At the Llandrindod Convention in August 1909, Mr. Howells again met his friend, Mr. John Gosset, with whom he had had the correspondence about the New Year card. Hearing him speak in one of the meetings on prayer and intercession, Mr. Gosset was so blessed that he told his friend Lord Radstock about it. As a result, Mr. Howells was asked by him to address a special meeting of believers. He told them what he had proved in his experience of the difference between a prayer warrior and an intercessor, and the points he stressed are worth recording, though touched on in a previous chapter.
A prayer warrior can pray for a thing to be done without necessarily being willing for the answer to come through himself; and he is not even bound to continue in the prayer until it is answered. But an intercessor is responsible to gain his objective, and he can never be free till he has gained it. He will go to any lengths for the prayer to be answered through himself. But once a position of intercession has been gained, tested and proved, the intercessor can claim all the blessings on that grade, whenever it is God’s will for him to do so. It is the same as in Euclid, Mr. Howells pointed out: up to the grade a person has learned the propositions, he can do the riders on them, but not any farther, and there is never need to go over the same ground twice, unless he is uncertain of them.
During his address Mr. Howells also touched on divine healing, and told of the Lord’s dealings with him over the consumptive woman: how the first gained case had to go to the altar, because the first-fruits belong to God; and how, although the Holy Spirit witnessed in him that he had gained it, he had to walk it as a failure; and how through that the Lord gave such a sentence of death to the flesh, that in all future cases of healing self would take no glory.
In telling this, he had no idea that Lord Radstock had been led the same way. The story was afterwards recorded in his biography. He had accepted the truth of divine healing, through James 5:15, “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up”, and pledged himself to act on it; indeed he believed the Church’s neglect of this command was the cause of much suffering. After he had taken this stand, his eldest daughter fell seriously ill. He had many doctors among his religious friends, but felt led to refuse their help, yet in spite of his faith in God’s word, “heaven was silent and the child died” Standing over her death-bed, he was enabled to say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” It was a tremendous test to his faith, and caused him great personal agony, but out of the affliction he came forth more than a conqueror, and was afterwards used in hundreds of cases of divine healing. However, he had never understood why his daughter had died, until he heard Mr. Howells. He took immediate hold on the word about the first-fruits going to the altar; but it made him wonder how the Lord had been able to reveal these laws to His young servant. It made such an impression on him that he told Rees Howells God had given him light which should be passed on to the church of Christ, and as a university training would be an advantage, he would like him to go to College at his expense. He also took him to see many of his friends and asked him to repeat this same point to them. But as Mr. Howells said concerning God’s claim on the firstfruits: “Only a person near it would see it.”
Mr. Gosset was so pleased with the result of the visit that he told Rees he would like him to meet many of his friends in London including Sir Robert Anderson, the Postmaster General, and so he invited him to come up as his guest. This was the opening of a new door — for the young miner to meet “people of rank”! As he said, “Nothing pleased the natural man better than that, and my first thought was, You don’t know where all this will end. New openings were coming from many directions, but this one pleased me more than any, and I had some secret satisfaction in making it known to my friends. When I told them at home, they too were very pleased, and thought it would be the finish of this strange life, the plain food and so on! Outwardly it was a great honour to be asked to speak on prayer and intercession to such men as Lord Radstock and Sir Robert Anderson, but I little thought what a great lesson the Lord had to teach me through it.”