They Called Him the “Apostle of Prayer,” and “The Man that Never Sleeps.” His was a life of prayer. To many he was a fanatic. To others an inspiration. One thing is certain, praying John Hyde marked history!
He is the man who prayed that famous prayer, “Oh God, give me souls least I die!” It was his constant prayer and the burden under which he lived.
Hyde was the son of a devout presbyterian minister. They lived in Carthage, Illinois. Hyde’s father often prayed that God would send forth missionaries to the foreign fields.
John’s older brother Edmund took that prayer to heart and enrolled into seminary to prepare for a life of missions. Tragically, Edmund fell ill and died before he could leave the US.
Edmunds death had a powerful effect on Hyde. He wondered if he ought to take Edmund’s place and fulfill his father’s prayer. He wasted little time and in 1892, Hyde set sail for India.
It was on that trip he asked the Holy Spirit to baptize him in power, for the work ahead. He was convinced such a mission could only be accomplished with a true infilling of the Spirit of God. Hyde would later write about that encounter. He said, “the whole atmosphere changed around me as I surrendered fully to the Holy Ghost.”
In the years that followed, Hyde began to develop a prayer life that emulated the one we read about in the Gospel with Jesus. He would spent countless hours in study and prayer, often missing meals and rarely sleeping. His passion was spending time with his Savior. It was not unusual to find him lying face down on the floor for hours calling out to God.
Hyde’s peers in ministry rebuked him for his zeal. However heaven saw things differently! Revival was coming to India, and this man was praying it in.
A call went out to all of India to come to Sialkot for a convention. Thirty days in advance, Hyde along with two other men prayed non stop, day and night in preparation. Hyde felt the preparation was prayer.
As the convention began, Hyde knew prayer during the convention was still paramount. He set up two prayer tents, one for the men, the other for women. When he wasn’t ministering, he could be found in the tent.
It was this devotion that won the hearts of the Indian people, One minister said, “When I see this man from another country so burdened for my people, I feel ashamed when I think how little I am doing for my own flesh and blood.”
During the conferrence, Hyde began to pray, “God give me one soul today.” Imagine if we could live under such a burden from the Lord!
When Hyde was scheduled to preach, he took the pulpit, and quietly said, “I thank God, He has given me no message for you today.” You can imagine the surprise on the faces of those gathered. He then said, “The Holy Ghost is leader of this meeting.”
Every session followed suit. No one spoke unless they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
This reverence produced a strong conviction of sin. The nearness and holiness of God was very real. Many felt intense mental agony concerning their own sad spiritual state. This led to a great desire for purity of heart and life.
These precious Indian people would be overcome by the spirit of the Lord and begin to make a public confession of their sins—often through much weeping, and wailing. As the entered into salvation, that wailing would be replaced by outbursts of laughter and loud displays of joy. Isn’t it interesting that this Presbyterian minister, in an area with little Christian history, saw those same manifestations of revival often associated with the great awakenings in the states.
When Hyde wasn’t speaking he was praying. Some would be drawn into the tent where Hyde was. It wasn’t long before Hyde had his hand on their shoulder, looking him intensely in the eye. Soon that man would be on his knees, confessing his sins and seeking salvation.
God was answering Hyde’s prayer for a soul a day. So Hyde prayed, give me two, when two were being saved, he asked for four, then eight. It wasn’t long before thousands had been won to the Lord in Sialkot by this praying man!
(Think about it, in the early 1900s, as Wales and America was being swept up in the revival, another revival, that few have ever heard about was taking place in what we know today as Pakistan.)
It was written, “The victory of the Sialkot meetings was not won in the pulpit but in the closet. Often the glory rested on these meetings in a mighty way, while hidden, out of sight, John Hyde and a faithful few travailed in prayer.”
Hyde’s life ends in 1912. He had falling ill while overseas and returned home to Carthage to recover. There it was discovered he had a malignant brain tumor. He would die at the young age of 46. Such a young age, yet his life and ministry was responsible for the salvation of millions!
When the autopsy of Hyde was conducted, physicals found to their surprise that the heart of Hyde had moved within his chest, it was supposed that his favorite position of prayer, lying flat upon the floor had shifted his heart within his chest. No doubt this man also shifted the hearts of many back to God!
You may wonder why share this story on the Trail of Fire? Obviously, John Hyde was a general and great missionary, but what is his importance to America?
Consider this praying man’s prophetic words, written in 1900 as he wrote about the dawn of a new century. He said, “this new century would be a time of Pentecostal power and a double portion of the Holy Spirit will be poured out.” Hyde saw a full apostolic Christianity restored to the church and a great revival that would occur after an understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
This was one year before the Topeka Outpouring, Four years before the Welsh Revival, Six before Azusa. Praying John Hyde prayed and prophesied about a pentecostal revival that would mark one hundred years.
Today there is a tremendous amount of talk about revival. There seems to be a great interest in revival. However, revival doesn’t come because we are interested in it, it comes because someone was burdened for it. Praying John Hyde demonstrated the reward of carrying a burden in prayer. I pray you are capturing one as well!This entry was posted in Trail Of Fire