Excerpts from "George Muller:
Man of Faith and Miracles"
[These excerpts are taken from the above
named book written by Basil Miller, available online
. 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
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 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...