Rees Howells was a man who lived in Wales from 1879-1950. He learned from the Holy Spirit how to be an extremely effective intercessor. Holy Spirit took him through a process step by step to learn how to trust God for everything he needed in his life. And He insisted that Rees die to the flesh and his own ways and fear of man and caused him to give up doing things that caused people around him to fear for his sanity! He had to fast a lot, he had to pray a lot (hours of each day), he had to go without wearing a hat (which was taboo in the culture of his time in the United Kingdom) and many other things that caused embarrassment and concern to himself and his family and his friends.
But God molded him into a vessel, a channel, that God could flow through and live through. He lived the life that Jesus would have lived if He had been the one in the body and life of Rees Howells.
Here is one story that has stuck in my memory and helped me through times of testing of our faith.
I read it in a book called Rees Howells – Intercessor by Norman Grubb.
This is from Chapter 23 entitled Standing in the Queue (A queue is a line you have to stand in to get service like in a train station.)
Rees and his wife had to go to London because they were going to sail from there to Africa to be missionaries. They had been given money by the mission to pay the expenses to London, but they needed to use it to buy supplies for their trip to Africa, so when they got to the train station, they didn’t have money to pay for their train tickets to London. People came to see them off, but everybody thought they were well-supplied with money for train tickets, so nobody knew the inward struggle they were having with wondering how they would get tickets for the train or how they would get onto the train without tickets. Holy Spirit had told them to never make their need known to people but to trust Him to get the provision to them.
They had ten shillings which was enough to get them to the next station but not enough to get them to London. They went as far as they could with what they had and then their “extremity would be God’s opportunity”. They had to change trains at Llanelly Station, about twenty miles from their home, and wait there a couple of hours. So without letting anyone know, they only booked as far as that.
Many friends went with them as far as Llanelly, singing all the way, and Rees had the thought, “I’d sing better if I had the money!” They went to eat with some friends at Llanelly but still didn’t tell anyone of their need. They went back to the station and waited for the train (and for God to provide the money for the train!). It came time for the train to come in and they still didn’t have the money. The Spirit spoke to Rees and asked what he would do if he had the money and he replied that he would stand in the queue to buy a train ticket, so the Spirit told him to go ahead and get in line. Here’s the way the Spirit said it to him, “Well, are you not preaching that My promises are equal to current coin? You had better take your place in the queue.” So there was nothing he could do except obey.
This is how Rees describes what happened next:
“There were about a dozen people before me. There they were passing by the booking office one by one. The devil kept telling me, ‘Now you have only a few people in front of you, and when your turn comes, you will just have to walk through.
You have preached much about Moses and the Red Sea in front and the Egyptians behind, but now you are the one
who is shut in.’ ‘Yes, shut in,’ I answered, ‘but like Moses, I’ll be gloriously led out!’
“When there were only two before me, a man stepped out of the crowd and said, ‘I’m sorry I can’t wait any longer, but
I must open my shop.’ He said good-bye and put thirty shillings in my hand! It was most glorious and only a
foretaste of what the Lord would do in Africa if we would obey. After I had the tickets, the people who came with us
to the train began to give gifts to us, but the Lord had held them back until we had been tested. We were singing all
the way to London!”
I hope this story lifts your faith the way it does mine.