Rees Howells Biography
Rees Howells seemed destined for a typical life in a small mining town in Wales. He was the sixth child of eleven, and at the age of twelve, he left school to follow in his father’s footsteps as a miner. However, even the remote town of Brynamman began to change when Wales experienced a revival in 1904 and 1905.
Along with many others, Rees was caught up in this powerful move of God. He began to sense that God was calling him to leave the mines. In what was to become a hallmark of Rees Howells life, he declared to God, “I believe you are able to keep me better than that mining company.” He began to realize the importance of intercession for sustaining the new converts that resulted from the revival. Early in his journey of faith, he understood the significant impact, both personal and social, of a prayer filled life.
Rees Howells married in 1910, and soon after he and his wife felt called to be missionaries to South Africa. This was a deeply challenging vocation for them as, at that time, this would mean having to leave their newly-born son in Wales. Despite the pain this caused, they decided to leave for South Africa. There, they soon began to experience the same sense of God’s presence as during the Welsh revival. The Howells travelled 11,000 miles throughout South Africa, seeing many thousands making decisions to follow Christ.
It seemed that the next logical step would be to establish a global ‘revival’ ministry. However, it became clear that God was asking them to follow a different path. They were to return to Wales and establish a bible college. This seemed an impossible task, as all they had was two shillings. Following in the footsteps of George Muller, they prayed that God would provide. After many instances of miraculous provision , they were able to purchase a number of properties and establish a thriving Bible college. A record of accounts from 1939 shows that the college’s income, mostly resulting from gifts, matched its expenses down to the last penny.
Despite seeing so much happen in South Africa with those that did not know Christ, Rees began to feel called to a more ‘cloistered’ life as an intercessor. With a rise in faith resulting from seeing his prayers for provision for the Bible college answered, he began to lead the college in a lifestyle of prayer on behalf of events, people and nations throughout the world. Rees Howells developed eight principles of intercession that continue to have a wide influence on the church. For him, intercession was not an optional isolated activity, but rather the result of following the crucified Christ. He said, “As the crucifixion of the self proceeds, intercession begins.”
He joins a long list of contemplatives, beginning with the desert fathers, who saw their chosen life not as a removal from the world, but instead a way of engaging with God on behalf of the world, for the world.
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If you prefer, you can read the chapters from the book on InspirationalChristians.org:
- Chapter 1 – Early Years
- Chapter 2 – Two Shocks
- Chapter 3 – Meeting the Risen Lord
- Chapter 4 – The Welsh Revival
- Chapter 5 – The Holy Ghost Takes Possession
- Chapter 6 – Loving an Outcast
- Chapter 7 – A village Untouched by The Revival
- Chapter 8 – The Tramps
- Chapter 9 – Binding the Strong Man
- Chapter 10 – A Branch in The Vine
- Chapter 11 – The Consumptive Woman
- Chapter 12 – What is an Intercessor?
- Chapter 13 – Challenging Death
- Chapter 14 – A Father to Orphans
- Chapter 15 – Lord Radstock
- Chapter 16 – Called to A Hidden Life
- Chapter 17 – The Hatless Brigade
- Chapter 18 – The Vow of A Nazarite
- Chapter 19 – Uncle Dick’s Healing
- Chapter 20 – Call Out from Wage-Earning
- Chapter 21 – Madeira
- Chapter 22 – Marriage and Missionary Call
- Chapter 23 – Standing in The Queue
- Chapter 24 – Revivals in Africa
- Chapter 25 – Buying of First Estate in Wales
- Chapter 26 – The Bible College of Wales
- Chapter 27 – Buying of Second Estate
- Chapter 28 – Third Estate and Children’s Home
- Chapter 29 – Prayer Book: Edward Viii
- Chapter 30 – The Every Creature Commission
- Chapter 31 – Ethiopia
- Chapter 32 – Visitation of The Spirit
- Chapter 33 – Forth Estate, and The Jews
- Chapter 34 – Intercession for Dunkirk
- Chapter 35 – Battle of Britain
- Chapter 36 - Russia, North Africa, Italy, “D” Day
- Chapter 37 – Home Call