George Müller: A Man of Prayer

I just finished the biography George Müller: Delighted in God by Roger Steer. This powerful testimony impacted me so much that I had to share it with you. (No, I don’t get paid for this plug.)

Who is George Müller?

If you don’t know the name, George Müller is known as a man of prayer who built and ran orphanages in the 1800’s. That was about the time of Oliver Twist, but Müller’s orphans were much better provided for and educated. Here’s the back jacket summary from Steer’s book:

George Müller’s life is a powerful answer to modern skepticism.

His name has become a by-word for faith throughout the world. In the early 1830s he embarked upon an extraordinary adventure. Disturbed by the faithlessness of the Church in general, he longed to have something to point to as ‘visible proof that our God and Father is the same faithful creator as he ever was’.

Praying in every penny of the costs, he supervised the building of five large orphanages housing thousands of children. Under no circumstances would any individual ever be asked for money or materials. He was more successful than anyone could have believed possible and is as much an example to our generation, as he was to his.

I told a friend about this book and what I was learning when I saw her this weekend. She said there was a VeggieTales video about George Müller. I looked it up when I got home. It’s pretty accurate, except that the children never knew when there was a need. George, his wife, and his staff prayed for all their needs without letting anyone else know.

How to Pray like Müller

Müller insisted he was just a regular guy who believed God answered prayer. At the funeral of his dear friend Henry Moorhouse, Geroge Müller outlined four conditions of successful prayer. (This is taken from pages 191-192 of Steer’s book.)

  • Our requests must be according to God’s will.

God wants to give us good gifts (Matt. 7:11; James 1:7). If he answers no, he has a very good reason, whether we can see it or not. We should pray like Jesus: “Father, if You are willing … yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42; see also Matt. 6:10).

  • We must not ask because we “deserve” it or have “earned” it, but “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Jn 14:13-14).

At this point, Müller emphasized the importance of regular confession of sin and repentance. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” “‘That is,’ he said, ‘if I live in sin, and go on in a course hateful to God, I may not expect my prayers to be answered'” (Steer 191).

  • We must have faith that God is powerful enough and willing to answer our prayers.

“‘This is deeply important,’ Müller said. ‘In Mark 11:24 we read, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” … I have found invariably that in the fifty-four years and nine months during which I have been a believer, that if I only believed I was sure to get, in God’s time, the thing I asked for” (Steer 192). Müller offers proof of God’s power and love in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • Persevere! Keep asking until God answers your prayer.

Müller urged, “we have to continue patiently waiting on God till the blessing we seek is granted. For observe, nothing is said in the text as to the time in which, or the circumstances under which, the prayer is to be answered. ‘Ask, and you will receive'” (Steer 192).

Müller offered this testimony:

‘If I say that during the fifty-four years and nine months that I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ I have had thirty thousand answers to prayer [each meticulously recorded in his journal], either in the same hour or the same day that the requests were made, I should not go a particle too far. Often, before leaving my bedroom in the morning, have I had prayers answered that were offered that morning, and in the course of the day I have had five or six more answers to prayer, so that at least htirty thousand prayers have been answered the self-same hour or the self-same day that they were offered. But one or the other might suppose all my prayers were thus promptly answered. No; not all of them. Someetimes I have had to wait weeks, months or even years; sometimes many years’ (Steer 193).

I don’t know about you, but I’m convicted to go pray now.

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