When I was nine I had a neighbor explain to me what prayer was. He said that prayer was what paint was to an artist. To him the world was the canvas and the paint was the prayers that people prayed for their loved ones or other situations. He told me that anything could be done in prayer; you could move people's lives from one city or state to another, much as a painter would include trees in a back yard or roses in a garden. The lives of people were changed and many times they did not know why. Children especially prayed for their parents to find work, or to have a bigger house and God would answer these prayers by moving the whole family to another city or even change countries, these children were being artist and did not know it.
Some prayers were answered and a person would go to prison because of a drug addiction or violence in the family. Others were healed of fatal sickness and where they were thought to have been left in a wheel chair were now living a fruitful and successful life. Food was put on tables for the poor and hurricanes were stopped in there tracks. Someone was praying for these people and the changes were the direct consequence of the prayers, just as a painting takes shape from the paint put on canvass. He told me that if you prayed long enough and hard enough God would answer your petition just to get you out of his hair. Though an artist has control over his paint we don't have control over when and how the prayers are answered making God the master painter.
In my forties a dear friend gave me a book on praying called Rees Howlls Intercessor by Norman Grubb. My first thoughts were of anger at how God treated Rees Howlls and later of fear that he might do it to me to. I could not put down the book as I learned things I had never seen in print. As Jeremiah was called to be a prophet from his youth, Rees Howlls was also called to be a prayer intercessor from his youth. Howells was born in Brynamman in Carmarthenshire, Wales, in October 1879. He spent his early years working in the tin and coal mines of Wales and later became a missionary to Africa along with his wife.
What he is noted for is his relationship with the Holy Spirit and the prayers the Spirit would give him to pray. Since the prayers originated with God it was only logical that they would all be answered. Before being used he was stripped of all he cared for and told that two people could not live in one body so if he wanted the Holy Spirit to dwell within him he would have to go and leave the body to the Spirit. He thought about it for a while and asked himself how he could leave his body where he had lived for twenty six years or so. But the Spirit was not going to compromise with where he lived and demanded that he die to all he loved and dreamed of having.
To his great surprise the Holy Spirit told him that as Jesus is a person, He the Holy Spirit was also a person and was also God. That as the Father has a temple He also needed a temple to live in and that temple would be Rees body which must be cleaned of all that is or was Rees Howells. The self would have to die to its need for fame or reputation and love of money. The Holy Spirits strongest words were that He would not mix Myself with yourself, to Rees Howells this was a death sentence and something he could not easily agree to, but in the end he did agree to it and so started a long journey of intercession which included building a bible college and starting several orphanages while living by faith.
This book is not for the granola Christian who has figured everything out. As one commentator said after reading it "this is one messed up book" meaning it messed up his form of Christianity. It messed up mine also after I read it. Maybe that's what we need, to have our cushy relationship with God reexamined and left messed up.
About Author / Additional Info:
This is the book, Rees Howells Intercessor in audio format, free. http://www.promisedgrace.com/?page_id=209