Morning prayer meeting was lasting longer than usual. The older children left the room one by one to begin their studies in the school-room, while a few of the smaller boys remained on their knees, praying earnestly. The Lord was near; we all felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. Some who had gone out returned to the room.
Such a mighty conviction of sin—a thing for which we had prayed so long—came to all, that with tears streaming from their eyes and arms uplifted they cried unto the Lord for forgiveness for their sins, which now seemed so black. One after another went down under the mighty power of the Holy Spirit until more than twenty were prostrate on the floor. When I saw that the Lord was doing a most unusual thing in our midst, I slipped over to the school room and told the boys that if they felt led to come and pray they might be excused from their school work. In a short time the Chinese teacher was left sitting alone by the table. All his pupils having returned to the prayer room, they were whole-heartedly praying and praising the Lord. When the teacher realized there was nothing for him to do, he started for his home. I had not invited him in with the children, for, although he has been with us a long time, he seemed utterly dead, rather, not yet alive to any spiritual conception of the gospel. Having gone but a short distance from the house, he returned. When he entered the prayer room nobody noticed him, for everyone was intent on his own business with the Lord. The teacher went to the farthest corner of the room, where, for the first time in his life, he knelt down and tried to pray.
As the Lord’s power was so very manifest, I felt it best to leave the young man by himself and not to intrude on what I knew must be the work of the Spirit and of the Spirit alone. It was not long before I noticed the teacher with arms uplifted, tears on his face, pleading with the Lord to forgive his sins, which I heard him say were so very, very many. He being proud, for him to humble himself thus in the presence of his pupils meant a real Holy Spirit conviction of sin.
The meeting went on hour after hour, the children showing no desire to leave. I had nothing to do or say; the Lord seemed to have complete control; I just tried to keep out of His way.
As the children in visions saw the awfulness of hell, the anguish of lost souls, and the indescribable hellish power of the devil and his angels, their agonized crying was beyond anything I had ever heard or imagined. It was all real to them. Many saw themselves bound and dragged to the very brink of hell, which to them was no myth but an awful reality. Condemnation for sins and the power of the devil over them was terrorizing in its reality. But freedom from this evil power through the grace of the Lord Jesus was just as real. When they experienced this loosening power from the clutch of the evil one their salvation was as real as had been their condemnation. Their joy, laughter, and peace of soul in the knowledge of what they had been saved from gave them an experience from which I am sure they will never be able to depart.
Since from early morning they had all been in the very presence of the Lord, by the time their late afternoon meal was ready I thought surely the service for the day was over. Not so. Some left the prayer room for a short time, but all were soon back, saying they wanted to wait upon the Lord all night. This was something decidedly new to us, for previously an hour service was too long for some of them. We had long wanted them to pray more; now that they were willing, why refuse them? Not a child went to sleep until a late hour that night; not until six o’clock the next morning were the last voices stilled in the prayer and praise service that had lasted over twenty hours with scarcely a pause. Josephine Baker.
Continuous Weeks of the Latter Rain
After the first two days of the mighty outpouring of the latter rain there was not the manifestation of the power of God there had been. We therefore went back to the regular order of work, expecting to spend more time in the evening, tarrying before the Lord. The boys went to their school work, and I went out to call on some people to talk to them about the gospel.
Our morning prayer meeting began at about half past seven. As usual, we all prayed at the same time, and each went out when he pleased. Upon returning at twelve o’clock, I heard someone praying in the prayer room. Going in to see who it was, I found our quietest and most timid boy, Wang Gia Swen, a boy of about eight years of age, hidden behind the organ praying in a loud voice and weeping as he confessed his sins to the Lord. He had been praying continuously since the morning service without stopping for breakfast.
As I came out of the prayer room the boys came out from their school. They were then to go to the garden or to the other kinds of industrial work for the rest of the day, but some of them wanted to know if they could stay to pray. Having been told that those who wished to might remain and pray, a few went to work, and all the others went into the prayer room and began praying. Almost at once there was another mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring was so continuous that for over a week no more attempts were made to do regular work. We did only necessary things. Everyone spent the rest of the time taking in the great blessings from God.
In the first days no one paid much attention to eating or sleeping. Whenever the young folks began to pray the power of God would fall, prostrating many to the floor. It was impossible to have meals at regular hours without interfering with the work of the Holy Spirit. After the power of God lifted from different ones they would go out for a time to rest or to take some food and then return to the prayer rooms soon to be under the power of the Holy Spirit again.
These manifestations of the Spirit were so continuous that nearly all day until late in the night some were under His power.
When things became quieter at nine or ten in the evenings, we would suggest that all go to bed and rest until the next morning. Usually several would want to pray and wait on the Lord longer. As these continued in prayer, nearly all who had gone to bed would get up and return to pray. During these nights there was not much sleeping. Some of the boys never left the prayer rooms all night. They did not want to sleep. When they got sleepy they rested on the floor awhile and then got up to seek the Lord again. Soon they were lost once more in the things of God.
One thing is certain. This was a Holy Spirit outpouring that demanded nothing on the part of us missionaries except our keeping out of the way taking care not to interfere with His wonderful work. Our part was to open up our own hearts that we, too, might be taken deeper into the heavenly blessings that were falling in such mighty showers.
Our presence or absence in the meetings made little difference. One of the first mornings we were delayed in getting downstairs. Without any call to prayer meeting, one after another of the children had gone into the prayer rooms and begun praying and praising the Lord. When at last we were able to get past the many interruptions and go down to the prayer rooms we found several of the younger children prostrated under the power of the Holy Spirit and singing in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
From the very beginning the manifestations of the Spirit, the visions, and the revelations carried everything into the supernatural realm so far beyond our own limited knowledge or experience of supernatural matters that Mrs. Baker and I confessed to each other that these things had already passed to the place where the only resource we had was to believe that God was bigger than the devil. We took refuge behind the promise of God that we had before found safe, the promise that those who sought the Father for bread would not get a stone; those who sought a fish would not get a serpent; those who sought an egg would not get a scorpion; those who with pure motives, like these children, sought the Holy Spirit would not get evil things or demons, but would get exactly what they sought, the Holy Spirit (Luke 11 :13).
In all the succeeding weeks God proved that promise true. Since He had proven that promise to us before, it set us free from anxiety as we saw and heard the wonderful things of God that took place in our midst, every day different, one wonder succeeded by another, as our wonder working God took His Adullam refugees from stage to stage and from glory to glory in His school of the Holy Spirit.