Rees Howells and the Welsh Revival
The Welsh Revival beginning in 1904 swept throughout Wales, transforming communities as thousands flooded into the body of Christ. Through repentance and faith, they forced the powers of darkness back, as the Kingdom of God advanced forcefully. Evan Roberts was used mighty to see the rivers of revival flow and his desire for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit inspired others.
The story of the very first outbreak of the revival traces it to the trembling utterance of a poor Welsh girl, who at a meeting in a Cardigan village was the first to rise and testify: ‘If no one else will, then I must say that I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart’– Evan Roberts
Rees Howells, a young convert returning to Wales from the USA was overwhelmed by the power of the revival. But he realised there was a great need to intercede for the new converts to become true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What we need is a fresh vision of the cross. And may that mighty, all-embracing love of His be no longer a fitful, wavering influence in our lives, but the ruling passion of our souls– Evan Roberts
When the main thrust of the revival was over, Rees Howells was challenged by the Holy Spirit to believe for salvations in a village in Wales, which failed to be touched. After much prayer and practical intercessions, people came to the Lord in the area. The Spirit called Rees to love the unsaved by his deeds, to prove God’s love for them was practical. The Lord was faithful in answering prayer and many lives were changed.
You may live in a crowd, but you meet God and face eternity alone– Rees Howells
Young Rees had come a long way. After his conversion, Rees Howells fully surrendered his life to the Holy Spirit, giving his life to the Lord for His purposes. God then led him into a path of deep intercession for various individuals and situations, and he later would experience revival in Southern Africa. He followed the peace of the Lord which led to revival.
This peace the Saviour gives is not an artificial one. It is so deep that even the devil can’t disturb it. You can’t hear things in the Spirit while you have any turmoil or fear in you. You can’t take a shade of fear into the presence of God– Rees Howells
After Rees Howells left Wales, called by many the land of revivals, he and his wife Lizzie Howells went to Southern Africa as missionaries, where again the rivers of revival flowed. He travelled to many mission stations and in each one, they saw revival break out. Thousands were swept into the Kingdom of God and the Lord healed many.
You can never describe those meetings when the Holy Spirit comes down. I shall never forget the sound in the district that night– Rees Howells
When Rees and Lizzie came back from Southern Africa, the Spirit called him to start a Bible College in Wales, where he could teach the principles of faith and intercession, which he had learnt through experience. During World War II, he led staff at the Bible College of Wales in intercession to see freedom in Europe from the Nazi system. The main thrust of his life was intercessory prayer.
The Holy Spirit taught Rees Howells that any person, government or international situation which hindered the spread of the gospel would become a legitimate target to be challenged and defeated through intercession. It was the Lord’s will for the gospel to go to every person and anything that got in the way of God’s plan was to be confronted– Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession by Richard Maton
In 1950, Rees Howells was glorified and before he died he handed the work of the Bible College of Wales to his son, Samuel Rees Howells. Samuel continued in a deep life of intercession and faith for six decades and God answered his believing prayers. World events were still being transformed by the intercessors that Rees Howells had taught and one of Samuel’s concerns was to pray for revival all over the world.
The inspirational life of Samuel Rees Howells led to two books being published about his life on the centenary of his birth. The story of the intercessions of Samuel Rees Howells and the intercessors trained by Rees Howells is told in the book Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession. The story of Samuel’s life at the Bible College of Wales, its staff, students and history is told in Samuel, Son and Successor of Rees Howells.
Find out about Rees Howells’ books here.
By Paul Backholer. Find out about Paul’s books here.