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
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
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
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
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
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
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:]
"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
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.
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
"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
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
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
"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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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.
Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or
simple impressions. If so, I make myself liable to great
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.
Next I take into account providential circumstances. These
plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
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
"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."
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
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:
Read the Bible and meditate upon it. God has become known to
us through prayer and meditation upon His own Word.
Seek to maintain an upright heart and a good conscience.
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.
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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."]