O Lord, Give Me Souls!

2012-05-26 008


“Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” I asked the college-age girl as she sat opposite me.

“No I haven’t,” she responded softly. “I used to go to church when I was really, really little. I enjoyed it,” she continued.

Whenever anyone responds with the church answer when I ask about their Jesus relationship, I know they are not yet in the camp. I was pleased to give this girl the simple gospel message that Jesus Christ died for her sins and that He rose again from the dead. The gospel made sense to her so I explained she could receive the free gift of salvation right then. There were people all around so I mentioned that no one would even know what we were doing. It was OK for her to go ahead and invite Christ into her life either out loud or silently. She didn’t answer. Her only response was to immediately bow her head and pray silently. After a minute she looked up.

We talked briefly and I sensed that faith had been born in her heart..

“Do you have a Bible? I asked.

She said, “No” so I gave her a Bible.

I am so happy to be able to lead a person to salvation via Jesus Christ.

Now for a brief background. There was something especially sweet about this experience. You see,  I had been praying in a new and (for me) different  way.

“Give me souls!” “Give me souls!” had become my earnest prayer. I had been praying that God would lead me to hungry people — the ones already prepared to receive Christ as Savior. I still pray for that. And  I pray with St. Paul “O Lord, open my mouth that I may make the gospel clear as I ought.” Recently, however, I was reminded of a man called “Praying Hyde” who used to plead with God, “Give me souls or l die!” He would set a goal and expect God to use him to lead a specific number of people to Christ each day. He started off believing for one person each day. At the end of the first year, 400 people had been converted. As his faith increased, he upped the number of his goal. Read an account about John Hyde taken from They Knew Their God, Vol. 1 by Edwin and Lillian Harvey as shown on http://www.actsamerica.org/biographies/2011-04-Praying-Hyde.htmlPraying Hyde:

Some time during 1908, he began to pray for the conversion of one soul a day. In the village treks or in tent services, he lost no opportunity to press the claims of God upon many or few. At the end of the year, to his knowledge, there had been four hundred conversions and baptisms. To God he gave the glory, but the goal set for the next twelve months was two conversions a day. Again Hyde’s faith and intercessory prayers were rewarded and, at the year’s end, through his contacts, eight hundred persons were known to have come to the Savior.

Pleading with God for the conversion of four souls each day, divine assurance was given him that such would be the case. Often more than that number would be given in answer to his prayers, and this lifted Hyde’s heart to God in songs of praise and thanksgiving. “There was nothing superficial about the life of those converts. They all nearly became active Christians,” was the comment of one who was on the field and thus able to appraise the results.

Hyde’s faith inspired me, so I set a goal commensurate with my faith. I cried, “Give me souls!” and believed God to let me lead one person to Christ that week. Saturday afternoon near sundown, in answer to my earnest plea, the girl opened her ready heart and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Savior! Glory be to God who suffered and died for our salvation!

What do you think about “Praying Hyde” and his goal-setting? What inspires you to win souls? Your thoughts may encourage me and others.

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