A couple of weeks ago, I did some blogging about Rees Howells. Here are the links to those posts:
I had been reading Doris Ruscoe’s book, The Intercession of Rees Howells. Since then I’ve also read Norman Grubb’s book, Rees Howells: Intercessor. Mr. Grubb’s book goes into greater detail about God’s dealings with Mr. Howells, and some things in Miss Ruscoe’s book that left question marks in my mind became clearer after reading the second book. But I felt that as far as teaching concepts, Miss Ruscoe’s book was more helpful to me.
Serious intercessors can learn a lot from Rees Howells’ life. However, some of the ideas that he had I would not agree with. For instance, he felt that God at times asked him, in praying for sick people, to be willing to take their sickness upon himself. Rees Howells commented that God would never ask an intercessor to take someone else’s sin upon himself. He stated that only Jesus could do that, and that He did it as a finished work on the cross. My firm belief is that Jesus did a finished work for our forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. God would never ask an intercessor to take someone else’s demons upon himself so that the demonized person could be free. We would think that was a ridiculous idea. It is just as ridiculous to say that God would want an intercessor to take someone else’s sickness upon himself.
Rees Howells recounted an incident where he disobeyed God about fasting. He said he cried out for forgiveness for a long time, and finally heard God tell him that he was forgiven, but that God was going to punish him by making him pray for three hours with his hands raised the entire time. This smacks of penance and works-oriented atoning for our own sin.
Whenever we run across teaching that isn’t quite right, we need to leave the bad and embrace what is good, still esteeming men or women of God for who they are in Christ. Rees Howells didn’t always hear God perfectly, but he was still a phenomenal intercessor, who knew the Lord at a deeper level than many of us will ever get to.
Here are some of the concepts he taught:
“Before God will use you in intercession, it will cost you.”
Unless your death to self is real, you will not prevail to deliver others.
God told him, “The meaning of prayer is answer — and of all that I give you, see that you lose nothing.”
God showed him that the central place of his intercession was to come out of abiding in the Lord and getting his victories from that abiding position (John 15:7). Abiding means letting the Holy Spirit live through us the life Jesus would have lived if He were in our shoes.
He spent much time waiting on God to find out how to pray about a matter, before beginning. The Holy Spirit usually spoke to him through a Scripture verse, as he waited and read the Bible. An important part of this waiting was letting the Holy Spirit reveal areas that he needed to repent of, especially in his motives and attitudes.
There are degrees and stages of abiding. New positions of spiritual authority are gained as we deepen in our oneness with Jesus.
When God has spoken, and we are certain it is His voice we have been hearing, when doubtful thoughts later assault us, this is not necessarily our doubt. It is the enemy attacking. The point is not to give in and not to agree with the doubtful thoughts.
There were many other wonderful concepts that I learned as I read about Rees Howells’ life. I would encourage anyone who is committed to intercessory prayer to read both of these books, but particularly the Doris Ruscoe account.