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Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1033

 The Role of Prayer in World War II.

Taken from "Rees Howells: Intercessor"

Chapter 34: Intercession for Dunkirk.

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 live. 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.

Read more: Rees Howells: Intercessor | Chapter 34 – Intercession for Dunkirk


 2012/7/19 12:25Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1033

 Re: The Role of Prayer in World War II.

Chapter 35 – Battle 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.”

Read more: Rees Howells: Intercessor | Chapter 35 – Battle of Britain


 2012/7/19 12:27Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1033


Chapter 36 – Russia, North Africa, Italy, "D" Day

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, 1 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 for 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.

Read more: Rees Howells: Intercessor | Chapter 36 – Russia, North Africa, Italy, "D" Day


 2012/7/19 12:30Profile


Hi untobabes, I thought I would add this story as an addition to the Dunkirk story..............


Mat 14:14 And Jesus went out and saw a great crowd, and He was moved with compassion toward them. And He healed their sick.
Mat 14:15 And evening coming on, His disciples came to Him, saying, The place is deserted and the time has already gone by. Send the crowd away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.
Mat 14:16 But Jesus said to them, They do not need to leave, you give them something to eat.
Mat 14:17 And they said to Him, We have here only five loaves and two fish.
Mat 14:18 And He said, Bring them here to Me.

There is a great multitude today who are desperately hungry and thirsty. All over the world the people dwell in great darkness and the darkness increases every day. Hell has opened its vaults and is beginning to spew out evil with increasing speed and urgency because it knows its time is short. There is desperate darkness coming and it is coming at us with alarming speed. Yet, as in the time of Noah, the world is ignorant of the impending disaster about to befall it. Like the children of Israel when Jesus says ” O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!”

Jesus wept because He knew that less than forty years after His death and resurrection that the whole system would come tumbling down. The Temple would be destroyed and the Israelites would be no more as a nation and they had absolutely no idea.

In those days, it was unimaginable that their Temple, their country, their way of life would be swept away and that they would be scattered to the four corners of the earth. Can you imagine our Democratic system being washed away? Can you imagine the fall of America? Why is that thought any harder to comprehend? Can you imagine the Church system being swept away?

In 1940, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) found itself routed. It had been sent to Europe to aid the French and the Belgians against the might of the German army. Yet, the strongest army in the world failed. The Germans pursued them and only a gallant rear guard action allowed most of the British to escape and head toward the coast in a full retreat. They congregated at a town called Dunkirk. In that small port town, there were over 400,000 allied troops, British, French and Belgians. Disaster was staring Britain in the face. What was about to unfold was nothing less than the destruction of the bulk of the British forces and conditional surrender to the Germans was discussed by the politicians back in Britain. In an act of desperation, Churchill called for a national day of prayer. All over Britain the church bells rang out and Christians cried out to God in prayer to save the men.

Inexplicably, Hitler stopped his forces from advancing, this lasted three days. Historians to this day have no idea why he stopped, One theory was that it was at the advice of his astrologer. Another was that the Luftwaffe and the Vermacht argued over who would have the glory of finishing of the might of the British army, one more theory was that Hitler hoped to negotiate with, and neutralize the British. What we do know was that he stopped his advance long enough for the Brits to initiate ” Operation Dynamo.’ Now you Greek scholars out there know that the Greek word for power is dynamus. It is ironic to me that the operation would be named this. Here we have the mightiest force the world has ever seen, the British navy. It was to be sent over to attempt to rescue as many men as they could from the beaches.

They knew they faced an almost impossible task and even by their own estimations, they believed that they may have only been able to save between 20,0000 to 50,000. Their greatest fear was that they would be bombed in the harbor and have ships sunk thus rendering the harbor useless. After three days Hitler ordered his troops on the move again. And so , with great desperation “Operation Dynamo,” swung into action. And every day that passed the Germans came closer and closer and every day the Luftwaffe bombed the soldiers on the beaches and the British navy mercilessly. And of course, the greatest fear of the British came to pass. Boats sunk in the harbor rendered the harbor useless. Now all seemed lost.

In one last ditch desperate effort, a call was sent out to everyone near the English channel in Britain who had a small boat. They were asked if they had a boat that could manage the crossing (infamously treacherous waters, 22 miles wide) to cross over and save whoever they could. And so, an armada of small boats, fishing boats, pleasure boats, tug boats, pulling behind rowing boats began to cross the waters. The waters were reported to be strangely calm. Incredibly, in the next several days, they managed to take 340,000 men of the beach. Where the might of the British army had failed, where the strongest force the world have ever known, the British navy failed, God used an armada of “little ships,” to save the western world from complete destruction. You have to remember that it was from Britain that “D Day,’ was launched. If the Brit’s had been destroyed at that time, most of the Western world would have forever fallen under the shadow and the jack-boot of some of the most evil men the world has ever known.

Now brothers and sisters, I want you to think of this true story as an analogy. This great evil that is engulfing our world in these the final days are like the Germans bearing down on those hundreds and thousands of soldiers. The soldiers are the multitude. The British Navy is the Established church. The small ships are the Remnant. The British Navy, were shown to be powerless. The Established church is just as powerless. The end is fast approaching and we are looking at a Church that has proven itself to be powerless. Powerless to reach the lost, powerless to stand effectively in this day of evil. A church without the power and the presence of God. What moved the hand of God in this story? It was the prayers of the saints. Who did God use to rescue the soldiers on the beaches? He used the “Little ships.” And the little ships may well ask in this present day” who are we that God could use us?” God will use His Remnant people. God’s Remnant people are like those little ships. Willing to go and face what seemed like certain death in order to rescue the ‘ multitude.’ The Lord took five loaves and two fish and fed a multitude. He took a tiny amount of food in His hand and He broke it and He fed it to the multitude. God will take a small amount of people, break them, and use them to feed the hungry souls and to give water to the thirsty. Has the Lord broken you? Have you yielded to the hand of God? God is raising up a small army, a small armada of ” small ships,’ broken yielded vessels to do His work and He will receive all the honor and the glory.

If you have been broken, if you ” love not your souls unto death,’ then it is time to cast yourselves into the waters of life. There is a multitude out there desperate and dying. Their future is certain without the help of the little ships. There is a force of darkness bearing down on the world right now and it will sweep away the world as we know it. Only the broken of the Lord will be a power on the earth. Only the Remnant of God’s people will be a light in the darkness. Now is the time brothers and sisters. Lift up your heads, our salvation draws nigh…………… Frank

 2012/7/19 14:59

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057

 Re: The Role of Prayer in World War II.

by UntoBabes on 2012/7/19 6:25:32

Taken from "Rees Howells: Intercessor"

Chapter 34: Intercession for Dunkirk.

I have read through this first post or chapter 34 and was just speechless at the end of it. The faith that carried them through in the face of such terror...that is faith only given by GOD to us, we can not lay claim to it in and of ourselves.
Edit previous post: I was so intrigued by these writings that I just finished chapter 35. This stood out to me so much-
"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.”

God bless

 2012/7/19 15:00Profile

 Re: A Marvelius Opportunity

I just got off a prayer call. The call leader was lamenting the fact that intercessors will not pray through the 30 days of Ramadan. That is for Moslens to be saved. The prevailing attitude is Moslems are the enemy. They are going to eternal condemnation. They are comi.g to destroy America and so forth.

If we believe that prayer can shape the eternal destiny of nations then we should except the challenge to pray that God will work through Ramadan. That he will save Moslems.

It is marvelous that God used someone like Reece Howell effect the outcome of WWII through prayer. In his day he was a history maker.

Saints this is our hour. We can effect the eternal destiny of millions of souls caught in darkness. We can pray the light of Christ shine in their hearts the next 30 days.

It's one thing to read back in history and see what these marvelous intercessors did. But now, God would say, where are the Reece Howells in 2022.


 2012/7/19 15:32

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1033


Thank you brother Frank and God bless you for that wonderful story. God did and always will work with a remnant, a small but mighty in their God.

God bless the reading to you MJ. This place of confidence in God is gained only by prevailing prayer until an answer is received and you know that God has answered, when faith becomes the evidence if things not seen. True evidence that is no less reliable than the forensic evidence they use in court rooms to build or destroy a case.

Brother bear, I know that prayer groups can be the most discouraging places to be in but I am looking forward to today's.

God bless all.


 2012/7/19 15:51Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


If you have been broken, if you ” love not your souls unto death,’ then it is time to cast yourselves into the waters of life. There is a multitude out there desperate and dying. Their future is certain without the help of the little ships. There is a force of darkness bearing down on the world right now and it will sweep away the world as we know it. Only the broken of the Lord will be a power on the earth. Only the Remnant of God’s people will be a light in the darkness. Now is the time brothers and sisters. Lift up your heads, our salvation draws nigh…………… Frank


Thank you Frank for this story and timely reminder. I was speaking with my son just this morning how time is short. I shared with him that while he is young and thinks he has all the time in the world, it is just an illusion. Time passes in a moment the choices he/we make today will have an impact on eternity not only for ourselves but for countless others. The time is now to seek the LORD and be in prayer.

Very worth while reading from you and Untobabes, thank you both for sharing.

God Bless

 2012/7/19 15:58Profile

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