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John Hyde

“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom. ‘Ask and you shall receive’ (John 16:24). It is a rule that never will be altered in anybody’s case…Jehovah says to His Son, ‘Ask of Me and I shall give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession’ (Ps. 2:8). If the royal and divine Son of God cannot be exempted from the rule of asking that He may have, you and I cannot expect the rule to be relaxed in our favor. Why should it? I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is, and I beseech you to abound in it.”  Charles Spurgeon

Do we rest in our day too much on the arm of flesh? Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old? Do not the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth still to show Himself strong on behalf of those who put their trust in Him? Oh, that God would give me more practical faith in Him! Where is now the Lord God of Elijah? He is waiting for Elijahs to call on Him?  James Gilmour

“Revivals are born in prayer. When Wesley prayed, England was revived; when Knox prayed, Scotland was refreshed; when the Sunday school teachers of Tannybrook prayed, eleven thousand young people were added to the church in a year. Whole nights of prayer have always been succeeded by whole days of soulwinning."  Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman

“I once knew a minister who had a revival fourteen winters in succession. I did not know how to account for it until I saw one of his members get up in a prayer meeting and make a confession. ‘Fellow believers,’ he said, ‘I have long been in the habit of praying every Saturday night till after midnight for the descent of the Holy Ghost among us. And now (and he began to weep), I confess that I have neglected it for two or three weeks.’ The secret was out. That minister had a praying church.”  Charles G. Finney

“Prayer and preaching! Preaching and prayer! They cannot be separated. The ancient cry was, ‘To your tents, O Israel!!’ (1 Kings 12:16). The modern cry should be, ‘To your knees, O preachers, to your knees!”  E.M. Bounds

Martin Luther is quoted as once saying, "The Christian's trade is praying." In today's church many know nothing of this trade of praying and therefore never succeed at this trade. No wonder so little is accomplished in the Church today. Could it be because God and prayer are often left out of their many programs. John Hyde knew the secret to the power and anointing from God. Prayer wasn't a part of his was his life. He prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. He would not give up prayer, no matter how many days it took, or let go of God until he secured the results of what he was praying for. He never failed in that endeavor. J. Pengwern Jones recalls the prayer life of John Hyde:

"He was always on his knees when I went to bed, and on his knees long before I was up in the morning, though I was up with the dawn. He would also light the lamp several times in the night, and feast on some passages of the Word, and then have a little talk with the Master. He sometimes remained on his knees the whole day. The Spirit made him an object-lesson to us, that we might have a better idea of Christ's prayer life."

John Hyde, better known as "Praying Hyde" was born in 1865, in Carthage, Illinois. His father, Rev Smith Harris Hyde, was a Presbyterian minister who faithfully proclaimed the Gospel message and called on the Lord to thrust out laborers into His harvest. He prayed this prayer not only in the pulpit but also in the home, around the family altar. One of the biggest answers to that prayer was going to come from one of his two sons. That atmosphere in his home made an indelible impression on the life of John. Even though he graduated with honors from Cathage College and was elected to a position on the faculty, he resigned his position and entered the Presbyterian seminary, graduating in 1892. John then did some major heart searching and turned himself to God in prayer. It seemed the more he gave himself to prayer, the clearer and greater his vision became. It was during this time of seeking God in prayer that John surrendered himself to the call to become a missionary. In October 1892 he set sail for India. At this time John went through an intense period of purging of pride and vain ambition. This was no doubt the key to his powerful anointing in prayer. But it didn't begin that way. On his way to India he received a letter from a close friend saying, "I will not cease praying for you until you be filled with the Holy Ghost." This made John extremely angry. After all he was a seminary graduate and on his way to pursue his destiny. John threw the letter in the trash and angrily walked out of the room. As he was walking along the deck of the steamer, he could not get the thought that he must be filled with the Holy Ghost out of his mind. After much soul searching John decided that his dear friend was right. Going to Scripture (Acts 1:8) he then knelt by his cabin bed in prayer and surrendered to God's will and was wonderfully filled with the power and fire from on high.

When he arrived in India, John was among one million non-Christians. To labor in the field with him was three women and one other missionary, Reverend Ullman, who had been in India for fifty-five years. Reverend Ullman taught John all about the power of the blood of Jesus. John ‘s ministry of prayer in India for the next twenty years was such that the natives referred to him, not only as "Praying Hyde" but,"the man who never sleeps" and the "Apostle of Prayer." His prayer life was amazing. Often he would spend 30 days and nights in constant prayer, and many times was on his knees in deep intercession for 36 hours at a time.

In 1895 a small revival broke out in the village he was working. This caused intense persecution with the new converts being beaten and disowned. It tore into his heart to hear of those who had poured out their hearts to God being drug out of their homes and being whipped in the streets. By 1896, there were no conversions at all. This drove John to prayer and intercession. He prayed for days and nights and the Lord showed him that the church was far below Bible standards so he took on the burden to pray for others. His fellow missionaries thought he was fanatical and extreme, yet he was willing to be called crazy and face their religious opposition. He could not understand why prayer was such an isolated experience in the Church. True prayer is Spirit-born. True prayer is praying "in the Holy Ghost." John Hyde prayed in the Holy Ghost. Those filled with the Spirit are filled with prayer.

"There is something very questionable and unbiblical about those who claim to have had a baptism of the Spirit and yet know nothing of extended periods in prayer."  Leonard Ravenhill

Soon Hyde was joined by a few fellow intercessors and they saw that there was one method to obtaining spiritual awakening in India and that was by intense prayer. They set themselves deliberately, definitely and desperately to use this means till they secured the result. They prayed for days and all the nights, non-stop. Their prayers were answered in a series of outpourings of the Spirit in the north-west part of India, especially in 1904 at Sialkot. Often the glory rested on these meetings in a mighty way, while John and a faithful few travailed in prayer. It was at this time that they heard of the revival that had begun in Wales and this caused an increase in prayer and faith for the same. During this increased time of prayer. The Lord laid a verse on the heart of John, Isaiah 62:6-7. "I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise on the earth." Upon seeing the results of a deeper prayer life, John gave himself even more to prayer. It was this intercession that "opened the way" for revival to break out. During this revival John was almost constantly in the prayer room. Walking by John's door, men heard him weeping as he would "break out in tears over the sins of the world and especially for God's children." One lady who often saw him leaving his room after a season of prayer remembers:
"There was always an air of another world about him. Yet how he loved the souls of men!

John would pray for 40 hours non-stop and then go to the meetings without rest. Those souls who were snatched from the fire by the power of his prayers never forgot the experience. One of them leaves this record:

"As he (John Hyde) came before the people...he spoke three words in Urdu and three in English, repeating them three times: ‘Ai Asmani Bak, Oh, Heavenly Father...Ai Asmani Bak, Oh, Heavenly Father... Ai Asmani Bak, Oh, Heavenly Father.' What followed, who can describe? It was as if a great ocean came sweeping into that assembly. Hearts were bowed before that Divine Presence as the trees of a wood before a mighty tempest. It was the ocean of God's love being outpoured through one man's obedience. Hearts were broken before it. There were confessions of sins, with tears that were soon changed to joy, and then shouts of rejoicing. Truly, we were filled with new wine, the new wine of heaven."

Dr. J Wilbur Chapman was once preaching in Hereford, England. For days there was an absence of power and no conviction of sin. He heard that John Hyde was in Wales, visiting the revival, and sent for him. Chapman remembered, "When John Hyde came there, God came to town...God and Hyde walked together." As a result, when Chapman made the altar appeal on the first night after Hyde arrived in town, fifty of the hardest kind of men came to Christ. Chapman then said he begged Hyde, "Pray for me." The story goes, that into a room these two men went; Hyde turned the key in the door, turned his face up to God, then turned the fountains of his great heart open. Chapman tells what happened next:

"I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God. With upturned face, down which the tears were streaming, John Hyde said two words: ‘Oh God!' For five minutes at least, he was still again, and then when he knew he was talking with God, his arm went around my shoulder, and there came up from the depth of his heart such petitions for men as I have never before heard. I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was."

Such a spirit of intercession was on John that when he walked past others, they too would begin to groan in agony for the lost. John's cry was, "Give me souls, Oh God, or I die." He formed a Prayer Group Union for the purpose of "Targeted Prayer" for thirty minutes each day. The group prayed for revival, special blessings on the churches, a spirit of unity, guidance, and wisdom. All these requests were poured out in abundance. Thirty days before meetings they went into all night prayer with fasting, crying out, pleading, and agonizing over the lost. In 1900, John writing home prophetically tells what the Lord had showed him during those times of prayer about the new century. He told John that the new century would be a time of Pentecostal power and a double portion of the Holy Ghost would be poured out. That a great conviction would come and many would be born again. Six years later in what once was an old stable on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, that prophecy came to life.

In 1908, John prayed what was to many an impossible task: that during the coming year he would save, in India, one soul a day. At the end of the year he will have three hundred sixty five people converted, baptized, and publicly confessing Jesus as their Savior. Everyone said it was happened! John Hyde had prayed more than four hundred people into the kingdom. The next year he doubled his goal to two souls a day. Eight hundred true conversions were recorded that year. The next year he set his goal for four souls a day. During that year he traveled throughout India. He said, "If on any day four people were not converted, that night there would be such a weight on my heart, I could not eat or sleep until I prayed through to victory." The next day eight souls would find their way into the kingdom of God.

The following year John's health began to deteriorate. While in Calcutta his friends persuaded him to see a doctor. The doctor was in shock. It was unlike anything he had ever seen, heard about or read about. It was apparent that the years of constant non-stop travailing and constant wrestling in prayer and intercession had taken its toll. Yet no one expected the medical examiner's incredible diagnosis. John Hyde's heart had shifted out of its natural position on the left side of his chest to a place over on the right. The doctor warned John that unless he got complete rest he would be dead in six months. In fact, "Praying Hyde" would live for nearly two more years, long enough to see a great wave of revival sweep through the Punjab and the rest of India.

Even during his feeblest days, John spent hours in prayer and intercession. In a letter he wrote to his sister, he tells her:

"I am still in bed or in a wheelchair, getting a fine rest and doing a lot of the ministry of intercession."

He did not like the restrictions of being confined to a bed or wheelchair. He liked to pray prostrate on the floor. He would still pray for people"til." After he was done praying he would clap his hands, dance, shout and was often filled with holy laughter.

In March 1911, he left India to spend some time with his sister and on February 17, 1912, at the age of 47, he died. He was not a stranger in the Throne Room of the Father. John Hyde's last words were, "Shout the Victory of Jesus Christ."

1Thessalonians 5:17-18 "pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

JJ (Dark) Di Pietro
Cane Creek Church