An Encounter with Praying Hyde

Wilbur Chapman

We should hide God's Word in our hearts, because of its presence in our lives we have learned the secret of success in intercessory prayer. In John 15: 7 we read: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what yc will and it shall be done unto you."

How striking are the lessons. If we abide in Christ, that is, if He is the place where we live: if His words abide in us, that is, if they absolutely control our thinking and our living, then there is power in prayer. There is a reciprocal indwelling. We are in Him and His words are in us, and thus controlled by divine influence we may ask what we will and it shall be done unto us.

Certain kinds of prayer are possible for everybody. We may pray in the morning and pray at night; we may pray in the time of unexpected temptation, and in the hour of sudden trial, but intercessory prayer is possible only for those who pay the price.

We were in Shrewsbury, England, and our work was not going well, when a message came to me that an American missionary had heard of our difficulties and was coming over to pray for us. I was told not to provide for his entertainment. Indeed, I was to give him no consideration at all. I was also informed that perhaps he would not attend the meetings, but he would pray. He came to the city and instantly the tide turned in our work, and the victory was remarkable. The missionary who came to pray was known as "Praying Hyde," the American missionary in India whose influence was wonderful.

Just as I was leaving Shrewsbury I sent for him to come and see me and told him that I would like to have him pray for me. He knelt beside me, he was still for several moments, I was tempted to open my eyes, and I saw his face lighted up with the light of heaven, his lips trembling, and his tears starting, and then he said something like this: "My Father, here is a minister who sorely needs Thy help, do bless him, I beseech Thee, may his life be precious in Thy sight. May he be girded anew with strength for service; may Jesus Christ become more real to him," and then he was still again for a little while, and when the closing words of the prayer were said we arose from our knees and I had learned a never-to-be-forgotten lesson concerning intercession.

The Word of God presents the true environment in which we should live. In John 15: 10 we read: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love: even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."