“I believe God has heard my prayers. He will make it manifest in His own good time that He has heard me. I have recorded my petitions that when God has answered them, His name will be glorified.” ― George Muller, The Autobiography of George Muller“
George Müller…most people have never heard that name. Certainly his name is not as familiar to Christians as D. L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, and Hudson Taylor. George Müller (1805–98) pastored a church in Bristol, England, for more than sixty years, but he was best known for the orphan ministry he began. During his life he cared for more than ten thousand orphans. The defining feature of George Müller’s life was his unshakable confidence and faith in God.
In the 1800’s, England was driven by social classes, which meant that poor people did not fare very well, including children. Many children in poverty ended up on the streets, either abandoned or orphaned. George made these children his primary ministry. The Müllers’ took in their first group of girls in 1836, and their orphanage soon housed over a hundred. It’s expensive to feed even a small family. Imagine the cost of feeding hundreds at a time. But George never worried about money and never asked for donations. He believed that God would answer his prayers to provide their needs. George raised each and every penny for this ministry on his knees, through unceasing, persistent, thankful prayer and an unwavering faith in God. Remarkably, and intentionally, he never asked for money or other resources to provide for these orphans. Instead he simply prayed and trusted God to provide.
One example: The orphanage had run out of milk. Upon hearing the news, George rose from his desk and reached for his wife’s hand. “Mary,” he said, “let us pray.” Two orphanage employees joined them, and together they made their humble yet necessary request to God. Someone knocked on the door. Mary hurried to answer, returning to the study a moment later. She handed her husband an envelope. “It’s a letter, George. Hurry up and open it.” Enclosed was a sum of money, more than enough for the milk. Within minutes, two more letters arrived with money and pledges of support.
The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, “…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers.
There is no magic formula to prayer. There is no eloquence requirement. We don’t have to use certain words or phrases. Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help as George Müller did so many times in his life. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor.” There is power in prayer!
- The early church was described as being “devoted” in prayer. Would you say that you are devoted to prayer?
- Read Ephesians 3:14-19. Imagine this prayer becoming reality in your life. How would things be different?