We are living in one of the most uncomfortable times I’ve ever known. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. Workplaces are closed. Hospitals are overcrowded. The global economy teeters on the edge of collapse while everyone shelters in place. And fear is spreading faster than the virus itself.
Meanwhile, the normally bustling congregations of America are eerily quiet. All gatherings are canceled—including funerals. Many churches are conducting outreaches and food distribution, but social distancing makes any event challenging. Pastors are preaching their Sunday sermons into video cameras while their auditoriums are empty.
It’s a strange time—and the anxiety has triggered so many questions. Is this the end of the world? Is the coronavirus God’s judgment? Are globalist world leaders going to take over the world with vaccines and computer chips? People are wringing their hands and making themselves sick by listening to doom-and-gloom predictions and negative news reports.
Today I asked the Holy Spirit to help me understand what’s going on, and how He wants the church to respond to this crisis. As I prayed in the spirit, I sensed He spoke to me: “Remember Rees Howells—and pray like he prayed.”
Rees Howells was a humble missionary who established the Bible College of Wales in 1924. During the years leading up to World War II, and during that awful conflict, he led his students to pray for the defeat of dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. They also prayed fervently for Allied forces during the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk and D-Day. (Howells even wrote a book in 1939 called God Challenges the Dictators, in which he prophesied the defeat of Nazi and communist regimes.)
Before his death in 1950, Howells became a model of what prayer can accomplish. Like Daniel, Ezekiel and Elijah, Howells believed God can use one person’s faith-filled prayers to change history. And like the apostle Paul, Howells taught that Christians must engage in intense spiritual warfare against invisible demonic forces.
Richard A. Maton, who wrote a biography of Howells’ son called Samuel Rees Howells, A Life of Intercession, said: “Rees Howells was taught by the Holy Spirit that any person, government or international situation that hindered the spread of the gospel would become a legitimate target to be challenged and defeated through intercession. It was the Lord’s will for the Gospel to go to every person, and anything that got in the way of God’s plan had to be confronted.”
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SOURCE: Charisma News, J. Lee Grady