The Holy Spirit Comes in Power
The morning prayer meeting was lasting longer than usual. The older children left the room one by one to begin their studies in the school-room, while a few of the smaller boys remained on their knees, deep in prayer. The Lord was near; we all felt the presence of the Holy Spirit among us. Some who had gone out came back into the room.
Tears began to stream down the faces of all those present as they came under a strong conviction of sin something we had been praying for for a long time and, with their arms in the air, they cried to the Lord for forgiveness. One person after another fell down under the mighty power of the Holy Spirit until more than twenty were lying flat on the floor. When I saw that the Lord was doing a really unusual thing among us, I slipped over to the school-room and told the boys that if they felt led to come and pray they might be excused from their school work. In a short while the Chinese teacher was left sitting alone by the table. All his pupils had returned to the prayer room, and were now enthusiastically praying and praising the Lord. When the teacher realized there was nothing for him to do, he decided to go home. I had not invited him to come in with the children for, although he had been with us a long time, he did not seem at all interested in spiritual things. He went a short distance from the house but then turned back. When he entered the prayer room no one noticed him; everyone was too busy having their own dealings with the Lord. He went to a far corner of the room, and, for the first time in his life, knelt down and tried to pray.
As there was such a strong sense of the Lord´s presence I felt it best to leave the young man by himself and not to intrude on what I knew must be the work of the Spirit and Him alone. It was not long before I noticed the teacher with his arms in the air, tears on his face, pleading with the Lord to forgive his sins, which I heard him say were many. He was a proud man and the fact that he was prepared to humble himself in the presence of his pupils was evidence that the Holy Spirit was really at work.
The meeting went on hour after hour with the children showing no desire to leave. I had nothing to do or say; the Lord seemed in complete control; I just tried to keep out of His way.
As the children saw, in their visions, the awfulness of hell, the despair of those who were lost, and the indescribable evil of the devil and his angels, their agonized crying was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. It was all incredibly real to them. In their visions many saw themselves in chains being dragged to the very edge of hell, which became an awful and terrible reality. As they realized they were sinners in the grip of the devil, who ought to be punished, they were terrified. But the grace of the Lord Jesus to bring freedom was just as real. The joy, laughter and peace they received and the knowledge of what they had been saved from was an experience which I am sure will never leave them.
Since they had all been in the presence of the Lord from early that morning, by the time their late afternoon meal was ready I thought surely the service would be over for the day. That was not the case. Some left the prayer room for a short while but they soon all came back saying that they wanted to wait on the Lord all night. We had never experienced anything like this before up until that time an hour-long service had been too long for some of them. We had always wanted them to pray more: now that they actually wanted to, why refuse them? None of the children went to bed until very late that night, and it wasn´t until 6.00 a.m. the next morning that the last voices finally became quiet. The prayer and praise service that had lasted over twenty hours with hardly a pause finally came to an end.
The Outpouring Continues
After the first two days there was not such a strong sense of God´s presence as there had been and we went back to our normal routine, expecting to spend more time waiting on the Lord in the evening. The boys occupied themselves with their school-work and I went out to call on some people and speak to them about the gospel.
Our morning prayer meeting began at about half past seven each day. That morning as usual we all prayed at the same time, and each person left when they wanted to. When I returned at twelve o´clock I heard someone praying in the prayer room. Going in to see who it was, I found our quietest and most timid boy, Wang Gi Swen, a boy of about eight years of age, hidden behind the organ praying in a loud voice and weeping as he confessed his sins to the Lord. He had been praying continuously since the morning service without stopping for breakfast.
As I came out of the prayer room it was time for the boys to finish their lessons. Normally they would then to go to the garden or to other kinds of industrial work for the rest of the day, but some of them wanted to know if they could stay to pray. Having told them that any who wanted to could stay and pray, a few went to work, while all the others went into the prayer room and began praying. Almost at once there was another outpouring of the Holy Spirit. From that time on the outpouring was continuous and for over a week no more attempts were made to do regular work. We only did what was necessary. Every one spent the rest of the time taking in the great blessings from God.
In the first few days no one paid much attention to eating or sleeping. Whenever the young people began to pray the power of God would come, causing many to fall to the floor. It was impossible to have meals at regular hours without interfering with the work of the Holy Spirit. As the power of God lifted from them, various ones would go out for a time to rest or eat something, and then they would return to the prayer room soon to be under the power of the Holy Spirit again.
These manifestations of the Spirit were so continuous that nearly all day until late in the night some were under His power.
When things became quieter at nine or ten in the evenings we would suggest that they all go to bed and rest until the next morning. Usually several would want to pray and wait on the Lord longer. As these continued in prayer nearly all who had gone to bed would get up and return to pray. During these nights there was not much sleeping. Some of the boys never left the prayer rooms all night. They did not want to sleep. When they felt tired they rested on the floor for a while and then got up to seek the Lord again. Soon they were lost once more in the things of God.
One thing is certain. All that was demanded of us missionaries during this move of the Holy Spirit was that we keep out of the way and did not interfere with His wonderful work. Our part was to open up our own hearts so that we too might have a deeper experience of the heavenly blessings that were being showered upon us.
Our presence or absence in the meetings made little difference. On one of the first mornings we were delayed in getting downstairs. Without being called, one after another of the children had gone into the prayer rooms and begun praying and praising the Lord. After the many interruptions, when we were at last able to get to the prayer rooms, we found several of the younger children lying flat on the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit and singing in other tongues.
From the very beginning our experience of the Holy Spirit at this time the manifestations, the visions and revelations was so beyond our own experience and knowledge that my wife and I said to one another that the only resource we had was to believe that God was bigger than the devil. We trusted in God´s promise:
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!´ (Matthew 11:11-13)
In all the weeks that followed God proved to us that this promise is true. It set us free from anxiety as we saw and heard the wonderful things of God that took place among us. Every day was different. One wonder followed another, as our wonder-working God took His Adullam refugees from stage to stage and from glory to glory in His school of the Holy Spirit.
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