we have got victory in the test, will He allow us to prevail upon Him now to finish it? If we believed last Saturday, we are believing tonight. I am not willing that thousands of our boys should be lost, because there has to be the 'doom of the Nazis', and it will come now if we can prevail. If this had been a failure, God would have been against us, but He shows he is pleased with us."
May 18, 9.30 a. m. "Unless God intervenes today in a miraculous way, I believe we have lost. I would be willing to die, but I cannot afford to die, neither can we afford that Hitler should
2.30 p.m. I want to fight with this enemy again this week-end, as if it were the end of civilization. You don't leave anything to chance in this. Don't allow those young men at the Front to do more than you do here. I do ask Him to bring a real disaster on the Nazis this week-end.
6.30 p.m. As the Lord gave us the prediction, and we have had victory in it, and the delay has not changed our faith a bit, then we must come back and ask Him when He is going to do it. I feel to-night that whatever these Nazis do, they cannot escape the Holy Spirit. Christianity is quite safe. If you have faith, you can leave it in His hands, and He will intervene in the right time. We can't inquire when He is going to do it, if we haven't got faith for Him to do it.
9.30 p.m. It is not you struggling, but God doing, and you coming to know what God is doing. Is it God Who has drawn Hitler across that line with his 2,500 armored cars? I want the Lord to discomfit this man and those armored cars."

May 19, 9.30 a.m. "These Nazis will not destroy civilization. When they get near enough,God will deal with them. When the Holy Spirit has gone to the victory side, you could never convince the man or woman who has gone to the victory side with Him, that He is a failure.
9.15 p.m. Now is the best time to test the Bible in wars, because we are in one ourselves."
May 20, 9 a.m. "The next 24 hours will be the crisis in this great battle. They are ready to take our country at any moment. Even before lunch-time the history of the world may be changed. Such a thing as this has not happened to us before, and you do not know how much faith is needed. We' are coming to the Lord this morning, and telling Him our eyes are on Him today. Unless He intervenes, we are lost. I don't doubt the Lord for one second, but I must be very careful.
2.30 p.m. I think tonight of sending the book, God Challenges the Dictators, to Mr.
Churchill to encourage him at this moment. The army is losing ground every day, but in the book it has been said that man would not be able to end this; but that God has said, 'Don't expect Me to do it, until you get to your extremity.' The only thing we want the Lord to make plain to us is,are we up to the place He wants us to be at this moment? The only thing I want is not to doubt in the time of crisis, and it is going to be a real crisis.
7 p.m. To-day I have sent the book to Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Halifax and Mr. Churchill -- in the darkest hour."
May 21, 9 a.m. Fear of Invasion. "Yesterday was the darkest day in the history of this country, especially after the Prime Minister's speech. Everyone in town is expecting the enemy to invade this country. We have told the Lord, 'Our lives for victory'. We ought to pray now for the Lord to stop them coming over to this country.
2.80 p.m. We must pray for the Lord to keep the enemy in check. He is like a roaring lion.
7 p.m. The French Premier says tonight, 'It is only
a miracle that will save us.' The test is, whether the Bible is true. I am willing to risk my life to prove it, and I want to tell you tonight that it is quite true. See that your believing is right, and if it is, you don't need to have any fear."
May 22, 9 a.m. "The world is in a panic today, and certainly we would be too, unless we were quite sure the Lord had spoken to us. The destiny of England will be at stake today and to-morrow.
2.80 p.m. In a battle such as we are in today, you cannot trust in a meeting or in
feelings. We must go back to what God has told us. There is an enemy that we must keep in check, until God does the big thing."
From the night of May 22 to 25 Mr. Howells no longer came to the meetings; other
members of the staff took them. He went away alone with God to battle through, and, as others have testified, the crushing burden of those days broke his body. He literally laid down his life.
May 26 was the day of public prayer in Britain. As Mr. Churchill said of the May 26
Service of Intercession in "Westminster Abbey: "The English are loath to expose their feelings,but in my stall in the choir I could feel the pent-up passionate emotion, and also the fear of the congregation, not of death or wounds or national loss, but of defeat and the final ruin of Britain."
Mr. Howells returned to the College meetings and said:
9.30 a.m. "All you can do today when a cry will go up from the country is to be in a
position to take the answer from God. The question this morning is, Can we take the answer? If you ever cried, you ought to cry today.
11.15 a.m. How can you be sure that the Nazis will not take our country? All the leading people know today that unless God intervenes, we will be slaves. We prayed for Ethiopia and other countries, so our cry is not a selfish one. 2.30 p.m. We are going against this Beast, as David went against Goliath."
May 27, 9 a.m. "There is intercession and faith, so the Lord can do a mighty deed. Our people will see God answering their prayers, and they will have all the joy of it. 2.45 p.m. It is as much as I can do to believe today. The news between the two meetings was awful -- hell upon earth."

On May 28 Mr. Howells again was alone with God. In the meetings the prayer was for
God to intervene at Dunkirk and save our men; and as the Spirit came upon them in prayer and supplication, what one prayed at the end expressed the assurance given to all: "I feel sure something has happened."
May 29 was the day of the evacuation of Dunkirk. Mr. Howells said, "Let us be dear in
our prayer that the intercession is gained. The battle is the Holy Spirit's. See Him outside of yourselves tonight. He is there on the battlefield with His drawn sword."
May 30, 7.80 p.m. "From a worldly standpoint there is no hope of victory; but God has
said it. I could not come tonight and ask Him to intervene, because we have already said that He is going to intervene. .
Instead of bad news about our soldiers, if He is on the field of battle, He can change that and make it very good news. Oh, for God to lift us up tonight! We are not to run into any panic thinking the Nazis are going to win: Germany must be delivered as well as England and France. We may have to go through far greater sufferings yet, but I am not going to doubt the final issue. We state in plainest terms: The enemy will not invade Christian England."
When we look back now after these years, many of us in Britain recall the terror of those days. Remembering the miracle of Dunkirk, acknowledged by our leaders to be an intervention from God, the calm sea allowing the smallest boats to cross, the almost complete evacuation of our troops, and then the lead Mr. Churchill gave to the nation, how thankful we are that God had this company of hidden intercessors, whose lives were on the altar day after day as they stood in the gap for the deliverance of Britain.
* * * * * * *

The next battle of intercession was over the air-raids, and the crisis of the "Battle of Britain",when Goering made his great attempt to gain mastery of the air in preparation for the invasion of England. In each of these vital matters, ."
nothing was left to chance or a shot-in-the-dark type of praying. Everything was examined in God's presence and motives were sifted, until the Holy
Spirit could show His servant intelligently that there was an undeniable claim for prayer to be answered. Then faith would stand to the claim and lay hold of the victory; and there would be no rest until he had God's own assurance that faith had prevailed and victory was certain. It was not just praying and then hoping for the answer. We quote from notes taken in the meetings at that time: On September 2, 1940, Mr. Howells said: "I want to see if we have a claim to be free from care when these planes are around. We ran to stand in the breach to save the Jewish children from Hitler, when he was throwing them out. Can we now claim protection for all the
missionaries' children? Unless my faith is equal to the occasion for protection, I should bring".

every one of the children up to the shelter tonight, and I would be there with them. Must we have fear because others have fear? If I trusted God to bring these properties into being, I am going to trust God to protect them. I want you to get a foundation for this trust. "We need a real foundation for our faith, in case the raids will last for months. Can we trust Him in the impossible in this, the same as in finance?
"The only thing I am afraid of is that I should miss God's will; many people are afraid of consequences. I must be clear on this point, for God says, 'If it is the consequences you are afraid of, don't come to Me for protection.' There is a great difference between a selfish fear of
consequences, and wanting God's protection because you have a work to carry out for Him. Have we really got victory?"

Mr. Howells' mention of the shelter to which he said he could take the children, referred to his obligation to provide a shelter for the day scholars, then numbering about 300. But for the scholars and the missionaries' children, numbering about sixty, who were part of the College family, the Lord had told him to provide neither shelters nor gas masks (although any individual was perfectly free to have one if he should wish). God fully vindicated his stand throughout the war, by not allowing a bomb to fall on any College property, although the town with its strategic
docks had some very heavy raids. But to continue from the journals:
September 3 (After a heavy raid in the night). "I am sure the Lord took me up town to see about 2,000,000 Pounds worth of property on the ground. I thought, 'Was it worth taking Penllergaer, if this is what happens.? Is it worth carrying a burden anti agonizing for the sake of the Kingdom?' I saw what these properties will be like, unless God protects them. I found myself praying for the town, as much as I had prayed for the College the night before."

September 4. "The situation in the country because of air raids may become very serious.
We have never walked this way before. The important thing is to find out where God is in this.
When you are in danger every night, it takes you a long time to be sure that you are under God's protection. Can you say you are safe in the air raids? Has God told you? You may try to use the Word of God without having His power behind it. If God is going to deliver from this hell, there will have to be some power released. Unless you are sure of your own victory, you will never be able to pray for the deliverance of the country. We have bound the devil over and over again, and I hope we shall do it again when God's time comes in this war."

September 7. "How many people have been moved, by the affliction of these air raids? If you can believe that you have been delivered from hell, why can't you believe that you have been delivered from air raids? I have always found something that has given me joy all day long and my joy today is that we have God's protection. But unless we are really trusting Him, where does the praise come in? This peace the Saviour 'gives is not an artificial one. It is so deep that even the devil can't disturb it. You can't hear things in the Spirit, while you have any turmoil or fear in you. You can't take a shade of fear into the presence of God."

September 8. National Day of Prayer. 9 a.m. "Our country has only the outward form of
religion, neither cold nor hot, like the church at Laodicea. May God bring the nation back. Our
one cause for praise is that the enemy has not been able to invade our country."
At the midday service, just as Mr. Howells began to speak, the Nazi planes passed
overhead; the guns in the field below crashed out and the siren sounded; but he went on with his message, and "the congregation was held spellbound." It was at this point that the burden of
prayer for protection and the questionings of the past few "days changed into praise and certainty. Full assurance of victory was given, and it rings out in Mr. Howells' words: "What victory! Those who are in the Spirit see it is victory, because He has found believing in us. What joy! What praise! God would probably not give faith for victory in the war, until personal victory was first gained." The all-clear sounded as the service finished. They sang in closing: "Death is vanquished, tell it with joy, ye faithful."
In the afternoon meeting of the same day, he said: "I could now put it in print that no devil can touch anyone here. There is no need to pray any more. When you believe, you finish with prayer. We have never been in such victory before, carrying on exactly as if there was no war. How could we get victory for the world, unless we had first believed it for ourselves? You can't trust in anything except believing prayer. How the Holy Ghost came down this morning in the communion service and told us of His victory!"

September 9. "The Holy Ghost has found faith equal to what He wants to do. Take care
you are believing. Believing is the most delicate thing you can think of. It is like a vapor. You might easily miss it. The victory happened yesterday' morning, and if you didn't see it, you may never see it. From this time on He can guide this battle, but He couldn't do it before without faith."
September 10. "What if millions of prayers went up on the Day of Prayer, and no one had believed? After the victory of Sunday there is great liberty to pray that God will really deal with the devil in the Nazis and put an end to this wicked system. Our prayer for London is that God will turn the tide now and save life. No doubt the enemy is pouring scorn on last Sunday's National Day of prayer."
September 11, with the Battle of Britain over London and the south of England at its
fiercest: "There have been so many places bombed in London, even Buckingham Palace has been touched. I was burdened to pray for the King and Queen, and I believe our prayer will be answered. I am just watching how God will take hold of the enemy."
September 12. 'We prayed last night that London would be defended and that the enemy
would fail to break through, and God answered prayer. Unless God can get hold of this devil and bind him, no man is safe. If we have protection for our properties, why not get protection for the
country? What wonderful days these are."
September 14. "Because we have believed, God has made known to us what is to come to
pass. Every creature is to hear the Gospel; Palestine is to be regained by the Jews; and the Saviour is to return."

Mr. Churchill, in his War Memoirs, gives September 15 as "the culminating date" in that Battle of the Air. He tells how he visited the Operations Room of the R.A.F. that day and watched as the enemy squadrons poured over and ours went up to meet them, until the moment came when he asked the Air Marshal, "What other reserves have we?" "There are none," he answered, and reported afterwards how grave Mr. Churchill looked, "and well I might," added Mr. Churchill. Then another five minutes passed, and "it appeared that the enemy were going home. The shifting of the discs on the table showed a continuous eastward movement of German bombers and fighters. No new attack appeared. In another ten minutes the action was ended."
There seemed no reason why the Luftwaffe should have turned for home, just at the moment when victory was in their grasp. But we know why.

After the war, Air Chief Marshal Lord, Dowding, Commander-in-Chief of Fighter
Command in the Battle of Britain, made this significant comment: "Even during the battle one realized from day to day how much external support was coming in. At the end of the battle one had the sort of feeling that there had been some special Divine intervention to alter some sequence of events which would otherwise have occurred."
* * * * * * *
Victory in the battle of Britain saved the country from invasion, but the enemy sought to recompense himself by heavier, indiscriminate night-bombing, which continued into 1941. In January of that year, this constant bombing of Britain became a prayer burden at the College, until it reached a crisis.
"I feel much more strongly today," said Mr. Howells in the January 20 meeting, "that
God has stopped me praying more for this town than for the country. He tells me, 'If these air raids are going to be repeated, I cannot guarantee you will be safe, so come and pray them out of the country'; and I said to Him, 'You protect us now, until we get a chance to come up and believe You.'"

Ten days were spent in prayer, and then on January 28, the journal stated, "Believed for the protection of the country." This was followed by the remarkable petition: "Lord, turn the enemy down to the Mediterranean", and thus relieve the pressure on Britain, by turning Hitler's attention in another direction. Just over two months later, -- on April 6, war was declared by Hitler on Yugoslavia and Greece, and this was followed by the invasion of Crete and North Africa. With these new commitments the enemy was obliged to turn from the destruction of Britain, and so the immediate crisis for this country passed over.

The next prayer was greater still. We suppose nothing gave the world a bigger shock
through the whole course of the war than when, without a word of warning, Hitler swung round and invaded Russia. If anything was seen to be an intervention of God to help the Allies, it was that. The secular papers spoke of it in the words of the pagan proverb, "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad." That decision of Hitler was reckoned as one of the great acts of divine intervention which spelt the "doom of the Nazis". The invasion of Russia started at 4 a.m.
on June 22, 1941. But seven weeks previously, on May 2, God had begun to speak to Mr.
Howells about Russia, and he said that day: "Much as we long to see the war finished, it seems
that God is saying, 'There is one country more I want to bring judgment on, and that is Communist Russia'." And again on the next day: "Russia comes before me. Is it right for Stalin and his followers to escape? If God gives us the choice, would we tell Him to prolong the war,although we are losing on every point?" And again: "We ask the Lord to weaken Russia and Japan, even if it means prolonging the war for five years. Can't the Lord turn the enemy's drive into Russia? If God does not deal with Russia now, He will have to make another war to do so. I say He ought to bring Russia into it, no matter how long it will take, unless He has another way to get at these communists." From that time this became the main prayer of the College: "Lord,
bring Russia into the war and deal with Communism." Six weeks later Russia had come in!
But very soon the danger was of another kind. Russia was in, but after a few short weeks was facing imminent collapse. As the German hordes poured into that country, how well we remember the anxiety with which the free world watched the gradual disintegration of the Russian armies, and the constantly closer approach of the Nazis to Moscow. It was a race with winter. It was a repetition of the famous invasion of Napoleon. Hitler proclaimed that he would succeed where Napoleon had failed, and winter in an intact Moscow. Would he? Did anybody in those tense days believe he would not? His armies were almost at the gates of the city. On
Sunday, October 19, 1941, Mrs. Howells relates that very early that morning Mr. Howells told her he would go down and hear the seven o'clock news to see if Moscow had fallen. When he came back he said it had not fallen, but that they were expecting bad news any time. A few minutes after that, the Lord began to speak to him: "Is there any need for Moscow to fall? Why don't you pray and believe for Me to save Moscow and give a set-back to the Nazis?"
Dr. Kenneth G. Symonds, F.R.C.S., who has been a member of the College staff for
twelve years, tells us of the meeting that Sunday morning. "The Director opened his message by saying that the first thing the Lord had told him that morning was, 'Pray that Moscow will not fall!' It seemed ridiculously impossible for we had heard that its fall was inevitable; but although the prayer was so far beyond us, yet the Spirit 'laid it on us. It seemed that He prayed in spite of us, so we travailed all day, until in the late meeting that night, He so inspired us through His
servant that we had the assurance that God was answering. The Lord gave liberty to pray that the Nazis might be utterly overthrown in a Russian winter. We shall never forget the joy of victory He gave us as faith mounted up during those days." The second day the news was that the Russians had taken fresh courage and the snow was falling heavily in some parts. Four days later in the meeting Mr. Howells said, "I say now, 'Thus saith the Lord: he (Hitler) is wintering in the Russian snows'."
We all know the end of the story; Moscow never fell, and Goering, recounting later the misfortunes of that winter, stated that three millions of the flower of the Nazi army perished in the snow. Victor Kravchenko in his book, I Chose Freedom, said: "The Germans could have taken Moscow those days virtually without a struggle." Why they turned back is a mystery only the Germans themselves can solve for history."
God now began to turn the prayers of the College into yet another direction. With the
Nazis marching through Yugoslavia and Greece and capturing Crete, and with the menace of Rommel and the Italians growing in North Africa, prayer began to be centered on the Bible Lands. This was really one of the main burdens of prayer on the College, because long before, God had revealed to them that this was not just a European war, but that through it, "in the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," the Jews would return to Palestine, the Gospel go out to every creature, and the Saviour be able to return. Thus as soon as the Bible Lands seemed in danger of invasion, God turned their prayer in that direction. "I am sure," said Mr.
Howells, "the enemy will never touch Palestine, Syria and Iraq."
The area of greatest immediate danger was North Africa. "With the appearance of
Rommel and the German armored divisions there, the menace to Egypt became grave; and if Egypt fell, the door was wide open to Palestine. Again we remember those dark days when Rommel had driven back our armies and was almost knocking on the gates of Alexandria.
"Unless God will intervene on behalf of Palestine," said Mr. Howells on July 4,1942,
"there will be no safety there for the Jews. These Bible Lands must be protected, because it is to these lands the Saviour will come back. If I had the choice today, I would say to God, 'Take all I have, but preserve Palestine.' We want to say to God today, 'unless there is a special reason for Egypt to fall, don't let Alexandria be taken, but give Rommel a setback.' Can I carry the same burden today for Alexandria, as I would if Swansea were being attacked?" It was a Saturday and there were not usually prayer meetings on Saturday afternoons; but that day the College was
called to spend the afternoon in prayer for God to save. Alexandria and turn the tide in North Africa. There was a heavy burden, but very great liberty in prayer: In the meeting that evening, Mr. Howells said, "Is this prayer we prayed this afternoon of the Holy Ghost, that the enemy is not to take Alexandria? I am speaking to all of you who took a real part in the prayers against the enemy, praying him down to the Mediterranean, praying him to Russia, keeping him out of Moscow! Is this prayer of the Holy Spirit? If it is, we can be as sure of the enemy not taking
Alexandria as the people will be when they hear it."

Then on July 5, "All I want to know is, Has the intercession been gained for the Bible Lands? If it has, we have the right to prevail on God that the enemy is not to take Alexandria. The first test point since Moscow is Alexandria;"
That evening Mr. Howells and the College came through to victory. "I thought he might
be allowed to take Egypt," he said, "but I know now he will never take Egypt -- neither Alexandria nor Cairo will fall." And at the end of the meeting he declared, "I have been stirred to my depths today. I have been like a man plowing his way through sand. But now I am on top of if, now I am gripping it; I am handling it. I can shake it."

The following week they read in the news how, grave things had been in North Africa on that very Saturday when the extra prayer meeting was called, and it was over that week-end that the tide turned at El Alamein, and Alexandria was saved. Major P. W. Rainer, who was responsible for supplying the Eighth Army with water, tells this story of a remarkable and possibly deciding incident in the battle for Alexandria, in his book, Pipe Line to Battle, as quoted in the Magazine of the Merchant Service Officers' Christian Association of April 1944.
Between Rommel's men and Alexandria were the remnants of a British army -- fifty
tanks, a few score field guns, and about 5,000 soldiers. The sides were equally matched, with the Germans holding the advantage, because of their superior 88 mm. guns. Both armies were near exhaustion from heat, dust and lack of water. The battle was grim. "In the words of Major Rainer: "The sun was almost overhead, and our men were fast reaching the end of their endurance, when the Nazis broke. Ten minutes more and it might have been us. Slowly, sullenly the Mark IV tanks lumbered back from their battle smoke. And then an incredible thing happened: 1,100 men of the 90th Light Panzer Division, the elite of the Afrika Korps, came stumbling across the barren sand with their hands in the air. Cracked and black with coagulated
blood, their swollen tongues were protruding from their mouths. Crazily they tore water bottles from the necks of our men and pouted life-giving swallows between their parched lips." Major Rainer then goes on to give this reason for their surrender. The Germans had been twenty-four hours without water, when they overran the British defenses and found a 6-inch water pipe.

They shot holes in it and drank deeply. Only when they had taken great gulps, did they realize that it was sea water. The pipe had only just been laid, and Major Rainer had started to test it. Fresh water was never used for tests on pipes -- it was too precious. "The day before, it would have been empty,", he' writes. "Two days later it would have been full of fresh water... The Nazis didn't detect the salt at once, because their sense of taste had already been anaesthetized by the
brackish water they had been used to, and by thirst." The surrender of those 1,100 crack soldiers may have been the deciding incident in the battle for Alexandria. The Editor's comment is: "Such an incredible happening as this cannot be treated as a mere coincidence. Assuredly the Hand of Almighty God is in evidence once more, coming to our aid when weighty issues are in the balance."

The attention of the College then had to be turned back again to the Russian campaign, if the Bible Lands were to be safe. The danger from the south was now over, but as the Germans, having failed in their attempt on Moscow, pressed eastward through southern Russia and approached Stalingrad, they were coming near the Caucasus Mountains. Once across that range, the door would be wide open to the Bible Lands from the north. Dr. Symonds tells us that "The Nazis had already penetrated the defenses of Stalingrad, and were fighting in the suburbs of the town, when quite unexpectedly the Director announced that the Holy Spirit was urging him to pray that Stalingrad should not fall. The reason was that Stalingrad is the gateway to the Caucasus, and the Caucasus to the Bible Lands. The enemy had made two attempts to occupy these lands, the first via Crete, which brought the prayer from the Spirit that the Nazi hordes should be turned against Russia; and the second via. North Africa, which had resulted in the divine intervention in answer to believing prayer at E1 Alamein. But this prayer for Stalingrad seemed the hardest of all to take hold of. For a whole fortnight we wrestled, the Spirit through His servant insisting that, the prayer having come from Him, we were to be responsible to see it
through to a successful issue, as with Moscow.

"In spite of our cries the enemy continued to advance until half of the city was in his hands. The fighting there from house to house was some of the most desperate in the whole war; but the conflict in the Spirit was correspondingly desperate. Contrary to all human reason, as the news got darker, faith rose higher, until we found the enemy was giving way before us. At the same time the tide turned in the visible battle and to the wonder of the world, the Nazi army was driven out again utterly" broken and demoralized. It was another mighty triumph of the Holy Spirit."

Some months later, with these four great prayer battles behind them -- the invasion of Britain, Alexandria, Moscow and Stalingrad, the college were much interested to see an article published in the press by the military commentator, General J. R. C. Fuller, in which he gave four reasons for the impending doom of the Nazis. Hitler's four blunders, he called them.
Blunder No. 1 was missing the chance to invade Britain. Blunder No. 2, his failure to attack Egypt and gain Alexandria. Blunder No. 3, "Everything in the Russian. campaign depended on the fall of Moscow. Yet Hitler turned away to other objectives." Blunder No. 4, "Hitler's final mistake the great attack on Stalingrad."
On two further occasions there were times of special concentration in prayer, one in the invasion of Italy, and the other for "D" Day. In the battle for Italy, the danger spot was Salerno, where our troops landed in September, 1943, to capture some strategic heights and open the way or the invading forces from the south to reach Rome. "The day of the landing at Salerno and its sequel will always be outstanding in my memory," says Dr. Symonds. "We had the first evening prayer meeting as usual in the Conference Hall, and gathered again at 9.45 p.m. for the late meeting in Derwen Fawr. It had a solemn tone from the outset, the Director's voice trembling with the burden of his message, and scarcely audible, as he said, 'The Lord has' burdened me between the meetings with the invasion at Salerno.' I believe our men are in great difficulties,and the Lord has told me that unless we can pray through, they are in danger of losing their hold.'

The awe of God settled down upon us, for this came as a complete surprise, there having been no official news to this effect on the wireless, and we ourselves having previously had some rejoicing that Italy was at last on the point of being delivered from the Fascist and Nazi tyranny.
Before long we were on our knees crying to God for Him to intervene; The Spirit took hold of us and suddenly broke right through in the prayers, and we found ourselves praising and rejoicing,believing that God had heard and answered. We could not go on praying any longer, so we rose from our knees and began to sing praises, the Spirit witnessing in all our hearts that God had wrought some miraculous intervention in Italy. The victory was so outstanding that I looked at the clock as we rose to sing. It was on the stroke of 11 p.m.
"We waited to hear the midnight news. The announcer gravely; told us in effect exactly what the Director had told us from the Lord -- that unless some miracle happened, our troops were in grave danger of losing the beachhead before the morning. This only served to confirm to us the guidance of the Spirit, and we felt more confident than ever that the victory was certain.
The news next morning was more hopeful, but we eagerly awaited newspaper reports from the Front. We were not disappointed.

On Thursday morning one of the daily newspapers displayed a front page headline in large print, 'The Miracle of Salerno'. The account of the reporter personally at the Front ran somewhat as follows: 'I was with our advanced troops in the invasion of Salerno on Monday. The enemy artillery was advancing rapidly and with ceaseless firing. The noise was terrible, and it was obvious that unless a miracle happened, our troops could never hold-up the advance long enough for the beach-head to be established. Suddenly, for no accountable reason the firing ceased and the Nazi artillery stopped its advance.
A deathly stillness settled on the scene. We waited in breathless anticipation, but nothing happened. I looked at my watch -- it was eleven o'clock at night. Still we waited, but still nothing happened; and nothing happened all that night, but those hours made all the difference to the invasion. By the morning the beach-head was established'."
In the last great prayer-battle of the war -- for the opening of the Second Front -- we will quote again some of Mr. Howells' own words. On April 6, 1944 just two months before "D" Day,he was saying in the meetings: "We are concerned for the young people who are about to enter the Second Front. Can we believe that our young men can go through with the minimum of loss?
If God intervened in Moscow, Stalingrad, Alexandria and our own country, can't He intervene in the Second Front and stop us from having a set-back? We have a perfect right to ask God to come and fight with our young men, because our leaders only want the Atlantic Charter and its
Four Freedoms, as the result of this war. If we got victory at Stalingrad, we can get it here. We know that He is on the side of our men, and I see nothing tonight but victory."
A month later (May 7), he said: "I am speaking at a time when 5,000,000 men are facing the Second Front. These young men from America are in our country waiting for the invasion, and many thousands may be lost. In Verdun the French lost 1,000,000. If I am not called up to fight, and I know another way to help them and I don't do it, I ought to be killed instead of them.
They are facing death, and anyone who has faced death knows it is a serious thing, and they are facing it for you and me. If they suffer more than we suffer for them, it will be our lifelong shame. If there is a Second Front next week, is there a God in heaven who can intervene? When it starts, Governor Dewey of New York is calling all his State to prayer. The worst of it is that Germany is a Protestant country, and so are we, but it is not the German nation we are fighting;
it is the Nazi regime. We believe God is on our side and He says; 'I will not sheathe the sword until the Charter is established and the world set free'."
In another meeting God gave the assurance to the College that on "D" Day "He was
going over before our troops, and they would not have a set-back." "The believing was so strong that we were able to take it," wrote one who was present. "After the burden we had been carrying, the relief was so great that I went to my room, fell on my knees and burst into tears.
They were tears of joy and sheer relief from a tremendous tension. It was just as real to me 'then as if the whole Second Front had been established and the victory actually won."

On June 6, the day of the opening of the Second Front, Mr. Howells read with great
approval General Eisenhower's Order of the Day to the assault troops, in which he said, "The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you... let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking"; and still more, the wonderful speech of the King, which he broadcast to the country, solemnly calling his people to prayer and dedication, when he said, "Surely not one of us is too busy to play our part in a nation-wide,
perchance a world-wide, vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth." In the meeting Mr.
Howells said: "If there is going to be a Day of Prayer, it ought to be a day of victory and moving God." And in his own prayer at the end of that meeting, thinking of the assault troops already landing in Normandy, he prayed, "If You hadn't intervened at Dunkirk, not one of us would be here today. So lay a burden on us, don't allow us to be slack. If Hitler had won, Christianity,
civilization and freedom, would have gone. Oh Lord, protect and keep our men.! Don't allow us to pray any differently from what we would if we were on the front line. We do believe the end of this will be victory."
Finally, on July 8, he said: "I don't think there is anything to compare with the night we invaded Normandy. We said that God was going before our men, and it wasn't going to be like Dunkirk. The Daily Telegraph reported that it was only that night the U-boats did not patrol the channel. The way we went over to 'Normandy' was beyond imagination -- 4,000 ships and 11,000 planes -- and they never met a single ship or plane of the enemy! God said, 'I am going over and there won't be a set-back'; and although, while I am preaching, there is a big battle on, I go back to His word that there will be no reverses."

The consummation of these six years of prayer came in June, 1945, with the
establishment of the United Nations at San Francisco. No vain hopes of final world peace were based on that, for the prayer in the College for the Gospel to go to every creature, and for the Jews to return to Palestine, has always been with the one great anticipation of the return of the Saviour in glory, and the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom, when at last there will be "peace on earth";' but it was the answer to these years of prayer for the reopening of the world to the
Gospel, so that every creature might hear in this generation.

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