A Book Review
If you pressed me, I could recount miraculous answers from God regarding my own prayers over the years. If you were to read George Müller’s autobiography, you would experience both conviction and encouragement concerning the priority and power of prayer in the Christian life.
A Brief Biography
Born in Prussia, George Müller’s life begins unconverted and with a “reputation of a liar and a thief” (pg. 232). When he converts to Christianity by accepting Christ as his personal Savior, God uses this humble servant to witness to many concerning the miraculous power of prayer and the faithfulness of God.
A recurring theme in Müller’s autobiography is his desire for others to witness the faithfulness of God regarding His provision for the needs of His children. This conviction is first evidenced in Müller’s refusal to receive a salary during one of his early preaching ministries. Instead, an offering box was placed in the church and Müller depended on the generosity of believers as prompted by God. Many stories are told through the pages of Müller’s journal evidencing the faithfulness of God in prompting church members to bring food and money to the Müller home. Oftentimes, these unexpected blessings arrived at times of greatest need, though this servant would not share his needs with others.
In 1834, Müller would establish the Scriptural Knowledge Institute, an organization intended to teach the Scripture to both children and adults, circulate copies of the Bible, and provide missionary support. A later addition of providing for the needs of orphaned children was added to the objectives of the Institute. The Lord proved faithful to each endeavor of Müller’s ministry, though the faith of God’s servant was certainly tested and tried.
A Journal Entry
September 16, 1838 – Lord’s Day afternoon. We met again to pray for supplies for the orphans. We are at peace and our hope is in God. He will help us although only one shilling has come in since last evening.
September 17 – The trial continues. It is not more trying to our faith each day, but I am sure God will send help, if we wait. Several people gave us a few shillings which enables us to pay the current expenses and to purchase provisions so that nothing in any way has been lacking. My faith was tried because of the long delay of larger sums coming. When I went to the Scriptures for comfort, my soul was greatly refreshed by Psalm 39. I went cheerfully to meet with my dear fellow laborers for prayer, read them the Psalm, and encourage them with the precious promises contained in it.”
September 18 – We received one pound eight shillings to buy the meat and bread which was needed, a little tea for one of the houses, and milk for all – no more than this is needed. Thus the Lord has provided not only for this day, but here is money for bread for the next two days. Now, however, we are in dire straits again. The funds are exhausted. The laborers who had a little money have given their last shillings.
Muller continues his entry on September 18, articulating how a woman from London brought a monetary gift and rented a room next to the Boys’ Orphan House. She brought the money later that afternoon, answering Müller’s prayer of provision. He writes, “The money had been near the Orphan Houses for several days without being given. That proved to me that it was int he heart of God from the beginning to help us. But because He delights in the prayers of His children, He allowed us to pray so long. Our tried faith made the answer much sweeter” (pg. 102).
A Boy Transformed by God
By 1870, Müller had built five large orphanages in Bristol, England. In addition, over £10,000 were sent oversees to missionaries every year. By 1875, Müller began preaching tours in over forty countries. He is one of the most famous men in church history for showing that God answers prayers. Hundreds of detailed accounts of God’s provision for the five orphan houses and school founded by Müller stand as testament to the character of God and the character of this Prussian-born servant. “God transformed a little boy who stole from his earthly father into a man who could be trusted with the resources of his heavenly Father” (pg. 233).