1865 - 1912
John Hyde was born in 1865
in Carthage, Illinois. His father was Rev
Smith Harris Hyde a Presbyterian. John and
his brother Edmund attended seminary together.
John looked up to and admired his older brother
Edmund had his sights on becoming a missionary
but suddenly died. This tragic event brought
John to a place of heart searching. He had
lost his brother who he had looked up to for
direction and stability. This brought John
to a turning place, a place of decision in
his life. How many of us have come to tragic
events in our lives? What was our response
to them? Did we continue on or did we give
up? John did some major heart searching and
turned himself to God in prayer. It was during
this time of seeking God in prayer that John
surrendered himself to the call to become
a missionary himself like his brother Edmund.
All of us must start our walk in the same
place. It is the place of surrender. It is
the place where we say, "Father, if thou
be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless
not my will but thine be done" (Luke
John then made a decision.
If I am to be a missionary then why not be
a great one. Once submission was made to the
will of God, John decided to commit himself
to God's call. He applied himself in study
and prayer. This is one of the most important
times in the lives of those who choose to
pursue their destines in the Lord. Study and
prayer are the foundations of all great ministries
(2 Tim 2:15). This precious time of preparation
is never wasted and for John it was no different.
He was a good student and applied himself
with great diligence. It seemed the more he
gave himself to prayer, the clearer and greater
his vision became.
The call of God and the vision
is one of the most important things that must
become rock solid in God's ministers. It is
the call that gets one through the most darkened
nights. It is the 'knowing' deep inside that
carries one through the times of walking alone.
John felt a strong calling to the nation of
India and began to spend hours in an attempt
to learn the local language. Then the day
came. It was in 1892 that he boarded a steamer
in New York bound for the nation of India.
On the Ship John received
a letter from a close friend of his and family
saying, "I will not cease praying for
you until you be filled with the Holy Spirit."
John's response was one of heated anger. How
dare the suggestion that he was not filled
or equipped for his call. After all he had
received a B.A. degree, studied the language,
was even on the way and was determined to
pursue his destiny.
How many times in our lives
does God send us a message that seems to permeate
every fiber of our being? For John, just leaving
his family, anxiously ready to begin to do
what he had so desperately waited to start.
But now, on his way, he is challenged by the
Word of the Lord. John threw the letter in
the trash and angrily walked out of the room.
But walking the decks of the ship he continued
to be challenged by the prodding thoughts
that he must be filled with Holy Ghost power
(Acts 1:8). After much soul searching, John
came to a place of understanding that his
dear friend was right and he needed to be
filled with the Holy Spirit. John then approaching
the edge of his cabin bed in prayer surrendered
to God's will and was wonderfully filled with
power from on high.
How many of us come to this
crossroad? We have the call, the education,
but we lack the power. I have seen many come
to this fork in the road of life only to make
the wrong decision. Education only is not
enough, we must be empowered from above.
ARRIVING IN INDIA
Upon arriving in India John found himself
on the field with three women and one other
missionary among one million non Christians.
It was time to begin to fulfill his calling
and begin to pioneer in a new land. Hyde met
a Reverend Ullman who was a missionary to
India for fifty five years who taught him
about the power of the blood of Jesus. This
was a very important foundation for Hyde.
In 1895 Hyde worked with
another missionary and a small revival broke
out. This caused a great persecution in that
village with the new converts being beaten
and disowned. This drove John to prayer and
intercession. You can just imagine how he
felt with those that he poured his heart into
being drug out of there homes and being whipped
for serving the living God. "And now,
Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant
unto thy servants, that with all boldness
they may speak thy word" (Acts 4:29).
FIND THE REASON
In 1896 there were no conversions at all.
This greatly disturbed John and he went to
prayer to "find the reason." The
Spirit of God began to reveal that the "life
of the church was far below Bible standards."
1898 Hyde was attacked with
Typhoid fever. For seven months he lay sick.
During this time his prayer was 1 Chronicles
4:10). "And Jabez called on the God of
Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless
me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that
thine hand might be with me, and that thou
wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not
grieve me! And God granted him that which
BURDEN TO PRAY
In 1899 Hyde began to feel a burden to pray
all night. During this time he remembered
that the Lord had shown him that the church
was far below Bible standards and he took
on the burden to pray for others. The more
time he spent in prayer the less his fellow
missionaries understood him. He was even thought
to be fanatical and extreme, yet was willing
to be called crazy and face this religious
opposition. How many times are people mis-understood
who obey God? From these times of intercession,
history now refers to him as Praying John
THE NEW CENTURY
In 1900 - 1901 Hyde writing home prophetically
tells what the Lord had showed him in prayer
about the new century. That the new century
would be a time of Pentecostal power and a
double portion of the Holy Spirit would be
poured out. That a great conviction would
come and many would be born again. He saw
a full apostolic Christianity restored to
the church. Hyde believed that a great revival
would occur after an understanding of the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. He often preached
a message, "You Shall Receive Power After."
In 1904 Hyde formed a Prayer Group Union for
the purpose of 'targeted prayer' for thirty
minutes each day. The group prayed for revival,
special blessings on the churches, a spirit
of unity, guidance, and wisdom. Also in 1904
they scheduled a gospel convention. Thirty
days before the meetings they went into all
night prayer with fasting, crying out, pleading,
and agonizing over the lost. It was at this
time that they heard of the revival that had
begun in Wales and this caused an increase
in prayer and faith for the same. It was this
event that "opened the way" for
revival to break forth in the convention.
Upon seeing the results of
a deeper prayer life Hyde gave himself even
more to prayer. It should be pointed out that
he was not a recluse or a hermit. He was relatable
and interacted with others.
WATCHMAN TO INDIA
During this increased time of prayer, he received
a revelation of the watchman in Isaiah. "I
have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem,
which shall never hold their peace day nor
night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep
not silence. And give him no rest, till he
establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise
in the earth" (Isaiah 62:6-7).
He would often ask ministers,
"Is the Spirit first in your pulpits?"
He was referring to John 15, "But when
the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto
you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth,
which proceedeth from the Father, he shall
testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness,
because ye have been with me from the beginning."
Such a Spirit of Intercession was on him that
others too would begin to groan in agony for
the lost. John's cry was, "Give me Souls,
O God, or I die!"
IDENTITY IN INTERCESSION
Here are some simple facts about Praying John
Hyde. He identified himself with the sins
of the nation and God's people.
He won 4 souls daily himself.
He never married. On occasion one could hear
him shout to the Lord. He was handicapped
with poor hearing. He liked to pray prostrate
on the floor. He would pray with people "til."
After he was done praying he would clap his
hands, dance, shout and was often filled with
In March of 1911 he left
India because his heart had moved from the
left side to the right side. He needed medical
attention. He arrived in Carthage Illinois
to spend some time with his sister and on
February 17, 1912 he died. He was only 47
His last words were, "Shout
the Victory of Jesus Christ."
His life's desire could be
summed up in just a few words. A closer walk
with the Lord through prayer, a life of holiness,
and to reach the lost.