This is the second post in a short series on Rees Howells and the intercession of Wales Bible College during World War 2. Links to the other posts are found at the bottom of this page.
When the war broke out the prayer meetings at Wales Bible College became a daily event. Every evening from 7:00 p.m. to midnight and often later, the students and staff met to pray. Every week and often for days at a time there were whole days of prayer. It seems that God would lay one or another aspect of the war on the heart of Rees Howells or one of the other pray-ers, and the whole community would intercede.
Did God answer those prayers?
In May, 1940 as Hitler’s blitzkrieg rolled across France and the Low Countries, the Bible College prayed that he would be stopped. Norman Grubb records:
“May 27, 2.45 p.m. (from Rees Howells’ diary) ‘It is as much as I can do to believe today. The news between the two [prayer] meetings was awful — hell upon earth.’ On May 28 Mr. Howells again was alone with God. In the meetings the prayer was for God to intervene at Dunkirk and save our men; and as the Spirit came upon them in prayer and supplication, what one prayed at the end expressed the assurance given to all: ‘I feel sure something has happened.’”
On May 24, 1940 Hitler had given an order to halt the armored columns driving toward the trapped British and French troops. This order remains substantially unexplained to this day. On and after May 28th, in ‘the miracle of Dunkirk,’ hundreds of thousands of British and French soldiers were rescued? Did God intervene? Rees Howells and the Wales Bible College believed it was so.
The Battle of Britain
Rees Howells had received assurance from the Holly Spirit that the College would be protected from enemy air attacks. Though Swansea, where the College was located, received several major raids, not one bomb fell on College property.
Norman Grubb records that on September 11,
“with the Battle of Britain over London and the south of England at its fiercest, Rees Howells wrote ‘There have been so many places bombed in London, even Buckingham Palace has been touched. I was burdened to pray for the King and Queen, and I believe our prayer will be answered. I am just watching how God will take hold of the enemy.’”
“September 12. ‘We prayed last night that London would be defended and that the enemy would fail to break through, and God answered prayer. Unless God can get hold of this devil and bind him, no man is safe. If we have protection for our properties, why not get protection for the country?’”
“September 14. ‘Because we have believed, God has made known to us what is to come to pass. Every creature is to hear the Gospel; Palestine is to be regained by the Jews; and the Saviour is to return.’”
Grubb notes that:
“After the war, Air Chief Marshal Lord, Dowding, Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain, made this significant comment: “Even during the battle one realized from day to day how much external support was coming in. At the end of the battle one had the sort of feeling that there had been some special Divine intervention to alter some sequence of events which would otherwise have occurred.”
This is part two of a short series on the intercessory ministry of Rees Howells and the Wales Bible College
Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain (this post)