Account by J. Pengwern Jones
John Hyde was made a great blessing to me. I had read that precious book of Andrew Murray--With Christ in the School of Prayer, and in Mr. Hyde I saw a living example of one who actually lived with Christ in the School of Prayer. His example gave me a deep longing and even an inspiration to be a pupil in this school also....
Jesus, our Great High Priest wants "companions," "fellows," "partakers" to enter with Him into the sanctuary as intercessors. The High Priest of old had to enter into the Holy of Holies alone, but our High Priest begs for partners to be with Him. This is what Hyde really was, and it is strange that we should be so reluctant to take up this great privilege of being fellow intercessors with Him....
The first time I met John Hyde was at Ludhiana in the Punjab (India) where he lived at the time. I had been invited to speak a few words on the revival in the Khassia Hills (India) to the Conference of the United States Presbyterian Mission, which had their annual session at the time there.
I had traveled by night from Allahabad to Ludhiana and reached there early in the morning. I was taken to have a cup of tea with the delegates and others. I was introduced across the table to Mr. Hyde. All that he said to me was, "I want to see you. I shall wait for you at the door."
There he was waiting, and his first word was, "Come with me to the prayer room. We want you there." I do not know whether it was a command or request. I felt I had to go. I told him that I had traveled all night and that I was tired and had to speak at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, but I went with him.
We found half a dozen persons there and Hyde went down on his face before the Lord. I knelt down and a strange feeling crept over me. Several prayed, and then Hyde began, and I remember very little more. I knew that I was in the presence of God Himself and had no desire to leave the place. In fact, I do not think that I thought of myself or of my surroundings, for I had entered a new world and I wanted to remain there.
We had entered the room about 8 o’clock in the morning. Several had gone out and others had come in, but Hyde was on his face on the floor and had led us in prayer several times. Meals had been forgotten, and my tired feeling had gone. The revival account and message that I was to deliver and concerning which I had been very anxious, had gone out of my mind until about 3:30 when Hyde got up. I found we were the only two present.
He said to me, "You are to speak at 4 o’clock. I shall take you to have a cup of tea." I replied that he must need a little refreshment too, but he said, "No, I do not want any but you must have some." We called in my room and washed hurriedly and then we had a cup of tea, each of us. Then it was full time for the service.
He took me right to the door, then took my hand and said, "Go in and speak. That is your work. I shall go back to the prayer room to pray for you. That is my work. When the service is over, come into the prayer room again and we shall praise God together."
What a thrill, like an electric shock, passed through me as we parted. It was easy to speak, though I was speaking through an interpreter. What I said, I do not know. Before the meeting was through, the Indian translator, overcome by his feelings and overpowered by the Spirit of God, failed to go on and another had to take his place. I know the Lord spoke that night. He spoke to me and spoke to many.
I Realized the Power of Prayer
I realized then the power of prayer. How often I had read of blessing in answer to prayer, but it was brought home to me that evening with such force that ever since, I try to enlist prayer warriors to pray for me whenever I stand up to deliver His messages. It was one of the most wonderful services I ever attended, and I know that it was the praying saint behind the scenes that brought the blessing down on me.
I went back after the service to Hyde, to praise the Lord. There was no question asked by him, whether it was a good service or not, whether men had received a blessing or not, nor did I think of telling him what blessing I had personally received and how his prayers had been answered. He seemed to know it all, and how he praised the Lord. How easy it was for me to praise the Lord and speak to Him of the blessing He had given.
I had very little talk with him at that conference. I knew very little about him and somehow I had no desire to ask him any questions. But a new power had come into my life which humbled me and gave me a new idea altogether of a missionary’s life and even a Christian life. The ideal revealed to me then has never been lost, but, with the years as they pass, there is a deeper longing to live up to the ideal.
I had a talk with several of the missionaries about him, and I found that he had been misunderstood by them, but their eyes were being opened to the fact that he was not an ordinary worker, but especially endowed with the spirit of prayer and given to India to teach men how to pray.
Years afterwards I asked him whether he had realized in his early years that the missionaries were not in favor of the way he spent so much of his time in prayer. He smiled that sweet smile which one can never forget, and said, "Oh, yes, I knew it, but they did not understand me, that was all. They never intended to be unkind." There was not one atom of bitterness as far as I could see. At the time I came into contact with him, they spoke approvingly of his long vigils.
The probability is that he was not in bed one night during that conference, and the Lord honored him. He was out of sight, but in answer to his prayers, many were blessed. I believe a new era in the history of the Mission and in the history of the Punjab was commenced at that time.
– Taken from Praying Hyde edited by Captain E. G. Carré.