This article was originally published in Edition (5) of Prayer Magazine,  Jan-Mar 2006.

Born in 1859 in Mentson, Yorkshire, for much of his childhood, he laboured as a farm hand picking turnips.  Only learning to read and write in adulthood, and becoming a Christian at the age of 8 from the influence of his Grandmother in a Primative Methodist Church.

Some years later after marrying, Smith and his new wife Polly, opened a small Mission in Bradford reaching the poor for Christ.  They had developed a thriving plumbing business and it’s said for a while this distracted Wigglesworth.  Being continually frustrated at his own stammering, which often resulted in him not being able to preach and his wife take over, brought him to a place where he wanted neither of them to attend the mission, and often hid his wife’s shoes trying stop her – to no avail, she refused to be stopped and wore wellies!!

In 1907 at the age of 48, Smith sought for an received the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ and from that point on, became completely fearless in his endeavours for the Lord.  One of the first evidences of Miracles in his ministry was his own stammering, which completely stopped, quickly demonstrating a prayer life that was completely faith led, and answer driven.

As his ministry grew and the impact of his preaching spread, he was often reported to have punched someone in the area of their sickness to test that they had been healed.  Most times extremely rough with them when he felt they were healed, and they weren’t so convinced themselves.  Of course by getting the person to do something they couldn’t before, they were not just persuaded they were overjoyed.

‘I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe’.

His prayer life deepend from the day of his Baptism in the Spirit, he basically was in a perpetual prayer meeting with God.  At one time he was reported to respond to a question of why his prayer life worked,

I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than by shouting at Him all night”. 

This demonstrating the very simple prayer and trust relationship he had developed with the Lord.

His preaching was very frank and mostly was designed to bring people to work out their faith in action and practice rather than theory and revelation.  His own life bore this out as he would rarely undertake to speak without allowing God to heal the sick and on twelve documented occasions in his life, raise people from the dead.  One of those famously being in a morge!!

Here is one of his more famous Sermon outlines

God's word is-
1. Supernatural in origin;
2. Eternal in duration;
3. Inexpressible in valour;
4. Infinite in scope;
5. Regenerative in power;
6. Infallible in authority;
7. Universal in application;
8. Inspired in totality.

Read it through, write it down; pray it in; work it out; pass it on.
The word of God changes a man until he becomes an Epistle of God.

One thing is certain when you look at the Life of this Apostolic Evangelist.  His life reads life a continuation of the book of Acts and on many occasions the steps of faith he took, which resulted in a miracle for all around to see, where outstanding.  He didn’t care what people thought, what they said, or what their opinion of him was, he simple set his course in life to do the will of God.  Many people today would describe his style as arrogant or rough.  His faith was not watered down to conform, and never sought permission to be bold.

‘In me is working a power stronger than every other power.  The life that is in me is a thousand times bigger than I am outside’.

When asked how often he prayed, he is reported to have replied.

‘I never pray longer than half an hour. On the other hand, half an hour never passes by without me praying’

He had learned the secret of being in continuous, intimate communion with God (sometimes withdrawing quietly into himself for this purpose), even when he was in a crowd of people. He walked by faith, and he was "in the Spirit" at all times. This was one vital secret to his success. He said,

"There are two sides to this Baptism: The first is, you possess the Spirit; The second is that the Spirit possesses you."

To this day, the life of Smith Wigglesworth is still studied and challenges our idea of ministry and our concept of faith.  His life was an example of what anyone can achieve when standing in blind faith.  

Smith Wiggleworth actively continued in ministry until his death at 88 years of age in early 1947.

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