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

Intercession, Standing in the Gap and Believing God

Rees Howells’ son, Samuel Rees Howells (1912-2004) would often preach on the prophets of the Bible and the challenges they embraced. He would never allow the Bible College of Wales to forget that these people were ordinary men and women, just like us, who had to believe God in the worst of circumstances. The apostle James wrote: ‘Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit’ (James 5:17-18). Elijah had to believe that an entire nation could be turned back to God, when Jezebel and Ahab had all the power and used it to turn the nation to false gods.

The Lord God said, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land…”

– Ezekiel 22:30

There were many other examples that Samuel cited of identification, agony and the gained position of intercession that leads to authority. “Daniel believed Him,” said Samuel. “There wasn’t a shade of doubt and there was no need then for Daniel to proceed with that prayer. He caused the people to go back to their land, wasn’t that impossible? (Daniel 9). The Holy Spirit is with us and He is giving us an opportunity of believing Him.”

For the Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. But judgment will return to righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

– Psalm 94:14-16

Samuel Rees Howells told the Bible College that there is much prayer in parts of the Church, but little believing. Samuel was looking for people to believe with him that God would intervene in international events, just like He did in the Old Testament in response to the faith of the prophets.  

Doubt is the currency of the flesh, but believing is the currency of the Spirit and the Bible warns that without faith, it is impossible to please God

‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him’ (Hebrews 11:6). “There’s hardly any believing in the Church today,” said Samuel. “What does He want from us today? It is to believe Him in the impossible! We need to go back to these things. It’s a different world altogether.”

Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:3-5).

The angel Gabriel said to the Virgin Mary, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

These were the challenges Samuel Rees Howells presented to all. Think of Esther and Mordecai. Those two people were entirely responsible to believe for every Jew in the world’s largest empire to be saved. Could we do the same? Are we able to prevail upon God and to stand in the gap on behalf of others, or even a town or a nation? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? What is your place of abiding (John 15:1-17) so that you can bear fruit for His glory?

This article is based upon pages 11-12, from the book Rees Howells’ God Challenges the Dictators by Mathew Backholer.

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