Faith Builders,  Mathew Backholer,  Rees Howells,  Spiritual Warfare,  Worship

The Power of Prophetic Praise and Worship

King David instigated worship in the House of the Lord and sang, “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3). We are strengthened in the Spirit and the Lord goes before us in battle, as we praise and worship Him. In 2 Chronicles 20:20-24, the Levites sang a song of praise, by faith to ensure victory over the people of Moab and Ammon. They presented themselves as a marching band and went out in front of the army of Israel as commanded by God under King Jehoshaphat singing, “Praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21). God went before them and defeated the enemy!

So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 

For you shall go out with joy and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands

– Isaiah 55:11

Rees Howells embraced worship as warfare and participated in it daily. The Holy Spirit taught him the power of prophetic declarations and prophetic praise. In the College meetings, Rees led his intercessors through the Bible in prayer and found guidance for spiritual warfare in worship, praise and celebration. Rees Howells, Vision Hymns of Spiritual Warfare & Intercessory Declarations (2021) opens a new window into the life of Rees Howells and his team of intercessors at the Bible College of Wales (BCW) from 1936 to 1948.

During some of the hardest spiritual battles, before and during World War II, when the fate of the free world was at stake, lectures were cancelled and the College body were called to corporate prayer, intercession and times of praise and worship. For ten years there were daily multiple meetings at the College so staff and students could stand in the gap, not only on behalf of Britain but for occupied Europe, the liberty of the free world and gospel liberty. The British Isles were on the verge of being attacked and occupied by the Nazi Third Reich from 1938-1942. Through the prayers of believers, soldiers on the ground, the Royal Air Force in the skies and the Navy on the high seas, by the grace and mercy of God, Britain survived! And its Allies became victorious to help liberate Christian Europe. 

Sing to the Lord a new song and His praise from the ends of the earth… Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice… Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands. The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies

– Isaiah 42:10-13

The prophetic intercessory declarations from BCW were used in spiritual warfare, as well as praise and worship. They were sung for months or years, keeping up the faith, pressing in to victory, or remembering the faithfulness of the Lord in past answers to prayer. The Fascist dictator of Italy, Mussolini was dethroned from political power in a vote of “no confidence” in July 1943 and killed on 28 April 1945. Hitler, the man who promised a 1,000 year reign of the Third Reich in defiance of the Millennial Reign of Christ, took his own life in a bunker in Berlin at the end of April 1945. Two dictators were dead. In mid-August 1945, Imperial Japan surrendered after America dropped an atomic bomb three days apart over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The following are two stanzas from a unique hymn from the Bible College of Wales under Rees Howells and dates from 1943/44: ‘See on the Continent there Lie To-Day’

See on the Continent there lie to-day,

Millions of souls enslaved ’neath Satan’s sway.

Hear we their call, the Macedonian cry –               

“Come over, help us for we surely die!”    

Can we O can we leave them thus to die?        

To their relief and succour let us *hie.          

Rise brethren rise, and to them let us say –

“We come your many sufferings to allay!”

Rees Howells, Vision Hymns by Mathew Backholer, p.204. *Hie – to travel quickly.

At Rees Howells’ College in Swansea, the heavenlies echoed daily in song with the promises of God and the defeat of the dictators. Strongholds were bound in Jesus’ mighty name and the principalities of darkness were pushed back, as intercessors worshipped in prophetic declaration and the light penetrated the darkness.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places

– Ephesians 6:12

By Mathew Backholer. Find out about Mathew’s books here.