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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : John "Praying" Hyde

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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777

 John "Praying" Hyde

This is a long entry, but it reads fast and is a real blessing.

"Praying Hyde"

Men of God in our jet-set, space-race, big business-syndrome, new millenium* are not especially known as men of prayer. Today's successful pastor, evangelist or missionary is more readilly recognized as one who possesses charisma and charm; or, one who is an able administrator; or, one who is an outstanding organization man; or, one with Madison Avenue promotion power, etc. The reader will have to think tediously and tiringly to suggest the names of more than a couple clergymen who are characterized by their prayer life.

Perhaps that is why there is death and decay all about us in this day: shallowness in sermons, powerlessness in preaching, weakness in writings, mediocrity in music, lakcluster in Christian living.

Christian history has had its heroes of prayer: Elijah, the prophet whose prayers could turn off the faucets in the skies so it would not rain, then pray fire down from those skies and ignite revival on the altar of the idolatrous, iniquitous nation of Israel. There was the Apostle James, called "Mr Camel Knees" because the flesh upon his knees had become calloused, hardened from his much kneeling in prayer. There was George Muller, who prayed in over seven and one-half millionn dollars and cited "over fifty thousand distinct answers to definite prayers" in over sixty years. Add the names Wesley, McCheyne, Hudson, Taylor, etc.

But in these paragraphs I present to you another peer of prayer: "Praying Hyde." He was also called "the man who never sleeps," "the apostle of prayer," and many other titles of an intercessor.

Well he might be, for, as Basil Miller wrote in his biography of Hyde:


John Hyde was all of these and more, for deep in India's Punjab he envisioned his Master, and face to face with the Eternal he learned lessons of prayer which to others were amazing. Walking on such anointed ground...for thirty days and nights, or ten days on end, or remain on his knees for thiry-six hours without moving...when he returned to the field preaching from such seasons...he was thus possessed of a spiritual power which opened dark hearts of India to his message.

Such prolonged practice of prayer provoked his fellow missionaries to "awe, then disgust, finally to be filled with admiration for this apostle of intercession and to sit at his feet as disciples."

Hyde the missionary was, humanly speaking, a product of a preaching father and a couple of seminarians. In his Carthage, Illinois, pulpit, Hyde's father preached of "the ripened soul-fields into which the Lord of the Harvest was to send forth laborers, "and prayed from the pulpit and in the family altar that God would thrust out laborers into that field. His son, john, answered those pleas.

At McCormick Theological Seminary, Hyde surrendered to foreign missions. A stirring appeal by a fellow seminarian in chapel convicted Hyde. Not consummately convinced, he hurried to another seminarian, Burton Konkle. "Give me all the arguments you have for the foreign field," he challenged. Konkle responded, "You know as much about foreign missions as I do. Arguments are not what you need. What you want to do is go to your room, get down on your knees, and stay there until the matter is settled one way or another."

Hyde did! The next morning, entering chapel, Hyde found Konkle and exclaimed,"It's settled Konkle!" In the fall of 1892, after graduating in the spring, John Hyde set sail for Bombay, India.

Major crises immediately confronted him. First was the need of victory over selfish ambition and a full surrender to the Holy Spirit. That need was precipitated, for the most part, by a letter received from a friend of his father as Hyde boarded the boat. "I shall not cease praying for you, dear John, until you are filled with the Spirit," were the words penned on the page. Hyde was incensed at what he considered a gross insult to his spirituality--but prayerful introspection revealed the accuracy of the accusation. Soon he settled all his selfish plans and purposes, confessed personal sins, and was assured of further victory and was "fully filled and dynamically conscious of the Spirit."

The second crisis was language. Hyde, handicapped with a slight deafness, found language study difficult. And rudely awakened to the fact he did not know his Bible suffenciantly to "teach the dark-minded natives of Christ," he sacrificed language study for Bible study. Finally despaired, Hyde offered his resignation to the Synod. An appeal from the villages silenced that resignation and satisfied the Synod that Hyde should continue. The appeal read: "If he never speaks the language of our lips, he speaks the language of our hearts."

Hyde's work was itinerant ministry in the many villages and progress was painfully slow and converts pitifully few. It was then that Hyde's intercessory prayer life began to mound the man, his ministry and, finally, his multiplied results. Hyde wote of those days and nights of prayer:
I have felt led to pray for others this year as never before. I never knew what it was to work all day and then pray all night before God for another. Early in the morning, four or five o'clock, or even earlier, and late at night to twelve or one o'clock, in college or at parties at home, I used to keep such hours for myself or pleasure, and can I not do as much for God and souls?

God's command in Isaiah 62:6,7 became Hyde's personal prayer precept: "I have set watchmen upon thy wall, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day our night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth."

To obey that precept in prayer, Hyde missed meals, missed meetings, missed preaching appointments, but he never missed meetings with God in prayer!

Revival came to India in 1904 at the Sailkot station. In Hyde's own ministry, he saw the years of no conversions multiply to fifty baptisms in 1907, 800 in 1909. In the 1910 conference, Hyde "was given assurance that he would see four conversions a day for that year." Some of the most exciting evangelism tales in modern-day evangelism are told in the diary of that "diligent soul hunter" seeking sinners in the Punjab.

But in 1910, eighteen years after his entry into India, Hyde's intense prayer life and personal evangelism had taken their toll. His heart had shifted from its normal position--the doctors declared: months of quiet, or six months to live. Praying Hyde persisted in prayer knowing it meant a premature grave. It did. March 11, 1911, Hyde sailed for America--to die. He stopped in England, visiting Keswick and hoping to institute "a prayer room similar to the one at Sailkot." Then to Wales, where he visited Dr. J. W. Chapman, engaged in a great evagelistic campaign at Shrewsbury. Chapman invited that great intercessor to pray with him. Perhaps Chapman's commentary of that season of prayer best pictures Hyde in prayer.
He came to my room, turned the key in the door, dropped on his knees, waited five minutes without a single syllable coming from his lips. I could hear my own heart thumping and his beating. I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God.

Then with upturned face, down which tears streamed, he said, "Oh, God!" Then for five minutes at least he was still again, and when he knew he was talking to God, his arm went around my shoulder, and then came up from the depths of his heart such petitions for men as I have never heard before, and I arose from my knees to know what real prayer was.

February 17, 1912, the man whom the Presbyterian Board witnessed was "one of the most devout, prayerful and fruitful missionary workers in India," ceased his intercession and evangelism with his triumphant testimony as he died, "Bol, Visu Maish, Ki Jah!"--"Shout the vicotory of Jesus Christ!"

Need it be added--the number one need of our hour is a host of Hydes--men who will be "apostles of prayer" and evagels to the lost, the last, and the least!

Taken from Profiles in Evangelism.

*The book was written in the seventies and the term "swing seventies" just didn't work so I substituted "new millenium."

Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/9/21 0:27Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 31830
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: John "Praying" Hyde

He came to my room, turned the key in the door, dropped on his knees, waited five minutes without a single syllable coming from his lips. I could hear my own heart thumping and his beating. I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God.

How foreign this is to us! We rush in and out of the presence of God. This man Hyde persevered until he met with God. It makes you wonder how many of our prayer times we are really in the presence of God? Ohh God to pray like this man! to know that you are present!

_________________ Moderator - Greg Gordon

“If Christians around the world were to suddenly renounce their personal agendas, their life goals and their aspirations, and begin responding in radical obedience to everything God showed them. the world would be turned upside down. How do we know? Because that's what first century Christians did, and the world is still talking about it.” - Henry Blackaby

 2003/9/22 0:03Profile

Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164


This is an old post from 03.


He came to my room, turned the key in the door, dropped on his knees, waited five minutes without a single syllable coming from his lips. I could hear my own heart thumping and his beating. I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God.

How foreign this is to us! We rush in and out of the presence of God. This man Hyde persevered until he met with God. It makes you wonder how many of our prayer times we are really in the presence of God? Ohh God to pray like this man! to know that you are present!


Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it. - Matthew Henry

[i]η δοξα της εκκλησιας λεγει παραβολην αγαπης[/i]

 2005/8/3 15:18Profile

Joined: 2005/5/30
Posts: 51
Washington state


old post or still did its wonders upon my heart. :)

 2005/8/3 15:38Profile

Joined: 2005/7/3
Posts: 233
Lancashire, England

 Re: John "Praying" Hyde

Thanks for the post Hulsey,

Praying Hyde by Basil Miller is my favourite book after the Bible, to read of such a man of prayer so near to us in time is so rare, his life has inspired me to pray more, sadly not enough by far, it's true what Greg says about how quick we run in and out of the Lord's prescense, like we have something more important to do.

What saddens me is that John Hyde is still very much unknown and very little written about him.

There are so many inspiring stories in Praying Hyde though, i love the story of a man running a mission in england i think and it's not doing well, he recieves a telegram that an american missionary (Hyde) has been asked to pray for the mission and that night people start coming in they're droves!!!!

if ever there was a response to such a life surely it should be 'Lord teach us to pray'

Galatians 5:16 (Amp) "But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God)."
for excellent Bible teaching go to

 2005/8/3 16:15Profile


I like the story in that book when Hyde started to carry the burden of sinners, and then started to carry the burden of those that were in Christ. A great lesson i learned after reading that story.

 2005/9/1 18:18

Joined: 2005/6/6
Posts: 200
Brumley Missouri

 Re: 2 know Him... More

I found this little gem hidden in the archives, I say gem, yet it is really a "diamond" in the rough. To make this diamond shine you will need 2 things:

1. A hearts desire to know him (God). Don't be shy, Boldly come to the throne of Grace! ... receive mercy and grace in your time of need.

2. A burden for a lost and sinful humanity.

Only in the practice of the presence of prayer, can a man or woman of Christ know such a privilege yet, at the same time such a forceful, encumbering affliction on one's spirit and heart. It is almost a punishment to be such a silent blessing for those in the grip of utter destruction.

well worth the read...

Our praying, however, needs to be stirred,shaken, pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied and a courage which never fails. -EM Bounds

 2011/6/10 10:18Profile

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