Rees Howells: The Legacy of Prayer and Intercession

“We feel sometimes that we could put everything to one side and concentrate on intercession,” said Samuel, son of Rees Howells. “We feel now that prayer is not sufficient. Ordinary prayer will not touch this at all. There is a need for the ministry of intercession and intercession will succeed each time” – Samuel Rees Howells. 

Millions of people have been inspired by the life of Rees Howells – a powerful intercessor, whose biography sold over 10 million copies. Now the story of intercession is continuing with the book Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession. This book chronicles over fifty years of powerful intercession, as the intercessors that Rees Howells trained were led by his son Samuel.

Rees Howells was a man who found the secret to receiving answers to prayer and an intercessor who discovered the principles of intercession as the Holy Spirit made him live them. After years of powerful ministry, the Lord called Rees Howells to found a Bible College in Britain, to teach the principles of faith and intercession. In this College, he trained over one hundred intercessors and during the significant battles of World War II, Rees led these intercessors through five prayer meetings a day, until their supplications had been answered and world events changed.  

Rees Howells taught his only son Samuel the principles of intercession and commissioned him some weeks before his death, stating, “Whatever you do, stand and maintain these intercessions.” When the Lord called Rees Howells home in 1950, Samuel called these intercessors together and challenged them to continue in the life of faith and intercession.

For the next five decades, Samuel Rees Howells led this team, and others who would join them, to intercede during many great international crises, whenever the Holy Spirit laid a burden upon them. “The weapons of our warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds,” said Samuel in one crisis, “There are many strongholds before us, but they can all be dealt with.” Throughout many of the lethal conflicts of the twentieth century, Samuel sought the Lord to find His will for the situation; then he would be locked in profound spiritual struggles until God intervened! Between 1950-2004, Samuel with many others, interceded for God’s will to be fulfilled, from the Korean War to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and from the Six-Day War to the fall of the Soviet Union!

A heavy burden came upon Samuel during the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was fighting for its very survival. He called his team to intense intercession and rejoiced after saying, “If God hadn’t intervened in the Sinai Desert and if He hadn’t intervened in the Golan Heights everything would have been over. Do you see how close things came…who saved that nation? It was the Lord! Is it possible for the Holy Spirit to make us alive to these things? There is a tremendous conflict going on in the heavenlies.” 

Concerning the constant attacks on Israel over the years, Samuel said, “What does the enemy desire to do? To destroy Israel and in the event of destroying Israel, the prophecies in the Word of God will not be fulfilled.” Samuel believed every attack on Israel’s existence was the evil one trying to hinder God’s end-time prophetic purposes for the world and only intercession can prevail to defeat the actual enemy in the heavenlies.

“We know that God has not changed,” he said, “all He is looking for these days is people of the calibre of the prophets, who are prepared to believe Him in the impossible. Not to look to the threats of man, but to look to God and God alone. We’ve gone back to God in our extremity and we have seen the hand of God working!”

“Samuel Rees Howells proved in his life that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers operating in the heavenly realms,” said Mathew Backholer, from the publisher ByFaith Media. “Samuel was a hidden intercessor, a man of faith who had learnt from Rees Howells how to pray-through and prevail in intercession.”

Nearing the end of twenty-five years of intense intercession for the demise of Communism worldwide, Samuel had the assurance from the Holy Spirit that the intercession was complete and he wrote to an intercessor in the United States proclaiming: ‘The day of fulfilment is dawning and the whole world is going to feel the impact.’ Nine months later the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union soon collapsed.

“When we consider twentieth century history, it is clear God has been working and intervening in international events for His glory,” said Mathew Backholer. “The sudden solution to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the revivals in Korea, China, Argentina and in Africa all indicate that God has been working on an international level. Now, it’s incredible to read how God led Samuel Rees Howells and his team of intercessors to pray in these situations!”

Throughout his life, Samuel Rees Howells received many letters asking questions about intercession and the teaching of Rees Howells. In response to this desire to know more about intercession, the book Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession also includes chapters that deal with many of these questions: What is intercession? How is prayer different from intercession? And what did Rees Howells mean when he spoke of being filled with or possessed by the Holy Spirit?

When Samuel taught on what it means to be completely filled with the Holy Spirit he said, “Two people can’t live in the same body. Either we live there or God lives there. The Holy Spirit is not going to share our lives. If He is coming in, He’s coming in to live His own life. He’s coming to live His own Divine life and we’re not going to bring the Holy Ghost down to our level, but He will raise us to His level.”

Samuel Rees Howells went to be with the Lord in 2004, and his life provides us with a fascinating insight into what is possible when the Holy Spirit finds an individual who will stand in the gap and become a channel for His intercession, in accordance with Ezekiel 22:30, Romans 8:26-27 and Ephesians 6:12.  ‘To the intent now that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places’ Ephesians 3:10.

The book Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession by Richard Maton, is now available here.