‘Praying Hyde’ was a missionary to India, son of a Presbyterian minister from Illinois, U.S.A., and one of six children. He remained single because ‘years ago I felt that I wanted to give something to Jesus Christ who loved me so. I told the Lord that I would not marry, but be His altogether.’ His main work was not as a teacher or evangelist, but an intercessor on location. Eventually a doctor said, ‘His heart is in an awful condition. It has been shifted out of its natural position on the left side to a place over on the right side.’ After 19 years in India he was sent back to England and America. One woman said of him, ‘I do not remember that he ever talked about prayer: he prayed. Speaking sometimes four or five times a day, he would then spend half the night in prayer.’ A missioner in England prayed once with him. Hyde fell to his knees, was five minutes in silence, then both men looked up with faces streaming with tears. Hyde said, ‘Oh, God!’ then was still again for five minutes, ‘then came up from the depths of his heart such petitions for men as I have never heard before, and I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was.’
Lord, teach us how to pray as You taught Your disciples of old, to be committed to prayer, to persevere in prayer, and to pray in order to reach Your heart. Please be gracious to receive our prayers, however inadequate and faltering, and to answer them for the blessing of Your world. Amen.