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Praying Hyde 2

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

No missionary whom it has been my joy to meet ever impressed me quite as much as Dr. Wilbur Chapman. He wrote to a friend:

“I have learned some great lessons concerning prayer. At one of our missions in England the audiences were exceedingly small. But I received a note saying that an American missionary…was going to pray God’s blessing down upon our work. He was known as ‘Praying Hyde’.” Almost instantly the tide turned. The hall became packed, and at my first invitation fifty men accepted Christ as their Savior.

As we were leaving I said, ‘Mr. Hyde, I want you to pray for me.’ He came to my room, turned the key in the door, and dropped on his knees, and waited five minutes without a single syllable coming from his lips. I could hear my own heart thumping and beating. I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God. Then, with upturned face, down which the tears were streaming, he said ‘O God!’ Then for five minutes at least he was still again; and then, when he knew that he was talking with God…there came up from the depth of his heart such petitions for men as I had never heard before. I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was.

We believe that prayer is mighty, and we believe it as we never did before.”

Dr. Chapman used to say, “It was a season of prayer with John Hyde that made me realize what real prayer was. I owe to him more than I owe to any man for showing me what a prayer life is and what a real consecrated life is. Jesus Christ became a new ideal to me, and I had a glimpse of His prayer life, and I had a longing which has remained to this day to be a real praying man.” And God the Holy Spirit can so teach us.

The Kneeling Christian, Clarion Classics, 1986, Zondervan Publishing House, pp. 60-61

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