Excerpts from "George Muller:
Man of Faith and Miracles"

[These excerpts are taken from the above named book written by Basil Miller, available online at: http://www.amazon.com or http://www.Christianbooks.com . The very principles of effective prayer explained by Dr. Charles Stanley quoting Jesus in Matthew 7:7--"Ask, seek, knock" are dynamically applied by George Muller in this text. This is a complementary text to Dr. Stanley's transcript on "Learning To Pray The Bible Way." Every pastor should be aware of the principles here, and more importantly, applying them. The local congregation, as evidenced by the Brooklyn Tabernacle (pastored by Jim Cymbala), can achieve great things, if those things are obtained by prevailing prayer. Here's how it was done by one man partnering with God through prayer. Read this, and you'll become aware that anything is possible when God is involved. Be sure to buy this prayer-inspiring book, for both you and your congregation.]

In Germany, his beginnings

"Though confirmed in the church at the age of 14, George Muller was raised without a real concept of God. By the time he was 16, he was in jail as a vagabond and thief.

In his early twenties he came in contact with a group of people who met regularly for prayer and Bible study. Through their witness he was brought to a turning point in his life and was born into the family of God. Daily Bible reading and prayer immediately became an important part of his Christian life and a cornerstone of his future orphanage ministry.

"...God was not long in supplying the temporal needs of this trusting student, for Tholuck shortly recommended him to a group of American professors who did not understand German, to teach them the language. "Thus did the Lord richly make up to me the little which I had relinquished for His sake," says Mr. Muller.

Though a divinity student, he had not yet preached. His first sermon was a severe trial, for he attempted to carry it through on his own strength. A school-master arranged for him to speak in the parish of an aged clergyman, and on August 27, 1826, he went out and spoke at the morning service, having written and memorized his message. The delivery brought no unusual blessing from the Lord. In the afternoon there was another service at which he could speak more freely than in the morning.

"It came to my mind to read the fifth chapter of Matthew, and to make such remarks as I was able...Immediately upon beginning to expound 'Blessed are the poor in spirit,' I felt myself greatly assisted; and whereas in the morning my sermon had not been simple enough for the people to understand it. I now was listened to with the greatest attention...My own peace and joy were great." This endeavor launched him on a preaching career, which henceforth was to be a simple exposition of the Scriptures. From this course he never deviated throughout his many years as a public servant of the Master. [Simple expository preaching of the Word of God, especially connective expository preaching, is the most powerful form of preaching there is.]

As a divinity student he fell into the common error of reading books about the Bible but not reading the Bible itself. "I practically preferred for the first four years of my divine life the works of uninspired men," he confesses. "The consequence was that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and grace."

Since the ministers were themselves unenlightened spiritually there was little in the sermons to feed his soul. Though he regularly went to church, when not preaching, yet he scarcely ever heard the truth, he affirms, "for there was no enlightened clergyman in the town." He often walked ten to fifteen miles to hear a godly minister expound the Word...

He soon took another significant step, which brought him into contact with an orphanage work, later to be the model of his own orphanages. For two months he lived in the free lodgings furnished for divinity students in the famous Orphan Houses built by A.H. Franke. More than a hundred years earlier Franke had been led to establish an orphanage in entire dependence upon God. Though Franke had died in 1727, the work continued through faith. This became an inspiration to Muller and often he records how much he was indebted to the example of trust and prayer which Franke exhibited...

With the outreaching of his soul, the young minister was seeking the field for his life's investment. While there was a ringing challenge to be a missionary, he was never permitted to serve in this capacity, since God had other plans for his life...

A divine miracle with far-reaching results was about to occur in Muller's experience from which directly sprang his life's work. Oftentimes God indirectly leads one to the fields of his service, which was to be the case with George. God wanted this youth in England where his sphere of influence was to be centered.

When Thulock learned that this young student was interested in the Jews, he at once wrote to the London Society suggesting Muller's name as a candidate. In March 1828, the Society answered asking the candidate a number of questions, and on June 13 a letter came saying that they would take George as a missionary student for six months on probation.

There was one proviso, meaningful and life determining. He must come to London...for God wanted George Muller's fame to spread throughout the world from this English-speaking nation. Germany had her Franke, and England must also have her Muller, apostle of faith.

There was a formidable obstacle. Every Prussian man must serve three years in the army...

While in Leipsic with an American professor for whom he was serving as tutor in German, between acts at the opera George took some iced refreshments which caused him to become sick. This resulted in a broken blood vessel in his stomach. Being advised by friends to go to Berlin, he found an open door for preaching in wards in the poorhouse and in the prisons.

On February 3, 1829, he was re-examined for the army, and because of his stomach trouble was declared physically unfit for service, and hence exempted. Immediately he received his passport and set sail for London where he arrived on March 19...

George Muller in England

Again God was gently leading Muller into a life of trust. His old trouble struck again and for weeks he despaired of life. "I longed exceedingly to depart and be with Christ," he says. "O Lord," he prayed while on his sickbed, "do with me as seemeth best"--a prayer which was slowly answered. For God permitted his servant to linger in sickness that his soul might learn a new lesson in trust.

A few days later he went to Teignmouth to recuperate. Here the Ebenezer chapel was reopened and Mr. Muller had the privilege of living for ten days with the preacher. It was during this brief stay that God taught him the true meaning of the Bible. "God began to show me," he writes, "that His Word alone is our standard of judgment; that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, He is the teacher of the people."...He delineates how he tested the Bible truth by experience. "The Lord enabled me to put to the test of experience, by laying aside commentaries, and almost every other book, and simply reading the Word of God and studying it. The result of this was that the first evening I shut myself into my room to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously." He goes on to add, "But the particular difference was that I received real strength for my soul in doing so." [i.e. study like this, expositorily, and teach the same way--it's powerful.]

...For henceforth through meditation upon the Bible and prayer he was to commit his ways unto the Lord. Near the end of his life he affirmed that he had read the Bible through approximately two hundred times, one hundred of which were on his knees. This is the keynote of the marvelous life of trust. He found God's promises in the Bible and experienced the truth of them in his everyday life. He learned to believe what he read and to act accordingly. He mined religious truth, not from books of human fabrication, but from God through divine inspiration, and what he read he lived.

"Tell not man, but God your needs"

God is now ready to thrust Muller forth into his vineyard a full-fledged apostle of trust. Yet there is another lesson he is to experience before God can use him to the fullest extent. He must learn to tell not man but God his needs and to believe God will supply them. Around the bend in his career this lesson is next in God's book of life for Muller to master...

While waiting to be sent out into God's work by man, Mr. Muller was led by the Spirit to feel that waiting for appointment was wrong: that instead he should receive orders only from the Holy Spirit as Paul and Barnabas were sent forth. He wrote the Society while spending the Christmas vacation with some friends at Devon, and frankly stated his views. He offered to labor without salary, with the provision that they permit him to work wherever the Lord might direct.

His faith began to look beyond man to God for spiritual direction as well as for physical needs. This was a forward step in his soul pilgrimage. It was a lesson of trust that the young disciple must experience before God was ready to use him. He had previously been convinced though a stranger in England he need have no anxiety for his temporal needs--"as long as I sought to serve the Lord...as long as I sought the kingdom of God and his righteousness, these my temporal wants would be added unto me."..."Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7). "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:13,14). "Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not...yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" Matthew 25:25-26.

God set his seal upon the work in converting sinners. "Twelve weeks I stood in the position, whilst the Lord graciously supplied my temporal wants, through two brethren, unasked for."...

On baptism and lay participation in services

"I saw that believers only are the proper subjects for baptism, and that immersion is the only true Scriptural mode in which it ought to be attended to."...From reading Ephesians 4 and Romans 12 he also reached the conclusion that there should be given a place in their meetings for brethren to speak freely, either to testify, exhort, or teach, as the Holy Spirit led them.

God was gradually leading Mr. Muller to trust the Scriptures for guidance in matters of conscience...

He was about to take an important step in his life, the selection of a companion. The guidance of God in this action was sought diligently through prayer and Bible reading. Friends had told him when he first landed in England of Mr. Groves, the Exeter dentist, who had given up an excellent salary to be a missionary. In the course of his preaching he met Mary Groves, the missionary's sister, and after a short courtship, much prayer and meditation upon the matter, they were married on October 7 in a simple ceremony at the home of a friend. And for more than forty years God blessed this union.

Stepping out in faith

Shortly before his marriage the thought of a stated salary worried Mr. Muller, for he felt that his should be a life of trust in God and not in the promise of the brethren. He found three reasons why he should give up a fixed remuneration.

  • A salary implies a fixed sum, generally made up of pew rents. But according to James 2:1-6, "pew rents are against the mind of the Lord."
  • A fixed pew rent may at times become a burden to the follower of Christ and Mr. Muller did not wish to lay the smallest straw in the way of the church's spiritual progress.
  • The whole system of pew rents and salary are liable to become a snare to the minister, in that he works for hire rather than for spiritual reasons.

At the end of October, within a month after his marriage, he announced to the Teignmouth congregation that henceforth he would receive no regular salary, and would trust wholly in the Lord for his needs. He asked that a box be placed in the chapel where whoever desired to help him might leave his offering. Henceforth he was to ask no one, "not even my beloved brethren and sisters, to help me...For unconsciously I had been led to trust in an arm of flesh, going to man instead of going to the Lord at once." [This is similar to the Agape box found in Calvary Chapel's around the world.]

One morning when their money had been reduced to eight shillings (about $2.00, a shilling equaling approximately 25c), Muller asked the Lord for money. For four hours the preacher waited but still no reply. Then a lady came to the house.

"Do you want any money?" she asked.

Faith was tested, yet remained triumphant, and the minister replied, "I told the brethren, dear sister, when I gave up my salary, that I would for the future tell the Lord only about my wants." "But," she replied, reaching for her purse, "He told me to give you some money," laying in his hand two guineas...

[Some other rules Mr. Muller made:]

  1. "I would just observe that we never contract debts, which we believe to be unscriptural (according to Romans 13:8), and therefore we have no bills...but all we buy we pay for in ready money. Thus we always know how much we have and how much we have a right to give away." [I.E. NO CREDIT CARDS (!!!) and no major expenditures on credit.]
  2. Mr. Muller held that to lay up stores or hoard money was inconsistent with a life of faith. In such cases he thought God would send them to their hoardings before answering their prayers. Experience confirmed them in the conviction that a life of trust forbids laying up treasures against unforeseen needs, since with God "no emergency is unforeseen and no want unprovided for." Hence his trust was in God and not in his hoardings.
  3. A third rule was greatly blessed throughout Muller's career of trust. When money was given him for a specific need, or purpose, he regarded it as sacred to that trust, and would not use or borrow it even temporarily for any other purpose. Though reduced to dire needs, he would not use any money set aside for other purposes except for that specific thing...

And how, you might ask, did God supply his needs for that first year of trust? Let the twenty-six-year-old minister answer, "Now the truth is whilst...we have not had even as much as a single penny left, or so as to have the last bread on the table, and not as much money as was needed to buy another loaf, yet never have we had to sit down to a meal without our good Lord having provided nourishing food for us. I am bound to state this, and I do it with pleasure...If I had to choose this day again as to the way of living, the Lord giving me grace, I would not choose differently."

At the end of 1831 when George summed up what he had received in answer to prayer it amounted to more than one hundred and thirty-one pounds, three fourths of which came from friends not connected with his church. The congregation had promised their minister $275, and through a life of trust he had received approximately $660 for the year.

"In this my freedom, I am," Mr. Muller states, "at least able to say to myself...My Lord is not limited; He can supply...And thus this way of living, as far from leading to anxiety, as regards possible future want, is rather the means of keeping from it...This way of living has often been the means of receiving the work of grace in my heart...and a fresh answer to prayer obtained in this way has been the means of quickening my soul and filling me with much joy."

BIRTH OF A NEW ERA

Muller was ready at length for his life's work...Every leaning post had been removed. This apostle of faith had laid down those principles of trust by which his future was to be marked. He looked entirely to God for spiritual direction as well as for physical supplies...One thing was lacking, which God in a devious manner was about to furnish, and that was a location for his faith to germinate into a living reality...Muller tells the turning events in a few sentences in his "Life of Trust." "April 13. Found a letter from Brother Craik, from Bristol...He invites me to come and help him...It seems to me as if I should shortly go, if the Lord permit."...On the following day he wrote, "Wrote to Brother Craik, in which I said I should come, if I clearly saw it to be the Lord's will." This was the bend in his life's road, and the proviso was written into the letter as well as designed into Muller's experience...if the Lord will. Always the minister made his plans only when God plainly indicated that human plans and the divine will coincided.

In 1829 Mr. Muller had met a kindred spirit in Henry Craik, both being university trained men, who had been spiritually awakened at their respective universities, Craik in Scotland and Muller in Halle. Shortly before Muller had begun preaching on the second coming of Christ as being in accordance with the Scriptures, and Craik held to similar views. This drew the two men together as kindred souls...

Due to the death of Craik's wife, he had met a friend from Bristol who had invited him to accept work in the city, serving as pastor of the Gideon Chapel. A month after he had located in Bristol he wrote to his old friend George Muller to come and help him...

After a visit to Bristol on April 21, 1832, where he preached at the Gideon Chapel and later at the Pithay Chapel, Mr. Muller decided it was God's will to leave his Teignmouth congregation. Accordingly he and Mr. Craik laid down conditions for the new congregation to accept before they would become pastors of the work...

On May 15 two letters arrived from Bristol in which the Gideon folk accepted the terms, which were, "to consider us only as ministering among them, but not in any fixed pastoral relationship, so that we may preach as we consider it to be according to the mind of God, without reference to any rules among them; that the pew-rents should be done away with, and that we should go on, respecting the supply of our temporal wants, as in Devonshire."...

The two spiritual leaders of the congregations diligently entered upon their duties, preaching faithfully the word of redemption...

..."The meetings for enquirers were so largely attended that, though they sometimes lasted for more than four hours, it was frequently the case that many...had to be sent away for lack of time and strength on the part of the two workers," declares Mr. Muller.

For eight years the Gideon Chapel, jointly with the Bethesda Chapel, was the scene of their spiritual ministrations.

At the close of 1833 Muller took stock of God's dealings with him since he had begun to live by faith alone in the promises of God. He found that his income for this time was approximately $3,700, whereas his stated salary for the same length of time would have been $900.

"During the last three years," he affirms in reviewing his income through faith, "I never have asked anyone for anything; but, by the help of the Lord, I have been enabled at all times to bring my wants to Him, and He graciously supplied them all."

The previous year Mr. Muller had been given a copy of August H. Franke's life, and as time permitted he read it through. The inspiration of Franke proved a great boon to Muller's faith, for it showed him that God for thirty years during Franke's life had been able to supply all the needs for nearly 2,000 orphans, and that for a hundred years the noble work had been continued through faith.

Muller was touched by the condition of the orphans and street gamins round about him, and he decided as inspired by Franke's work to gather them around him for instruction. At eight o'clock in the morning he gathered the children from the street to his home, fed them a little breakfast, and then for an hour and a half taught them out of the Scriptures. The work increased on his hands until it included older folk as well.

He found himself feeding from thirty to forty such persons, and as the number increased the Lord's provisions also increased. One kept pace with the other...

"This thought ultimately," declares the apostle of faith, "issued in the formation of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution and in the establishment of the Orphan Houses."

Doubtless February 21, 1834, was the crowning day up to that time of God's dealings with George Muller. "I was led this morning to form a plan for the establishing, upon Scriptural principles, of the institution for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad. I trust this matter is of God..." Other societies, he held, were formed on the assumption that the world would gradually become better and better, "and at last the whole world will be converted." This belief he held to be contrary to the Bible and hence could not endorse it. [i.e. The Amillennialist view was judged to be false by Scripture according to Muller.] The worldly connection of other societies was contrary to God's Word. "The connection with the world is too marked in these religious societies, for every one who pays a guinea...is considered a member...and has a right to vote."

Other societies asked the unconverted for money which was contrary to Mr. Muller's principles. The leaders in such societies were ofttimes wealthy, but unregenerate, individuals without true knowledge of God. A final reason for not believing in existing organizations was that they contracted debts, which long ago God had taught him to be unworthy of a trustful life.

"It appeared to us to be his will," Muller explains, "that we should be entirely separate from these societies..."

Accordingly on the evening of March 5, 1834, a public meeting was held where "The Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad" was formed. The founding of the Institution was accomplished by a statement of principles and objects, which in substance are as follows:

  • "We consider every believer bound...to help the cause of Christ."
  • "We never intend to ask unconverted persons of rank or wealth to countenance this institution...In the name of God we set up our banners."
  • "We do not mean to ask unbelievers for money."
  • "We reject altogether the help of unbelievers in managing...the affairs of the Institution."
  • "We intend never to enlarge the field of labor by contracting debts...but in secret prayer...we shall carry the wants of the Institution to the Lord, and act according to the means that God shall give us."
  • "We do not reckon the success of the Institution by the amount of money given...but by the Lord's blessing upon the work."
  • "We desire to go simply according to the Scripture, without compromising the truth."

The objects of the Institution were:

  • To assist day schools, Sunday schools. "We consider it unscriptural that any person who does not profess to know the Lord themselves should be allowed to give religious instruction," "The Institution does not assist any adult school...except the teachers are believers."
  • To circulate the Holy Scriptures.
  • To aid missionary efforts. "We desire to assist those missionaries whose proceedings appear to be most according to the Scriptures." [That is why this Christian unity web site wholeheartedly supports Campus Crusade for Christ and it's JESUS Film Project, in it's spreading of the gospel around the world and a portion of my tithes are dedicated to this worthy organization.]

This indeed is a large order for an institution whose founder wrote two days later, "Today we have only one shilling left"--only one shilling between two preachers and their families. There were no patrons, no committees, and no membership. There was to be no asking for funds, and the responsibility rested solely upon the frail efforts of two ministers, both of whom were decidedly poor!...

God had found a man he could trust and used him as His instrument in giving birth to this work. Muller was missionary spirited, for during his earlier years he had tried to become officially connected with some missionary endeavor. He had learned to take counsel and direction from God. He had discovered the power for spiritual enduement which lies in Bible reading, and had filled his soul with God's Word so that he might test his daily walk by these principles which God had inspired.

Another source of his spiritual strength was found in cutting loose from worldly attachments. He would not even as much as give money to a school or a Sunday school where the teachers were not believers, nor would he ask for money from anyone, let alone the fact that he would not list wealthy patrons as promoters of his work. He had renounced self, the world and its attachments, that he might give himself to secret prayer. Out of such endeavors flowed the stream of his power with God.

With God as its Patron, prayer as its appeal, believing workers at its head, the Institution could but flourish.

During the first seven months money began to flow in so that active work was undertaken. Almost a hundred and sixty-eight pounds were contributed by various persons, which was carefully expended to promote the objects of the work. During this time in the Sunday school 120 children received instruction; 40 in the Adult school; 209 children were taught in the four Day schools, two for boys and two for girls, 54 of this number being free pupils and the others paying part of their expenses.

The work of Bible distribution, always a large object for promotion, began at once. During the initial seven months 482 Bibles and 520 New Testaments were circulated while $285 was given to aid missionary activities.

On January 21, 1835, Mr. Muller entered in his Journal these words, "Received in answer to prayer from an unexpected quarter, five pounds for the Scriptural Knowledge Institution. The Lord pours in, whilst we seek to pour out." This was always his plan of operation. He sought God to pour in the supplies, and he diligently furnished sources through which they might be distributed. As long as Muller saw to the careful distribution of money and supplies, God never failed in pouring in the needed materials.

He had struck a partnership with God, and had promised to dispense whatever the Almighty provided. The partnership remained constant to the end...From the birth of this idea--the founding of the Institution--during Muller's lifetime more than seven and a half million dollars were to be poured into the coffers of the work, through this man's prayer.

INTO HIS LIFE'S WORK AT LAST

Gradually God's providence led Mr. Muller to the sphere of his life's work...For months Mr. Muller had been thinking about founding an orphanage...On November 20, 1835, he found at a sister's house a life of Franke which touched the well-springs of his ambition. He wrote, "I have frequently, for a long time, thought of laboring in a similar way." The following day he entered in his Journal, "Today I have had it very much impressed on my heart no longer merely to think about the establishment of an orphan house, but actually to set about it. I have very much in prayer regarding it...to ascertain the Lord's mind." On December 2 he was to take the first outward and formal step toward bringing into reality this prayer-dream. He says, "Therefore, I have this day taken the first actual step in the matter, in having ordered bills to be printed, announcing a public meeting on December 9, at which I intend to lay before the brethren my thoughts concerning the orphan house..."

Mr. Muller was not to wait for the brethren's opinion, advice or first-fruits of meager gifts. For on December 5 while reading the Bible at his evening prayer season, the Scriptures blazed forth in a text which inspired his faith to immediate action.

"This evening," he affirms, "I was struck in reading the Scriptures with these words, 'Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.' I was led to apply this scripture to the orphan house, and ask the Lord for premises, one thousand pounds and suitable individuals to take care of the children." His faith flamed forth when God spoke.

From that moment this text formed one of his life mottoes, and the promise became power in molding his future work. The text was his check on heaven's bank, and cashable for any needed amount, so Muller's faith attested.

God's seal on the work was not long in coming, for his faith obtained the substance in the form of a gift, the first of many thousands...

On the afternoon of the meeting, December 9, came the first gift of furniture in the form of a large wardrobe. Concerning that night meeting, more or less a form since God had put his sanction upon the work and gifts had already been coming in through Muller's faith, the faith-venturing preacher says, "As soon as I began to speak at the meeting I received peculiar assistance from God. After the meeting ten shillings were given me. There was purposely no collection...After the meeting a sister offered herself for the work. I went home, happy in the Lord and full of confidence that the matter would come to pass."

The following morning a statement of the meeting was given to the press. Immediate response burst forth following the news article, and gifts began to come in, as well as offers of life services of the givers themselves.

On December 10 Muller received a letter, one of the many scores which were to follow during his long orphanage career, "We propose ourselves for the service of the intended orphan house, if you think us qualified for it; also to give up all the furniture, etc., which the Lord has given us, for its use; and to do this without receiving any salary whatever; believing that, if it be the will of the Lord to employ us, He will supply all our needs."

Since that day there has never been a lack of competent, cheerful and devoted helpers, though the work rapidly extended beyond Muller's strongest dreams.

In the evening of the same day, as tokens from the Lord, individuals sent in "three dishes, twenty-eight plates, three basins, one jug, four mugs, three saltstands, one grater, four knives and five forks." On December 12 came more dishes and fifty pounds for the work. On the thirteenth came twenty-nine yards of print, "also a sister offered herself for the work." Mr. Muller reported one gift with the same calm and equipoise as the other.

On the next day came eight shillings and "a brother and sister offered themselves." Still there were no surprise remarks from the apostle of trust, for he had believed that God would fill his open mouth, and in this filling all came as from God. Similar gifts continued daily.

Came basins and mugs and dessert spoons, a skimmer, a toasting fork and a dredge, also pillow cases and table cloths, as well as "fifty-five yards of sheeting, twelve yards of calico."

The orphanage was on its way...for the bounteous hand of God was overflowing with gifts.

On December 17 Mr. Muller turned down the gift of $500 from a poor woman, thinking she was unable to give so much. She was weak in body and her weekly earnings were less than a dollar. "But," she replied in triumphant faith, "the Lord Jesus has given His last drop for me, and should I not give Him this hundred pounds?"

The gift Mr. Muller discovered had come through the death of the girl's grandmother, and he accepted it with gratitude to God for using "this poor, sickly sister as an instrument in so considerable gift, for helping at its very commencement the work."

At last Mr. Muller was able to set a definite date for opening an orphans' house for girls. As funds came in he secured a large house, No. 6 North Wilson Street, where he had been living for some time, by renting it for one year. April 1, 1836, was set as the formal opening day. He informed the public that he would receive applications for entrance, and shortly after he intimated that a second house would be opened to receive small children, both boys and girls.

During the weeks that Mr. Muller had prayed in the materials for the house, the funds for the rent and its equipment, the laborers to carry on the work, he had forgotten to pray for orphans. And on the opening day not one applicant was received!

He had taken it for granted that the children would come. He spent two hours at the house waiting for applicants, and then dejectedly walked home. On his way this thought rushed to his mind, "I have prayed about everything connected with this work--for money, for a house, for helpers, about the various articles of furniture, etc., but I have never asked the Lord to send me orphans."

That night he laid low in prayer, prevailing with God to send children for the home. Faith once more gained a divine audience, for the very next day he received the first application for entrance. Within a month forty-two children were seeking admission, with twenty-six already in the home and more arriving daily.

Throughout the year there were to be testings of personal faith, but God never failed him. As a sample of such trials on November 30 he writes, "Being in great need, I was led, yesterday morning, earnestly to ask the Lord; and in answer to this petition a brother gave me, last evening, ten pounds." Morning prayer was answered by the evening gift.

Mr. Muller testifies that in his lifetime fifty thousand such specific prayers were answered. Years before he died, about the middle of his career, he affirmed that up to that time five thousand of his definite prayers had been answered on the day of asking.

He made it a habit to keep a notebook with two page entries. On one page he gave the petition and the date, and on the opposite page he entered the date of the answer. In this manner he was able to keep record of definite petitions, and their specific answers. He recommended this form to believers who desired specific results to their prayers. Thus there is no guesswork as to when God answers prayers.

At the beginning of 1836 Mr. Muller had asked for a thousand pounds and an orphanage house along with its equipment. In reviewing that year's work, he found that God had given him his first orphanage house on Wilson Street, and seven months after the opening of the first house he obtained another one located at No. 1 Wilson Street. This received its first children on November 18. A review of his financial returns showed gifts for the orphanages of seven hundred and seventy pounds, and he himself had received for his personal needs two hundred and thirty-two pounds

During that year, God had furnished more than the $5,000 asked as the initial starter of the work. Closing the first orphanage year, he relates, "On December 31, we had this evening a prayer meeting to praise the Lord for His goodness during the past year, and to ask Him for a continuance of His favors."

The blessings of God were so numerous that by April 8, 1837, there were thirty orphans in each house, No. 6 Wilson Street caring for older girls and No. 1 giving a home to young boys and girls.

The founder of this work, asking at first for a hundred pounds, affirms that in his own mind the thing was as good as done, and he often thanked God for the sum as though already in hand...

No appeal was made to the public, God alone receiving his petitions daily for eighteen months and ten days. [Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give." This man received freely from the Lord, and freely gave what the Lord provided, freely distributing to those in need. What a different tune we hear being played by some Christians today with their hand out for money. Not to say that some products produced by Christian works don't have a cost, and are produced for other Christians, but whatever happened to "Non-profit" in these works? Do some of the resources they charge for really cost what is being charged, postage included--or is their price inflated? We need to search our Christian conscience in this matter.]

It was in the year 1837 that Mr. Muller, then thirty-two, felt a deep conviction that his own growth in grace and power for service were indispensable for the promotion of the work. He sought two things; first more retirement for secret prayer and communion with God and provision for the spiritual oversight of the church, the total number of communicants being at this time nearly four hundred [sounds like a Calvary Chapel!]. He found himself too busy to pray as he ought.

After learning the lesson of being busy in the work of the Lord, too busy in fact to pray, he told his brethren that four hours of work after an hour of prayer would accomplish more than five hours without prayer. This rule henceforth he faithfully kept...

On October 21 another house was secured in Wilson Street which was opened to receive orphan boys. Mr. Muller now had under his care ninety-six orphans. His prayer for premises, suitable helpers and the thousand pounds were abundantly answered.

He remarks, "When I was asking the petition I was fully aware what I was doing, i.e. asking for something that I had no natural prospect of getting from the brethren I knew, but which was not too much for the Lord to grant."

In reviewing the year 1837, Muller states, "Ninety, therefore, daily sit down to table. Lord, look on the necessities of thy servant"--a prayer which God abundantly answered. Not once during the year was a single meal unsupplied. Throughout all his experience in conducting the orphanages this servant of God testifies that no meal, even when he was feeding two thousand orphans daily by faith, was more than thirty minutes late...

Many asked Mr. Muller how he sought to know the will of God, in that nothing was undertaken, not even the smallest expenditure, without feeling certain he was in God's will. In the following words he gave his answer:

  1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
  2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impressions. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
  3. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.
  4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
  5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
  6. Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters and transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective."

And did this plan work?--one asks. Let Mr. Muller's testimony answer.

"I never remember," he wrote three years before his death, "in all my Christian course, a period now (in March 1895) of sixty-nine years and four months, that I EVER SINCERELY AND PATIENTLY sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Word of God, but I have been ALWAYS directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, of if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes. (Italics his.)

When asked why he undertook the work of the Institution, Mr. Muller replied, "The first and primary object of the Institution was, and still is, that God might be magnified by the fact that the Orphans under my care were, and are, provided with all they need only by prayer and faith, without anyone being asked by me or my fellow-laborers, whereby it might be seen that God is FAITHFUL STILL AND HEARS PRAYER STILL."

Chapter VI

TRUSTING GOD FOR DAILY SUPPLIES

During the next seven years Mr. Muller's problem was one of trusting for daily supplies. There were three houses to be maintained, and about a hundred orphans to be clothed and fed. The daily expenditure was heavy, the rent considerable, and the personal needs of his helpers were great. In addition to this, the work of the Institution, assisting schools, paying teachers, running Sunday schools and helping missionaries demanded a constant stream of money flowing in.

Early in 1838 sickness fell heavily upon the leader, and as his custom he went to his knees in the midst of his affliction. While reading the Bible his eyes fell upon the 68th Psalm and in the course of his meditation, the words "A father of the fatherless" stood out in mighty letters as a divine promise in this stressful hour.

"This word, 'A father of the fatherless'" he affirms, "contains enough encouragement to cast thousands of orphans, with all their needs, upon the loving heart of God."

From then on the burdens were not his but the Lord's. He cast them from his shoulders through loving trust upon the broad arms of the Master. During June God tested his faith by suddenly shutting off the gifts which had so abundantly flowed in. Muller took the matter to the Lord.

He enters in his Journal under the date of July 22 (1838), "This evening I was walking in our little garden...meditating on Hebrews 13:8, 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.'...All at once the present need of the Orphan-House was brought to my mind. Immediately I was led to say to myself, Jesus in His love and power has hitherto supplied me with what I have needed for the Orphans, and in the same unchangeable love and power He will provide with what I may need for the future. A flow of joy came into my soul..."

This soul joy was the fore announcer of a coming blessing. "About one minute later a letter was brought to me, enclosing a bill for twenty pounds," he writes.

In this case God's timing was perfect, for when the need existed, and Muller had prayed, the next moment the supply was forthcoming.

Throughout that turbulent year Mr. Muller's faith was sorely tried, for often there was not a single penny in the houses; but God was leading him forth, proving and testing him in the smaller things, so that later he might be able to feed as many as two thousand children daily through the instrument of prayer.

On September 18 the funds were exhausted, and Mr. Muller thought of selling the things that could be done without in the homes. "This morning," he writes, "I had asked the Lord, if it might be, to prevent the necessity of our doing so."

That afternoon a lady from London, who had been staying at Bristol, brought a package with money in it from her daughter who had sent it several days before.

"That the money had been so near," declares Mr. Muller, "for several days without being given, is a plain proof that it was in the heart of God to help us; but because He delights in the prayers of His children, He had allowed us to pray so long...to try our faith and to make the answer so much the sweeter." [Delays often make the answer sweeter and more appreciated, if you're waiting in genuine trust and faith.]

During this time Mr. Muller's health was not good and his friends asked him to go away for a rest, but he refused, saying, "I must remain to pass with my dear Orphans through the trial, though these dear ones know nothing about it, because their tables are as well supplied as when there was eight hundred pounds in the bank; and they have lack of nothing."

Many times he was forced to say, "The funds are exhausted." But not once did these words hold true over night. Funds might have been depleted during the day, at times all day, again for hours, but when nightfall came there was something on hand for the next day. With this faith apostle, this meant daily trusting for today's needs...

Sometimes in plenty, but oftener in poverty, his faith carried the orphanages on. Many times in dire straits the money would arrive at the very moment of prayer, or as he was reading the list of needs for the day. His trust in "the father of the fatherless" was so confident that not once did he turn a child away...

Often gifts came in at the very instant of prayer. On March 5, 1839, he writes, "Whilst I was in prayer, Q.Q. sent a check for seven pounds..."

Closing the report for the year 1839, he sums up the bounteous blessing of God, saying, "For the Orphan Houses, without any one having been asked by us, the sum of L3,067 8s. 9 1/4d. has been given entirely as a result of prayer to God, from the commencement of the work to December 9, 1839."

The following year was started without enough money to carry through the first day. A peculiar incident occurred that day which showed Mr. Muller's character. After the usual Watch night service, about an hour past midnight, a friend, whom Mr. Muller knew to be in debt, handed him a sealed envelope with money in it. "I resolved, therefore, without opening the paper to return it....This was done when I knew there was not enough in hand to meet the expenses of the day."

Seven hours later, "about eight this morning," a brother brought five pounds for the orphans. "Observe, the brother is led to bring it at once." God honored Mr. Muller's faith in giving back the money he knew the lady needed to pay her debts more than the orphans needed it.

On January 12, 1841, after he had been forced to delay printing his yearly report because of a lack of funds, he notes that the Lord supplies this need and in addition $5,000 was received for missionary work in the East Indies. Here is his prayer testimony concerning this the largest gift he had thus far received. "In all my experience I have found...that if I could only settle a certain thing to be done was according to the will of God, that means were soon obtained to carry it into effect.

God never failed His servant. Often he was led through the valley of great want, but always to the shining peak of supply...

But Mr. Muller's faith was so dominant that however much the need, he rested calmly in the divine assurance that God's hand would contain a bounteous supply when the moment arrived. He and worry parted forever. Though he was deeply concerned, he never fretted at delay in receiving answers to his requests.

On February 15, 1842, his attitude is typical. "I sat peacefully down to give myself to meditation over the Word, considering that was now my service, though I knew not whether there was a morsel of bread for tea in any one of the houses, but being assured that the Lord would provide. For through grace my mind is so fully assured of the faithfulness of the Lord, that in the midst of the greatest need, I am enabled in peace to go about my other work. Indeed, did not the Lord give me this, which is the result of trusting in Him, I should be scarcely able to work at all."

His mind was fixed in God and would not be moved, for he knew at the proper time the money or the food would arrive...

During these testing days Mr. Muller was often asked how he managed to build such a strong faith in God. He replied that he endeavored to keep his faith in God strong not only for daily supplies of food for the orphans and money for the missionary work but also for the spiritual concern of the world.

"Let not Satan deceive you," writes Mr. Muller during those faith-wrenching days, "in making you think you could not have the same faith, but that it is only for persons situated as I am. When I lose such a thing as a key, I ask the Lord to direct me to it, and I look for an answer to my prayer; when a person with whom I have an appointment does not come...I ask the Lord to be pleased to hasten him to me, and I look for an answer....Thus in all my temporal and spiritual concerns I pray to the Lord and expect an answer to my requests; and may not you do the same, dear believing reader?"

In giving advice gained through daily trials of his faith, this father of the orphans laid down rules for Christians to follow by which they might also strengthen their faith. These rules are:

  1. Read the Bible and meditate upon it. God has become known to us through prayer and meditation upon His own Word.
  2. Seek to maintain an upright heart and a good conscience.
  3. If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and therefore, through trial, be strengthened.
  4. The last important point for the strengthening of our faith is that we let God work for us, when the hour of trial of our faith comes, and do not work a deliverance of our own.

"Would the believer therefore have his faith strengthened, he must give God time to work," he declares...

He exercised faith and proclaimed that the work undertaken was not particularly to feed the orphans, as great as this was, nor for their spiritual welfare as glorious and blessed as this is.

"The primary object of the work is," he observed, "to show before the whole world...that even in these evil days the living God is ready to prove Himself as the living God, by being ever willing to help...and answer the prayers of those who trust in Him."...

"I had a secret satisfaction," he writes, "in the greatness of the difficulties....So far from being cast down on account of them, they delighted my soul....I did nothing but pray. Prayer and faith...helped me over the difficulties."

From the human standpoint there was little prospect of receiving the necessary funds, but leaving the matter to the Lord, he was overwhelmed with a peaceful calm. "...my soul is at peace. The Lord's time is not yet come; but when it is come He will blow away all these obstacles."

Less than fifteen minutes after he had prayed on July 12, God sent in seven hundred and two pounds, three shillings and seven pence. Early in August, after fifty days of waiting on the Lord, he and his wife were on their way to Germany.

But God's time was about to arrive and Mr. Muller had learned to step when God's hour struck, however massive the problem or vexing the difficulty...

This was the day that God gave him the text, "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."...

After the land was bought [for yet another orphan house], he continued his daily season of intercourse with God for funds. Step by step he waited upon the Lord to supply all that was needed in the construction of so large a building.

Gifts varying in size from a farthing to five and six hundred pounds made Mr. Muller's heart glad. On January 25, 1847, he entered in his diary, "Therefore with increased earnestness I have given myself unto prayer, importuning the Lord that He would...speedily send the remainder of the amount...and I have increasingly of late felt that the time is drawing near." This was fourteen months three weeks after he first began asking God for a new building, and it was to be a grand day in the work of God. [A perfect example of "Ask, keep on asking, Seek, keep on seeking, Knock, keep on knocking" talked of by Jesus in Matthew 7.] Let his words tell the story.

"I arose from my knees this morning full of confidence....About an hour, after I had prayed thus, there was given me the sum of two thousand pounds [2,000 x 5 = $5,000] for the Building Fund. Thus I have received altogether L9,285 3s. 9 1/2d. Four hundred and forty-seven days I have had day by day to wait upon God before the sum reached the above amount."

When this princely gift came he was neither excited nor surprised, he "could only sit before God, and admire Him, like David in II Samuel, chapter 7." Finally he threw himself flat on his face and burst forth in thanksgivings to God and "in surrendering my heart afresh to Him for His blessed service."

Then came other gifts, among them two thousand pounds, followed by another of one thousand, and on July 5, 1847, when eleven thousand and sixty-two pounds had been donated, the building was finally begun.

This was after the help of the Lord had been daily sought for six hundred and seven days. As the building progressed funds increased until fifteen thousand, seven hundred and eighty-four pounds were received. The last donation was for two thousand pounds from a man who brought the money in notes so that his bankers might not know of his liberality. [Amazing that some may find they have to be careful not to let the world see them giving too much, but it didn't stop this man from giving, nonetheless.]

After the building was finished, all expenses met, trustees organized, there was a balance of L776, which afforded "a manifest proof that the Lord can not only supply us with all we need in His service simply in answer to prayer, but that He can also give us even more than we need."

All of these gifts, it must be remembered, were wrestled from the hand of God through Mr. Muller's prayers. He prayed definitely and diligently. God answered just as specifically. In addition to praying in the building funds, Mr. Muller also bore the burden of caring for the houses on Wilson Street and their one hundred and thirty children. Never once did he despair of the Lord's willingness and ability to give. He knew he was centered in God's will, and asking and receiving were natural complements.

On July 21 he records asking God for four specific things: his own personal needs, for the building fund, for the orphanage on Wilson Street and for the Institution. A gentleman from Devonshire called upon him and made a donation of twenty pounds, specifying that it was for the four identical things which he had been talking to God. "Thus I received, at the very moment that I had been asking God, four answers to my prayers."

On June 18, 1849, more than twelve years after beginning the work, the orphans were transferred from the rented houses on Wilson Street to the new house on Ashley Down. Throughout the year there were 275 children in the house, the whole number of those connected with the institution being 308, who daily depended upon the prayers of Mr. Muller for their sustenance.

On Saturday, June 23, after moving to Ashley Down, God marvelously began supplying the needs. A man while walking through the home with Mr. Muller exclaimed, "These children must consume a great deal of provisions," and while speaking drew from his pocket-book notes to the amount of a hundred. On the same day came six casks of treacle and six loaves of sugar. Information arrived that a friend has just then purchased a thousand pounds of rice for the children.

"So bountifully has the Lord been pleased to help of late, that I have not only been able to meet all the extraordinary heavy expenses connected with moving...filling the stores...but I have more than five hundred pounds in hand to begin house-keeping in the new Orphan House....After all the many and long-continued seasons of great trial of faith for thirteen years and two months, during which the orphans were in Wilson Street, the Lord dismisses us from thence in comparative abundance. His name be praised."

So gracious had the Lord dealt with Mr. Muller that no sooner had he housed his children in their new home and filled it to capacity than his faith began reaching forth for larger quarters, so that he might care for a thousand children. This was in spite of the fact that each day had to be supplied through constant and long seasons of prayers. No great abundance of money was coming to meet these daily needs.

On December 5, 1850, he wrote, "It is now sixteen years and nine months this evening since I began the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad...It is so large that I have not only disbursed since its commencement about fifty thousand pounds sterling, but that also the current expenses...amount to above six thousand pounds a year. [$30,000 a year in 1850's dollars.] I did 'open my mouth wide' this evening fifteen years ago, and the Lord has filled it..."

On January 14, 1851, he went over the old grounds once again for and against a new house to care for seven hundred more children, and as previously, faith prevailed, and he declared that God would enable him to carry it through.

A couple weeks later he affirmed that he did not doubt that God would be honored by his asking largely for this purpose; since it was his duty to enlarge his quarters. Accordingly he set the sum of L35,000 as the goal to be sought before beginning the work. In May of that year he let his intentions be known. Realizing that the amount was large, his heart leaped with secret joy, "for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more it would be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith."

[Even George Muller could get discouraged. How did he handle that?] He had become somewhat discouraged with the slowness and the smallness of the gifts as they arrived.

The year 1851 was a test of his faith, but the following came as a triumph of his trust. In March of that year he was encouraged by a gift of L999, and when the accounts for the twelve months were closed the fund stood at L3,530, which included the seven hundred and seventy-six pounds left from the first building fund.

At this time 360 orphans were awaiting admission, and as applicants arrived Mr. Muller's faith increased. For where there was a need he felt God would surely supply. At the beginning of 1853 several Christians together promised approximately $40,500 to be distributed among the various funds, $30,000 of which was to go into the Building Fund.

Mr. Muller thus realized that there was no limit upon God's willingness and ability to provide large donations.

As the money increased, Mr. Muller began looking for a suitable building site, but when none was found close by the first house, he decided to construct two buildings instead of one. The first was to house 400 girls, and the other 300 boys. He had sufficient funds at hand to construct the first building, so he decided to proceed with the first house. There were at this time 715 orphans seeking admission to the home.

In spite of the large gifts that continued to flow in, he was a faithful servant in the smaller things. On October 12, 1852, he made this Journal entry: "By sale of rags and bones twelve shillings sixpence. I copy literally from the receipt book. We seek to make the best of everything. As a steward of public money, I feel it right that even these articles should be turned into money; nor could we expect answers to our prayers if knowingly there were any waste allowed in connection with the work."

In those times of larger vision and work, God led him day by day to trust for supplies. Speaking of two weeks during the Christmas holidays of 1852-53, he said, "We had nothing in advance of our wants. Means came in only as they were required for pressing needs. We ask no human being for help...We depend alone upon God." [Man, I hate it when I see so-called ministries with their hand out for money! They could take a lesson from George Muller, who knew God wasn't broke and could supply their needs. But it takes prevailing prayer and faith. Maybe those asking for money have neither of those items in their lives or ministries.]...

One major key to Mr. Muller's success in prayer

On March 12, 1862, the house was opened. This brought Mr. Muller great joy. He wrote about this event, "It was in November 1850, to this day, March 12, 1862, not one single day has been allowed to pass without this contemplated enlargement being brought before God in prayer, and generally more than once a day.

"Observe then...how long in may be before a full answer to our prayers, even to thousands and tens of thousands of prayers, is granted...I did without the least doubt and wavering look for more than eleven years for the full answer. ["Ask, keep on asking, seek, keep on seeking, knock, keep on knocking." Charles Stanley, your sermon was right on target!]...

Once impressed that a course was the divine will, Mr. Muller was never long in putting it into operation.

He knew but one course of procedure...to trust daily for supplies and believe daily for building funds. And this hand to mouth existence--from God's hand to Muller's and the orphans' mouths--had been so gracious for the long years past that Mr. Muller did not hesitate to step forth again on a venture that would within a short span of years provide a home for almost twice as many children as he then housed...

In little matters as well as large he took his petitions to the Lord. When workers were hard to find, or proved unsuitable, Mr. Muller asked God to furnish the right ones. We find him saying, "Instead of praying once a day about this matter, as we had been doing day by day for years, we met daily three times, to bring this before God...

He lived literally according to the passage, "In all things by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."...

In spite of the daily care for the homes, with their various problems, Mr. Muller never let up in his prayers that God would make it possible for the work to be enlarged. Each week new applications for entrance were coming in. He could not easily say, "There is no more room," when he remembered that during the many years since he first rented the House on Wilson Street, God had enabled him to build larger quarters as the need arose.

The longed-for enlargement of the work would cost at least L50,000, and would increase the current expense fund from $100,000 to $175,000 a year. "But my hope," Mr. Muller said, "is in God, and in Him alone. I am not a fanatic or enthusiast, but, as all who know me are well aware, calm, cool, quiet, calculating business man; and therefore I should be utterly overwhelmed, looking at it naturally. But as the whole of this work was commenced, and ever has been gone on with, in faith...so it is also regarding this enlargement. I look to the Lord alone for helpers, land, means and everything else needed. I have pondered the difficulties for months and have looked steadily at every one of them; but faith in God has put them aside."

Children cried for admission and Muller believed that "the Father of the fatherless" would not turn a deaf ear to his prayer to shelter them. He was again moved with the idea of proving more fully to the world that "the living God is still, as found a thousand years ago, the Living God."

Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world had heard of his work, and many of them had their faith strengthened to undertake greater things in the name of the Living God, because Mr. Muller had shown them that God was able. He desired supremely that God might be honored and souls brought into the kingdom. When his faith became certain that the new step was willed of God, he decided to go forward at once.

That key again

"Many and great may be the difficulties," says Mr. Muller. "Thousands and tens of thousands of prayers may have to ascend to God before the full answer is obtained; much exercise of faith and patience may be required; but in the end it will again be seen that His servant, who trusted in Him, has not been confounded...

Slowly did the gifts come in during the first year or so, but his faith was unwavering in the fact that God, in His own good time, would supply all the necessary funds. "I continue in believing prayer," he states at a time when gifts had been small. "I have not been allowed to have a shadow of doubt as to whether God can and will give me the means; but day by day, in the full assurance of faith, I renew my requests before God; and generally day by day the amount of the building fund is...increased. I then give thanks and ask for more."...

It is gratifying to know that God supplied the money by the above stated time, and the contract was duly let. This was an hour of thanksgiving to God, for "thousands of times," he affirms, "I have asked the Lord for the means for building these two houses, and now I have to the full received the answer."

The contract price for the two buildings was L41,147 or $205,735, which Mr. Muller had prayed in, plus an additional $100,000 to care for the current expenses yearly during the five years since the first gift for the new buildings arrived. This made a total of approximately three-quarters of a million dollars in five years which this man's prayers brought into the coffers of God's kingdom for the sole purpose of caring for orphans. [The British pound of Muller's day equaled $205,735/41,147 or $5.00]...

After waiting on God daily, and often several times a day, for nearly seven years the end of his prayer came at last, and Mr. Muller gave himself to thanksgiving and praise to the Lord for once again "filling his mouth" after he had opened it wider than ever before. The total sum required for the two buildings reached the staggering amount of fifty-eight thousand pounds [or 58,000 x 5 = $290,000]...

Mr. Muller declared, "In the mighty monument of prayer raised there was afforded not merely a Christian home for 2,050 destitute orphan children--great indeed as that was--but a supreme and striking object-lesson in simple, child-like faith, a signal evidence of Christ's power and love, sufficient to make men pause, and wonder, and--God grant it more and more--believe."...

Between the first decision to build, in 1845, and the opening of the third house, in 1862, nearly seventeen years had elapsed, and before No. 5 was opened, in 1870, twenty-five. The work was one in its plan and purpose. At each new stage it supplies only a wider application and illustration of the same laws of life and conduct, as, from the outset of the work in Bristol, had with growing power controlled George Muller.

"His supreme aim was the glory of God; his sole resort, believing prayer; his one trusted oracle, the inspired Word; his one divine Teacher, the Holy Spirit. One step taken in faith and prayer had prepared for another; one act of trust had made him bolder to venture upon another, implying a greater apparent risk and therefore demanding more implicit trust."

Answered prayer was rewarded faith. New risks undertaken only proved there was no risk at all in confidently leaning upon the strong arm of the Almighty.

The buildings impressed one with their spaciousness, seventeen hundred windows in all, and accommodations for more than two thousand people. They were substantial, made of stone and built for permanency. While scrupulously plain, they were still excellent examples of construction whose end is utility rather than beauty. In building them Muller's rule was economy. This went to the smallest items, even the furniture being unpretentious. There is little or no embellishment.

Mr. Muller subordinated everything to the one purpose of demonstrating the fact that God still hears prayer."

"One of the last entries he made in his Journal shows this same checkering of the divine will in his life. On March 1, 1898, shortly before his death, he wrote, "For about 21 months with scarcely the least intermission the trial of our faith and patience has continued. Now, today, the Lord has refreshed my heart." The occasion of this blessing was receiving a legacy for approximately $7,500.

Mr. Muller had learned the simple lesson that however great the affliction, God in His providence would not forsake him--provided he remained steadfast in faith and relied greatly upon secret prayer.

The key to his spiritual victories, whatever the nature of the soul depression, is found in an entry on June 25, 1835. He says, "These last three days I have had very little real communion with God, and have therefore been very weak spiritually, and have several times felt irritability of temper." The following day he wrote, "I was enabled, by the grace of God, to rise early, and I had nearly two hours in prayer before breakfast. I now feel this morning more comfortable."

It was prayer that swept his soul free of doubt, distemper and the after-effects of a trial by the incoming tide of peace. For this reason he could make such remarks as this entry on March 9, 1847, "The greater the difficulties, the easier for faith." And a later one, "The greater the trial, the sweeter the victory."

Mr. Muller decried any evidence of having the gift of faith. He had faith, as any Christian may have it, but not that peculiar gift of which Paul speaks in I Corinthians 12:9.

"Think not, dear reader," he writes, "that I have the gift of faith...which is mentioned along with 'the gifts of healing,' 'the working of miracles'...and that on that account I am able to trust God...If I were only one moment left by myself my faith would utterly fail...It is not true that my faith is that gift of faith...It is the self-same faith which is found in every believer...for little by little it has been increasing for the last six and twenty years."

In charting the results of this marvelous life of trust, the speed with which he obtained multiplied thousands of answers to his prayers, we must be careful not to remove Mr. Muller from the realm of the thoroughly human. He is anxious to have his readers think of him in the same light as they do themselves. He possessed no character traits nor divine possessions, not within the reach of every believer.

The trials that blocked his spiritual advancement were those common to every Christian. The human tempers, the frailties of his body, mind and spirit were those which mark true members of God's kingdom. His victories came through prayer, trust in the Lord's unfailing promises and faith that God's truth could not fail; and if he thus achieved, he would have us also see that similar faith victories are within our reach.

There is only one route to soul repose...and that is the highway that leads to God's throne, prayer.

"It is not enough to begin to pray," he advises us, "nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believingly continue in prayer, until we obtain an answer; and further, we have not only to continue in prayer unto the end, but we have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained, and in not expecting the blessing."

[Now that is the end of these awesome excerpts about a super prayer-warrior. If king David was a super warrior in God's physical army of Israel, George Muller was just such a super warrior of prayer in God's spiritual army. The interesting thing is that we can all emulate George Muller. Whereas king David's actual military tactics may be lost in the dust of unrecorded antiquity, George Muller's spiritual prayer tactics have been made plain before us today. For a more thorough treatment of this subject, be sure to order this book. You can order online at: http://www.amazon.com or http://www.christianbooks.com . These excerpts cover only about a quarter or less of the actual book. You really don't want to miss the rest. This is vital information for both you and your congregation's spiritual health brought about by understanding what this man accomplished and just how he accomplished it--by "Asking, Seeking and Knocking."]