What might happen if we adopted this approach to praying for our church’s ministry?
One of the most challenging intercessors is the missionary John Hyde. John served in India. Difficulties with hearing hindered learning the language, and his early work was not noteworthy. His deficiencies drove him to desperate, tear-stained prayer. Soon he was spending whole nights in prayer. The nationals called him “the man who never sleeps” because of his long seasons of prayer and gave him the nickname of “Praying Hyde.”
One year John dared to pray what was at that time considered an impossible request. He asked that during the coming year in India one soul would be saved every day. Impossible, yet not to the man who sows in tears. That year John prayed more than 400 people into God’s kingdom. The next year he boldly doubled his goal to two souls a day. Eight hundred conversions were recorded that year. John’s ferocious intercessions eventually opened the door for a great evangelistic revival to sweep down through the entire territory.
One of his biographers spoke of the holy power generated in Hyde’s prayer closet. He said that to be near Hyde when he prayed was “to hear the sighing and the groaning, and to see tears coursing down his dear face, to see his frame weakened by foodless days and sleepless nights, shaken by sobs as he pleads, “O God give me souls or I die.”
Cited in “Ministry is Praying for Those you Serve” in Ministry Is …: How to Serve Jesus with Passion and Confidence, by Dave Earley and Ben Gutierrez