29th October, 2008
One of my heroes of faith is George Muller (1805-1898). One day he looked down the streets of Bristol in England and saw hundreds of homeless children. He was so moved with compassion for them, he knew that something had to be done. Although he only had a few pence in his pocket he decided to start an orphanage. Over 60 years, George Muller took care of over 10,024 orphans.
George Muller. PICTURE: www.wikipedia.com.
"When asked how much time he spent in prayer, George Muller’s reply was, 'Hours every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk and when I lie down and when I arise. And the answers are always coming.'"
George Muller started many orphanages without ever making requests for financial support, nor did he ever get into debt. (I must confess that is a challenge to us at Philo and to all our associates!). He simply trusted God to do the work and keep it going. On more than one occasion God provided in a miraculous way. Once they had no food to feed the orphans and yet George gathered all the orphans around the table and began to thank the Lord for the food. At the end of the prayer, he said, “Amen”, and that’s when they heard a knock at the door. A truck with milk and food had broken down on the road and all the milk and food was going to go off, so the driver gave it to the orphans. Do we have that kind of faith, where we can take all our problems and trust to the Lord and ask Him to take care of them? When asked how much time he spent in prayer, George Muller’s reply was, “Hours every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk and when I lie down and when I arise. And the answers are always coming.”
George Muller was known for his believing prayer. A Christian steamship captain, a contemporary of George Muller, told of an experience involving George’s faith. While sailing off the coast of Newfoundland in extremely heavy fog, George came to him and said, “Captain, I need to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.” The captain told him that it was simply not possible, due to the weather conditions. George said, “Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way, for I have never missed an engagement in fifty-seven years. Let’s go down to the chartroom to pray.”
Again, the captain protested, saying, “Mr Muller, do you realise how dense the fog is?” “No,” replied George, “my eye is not on the dense fog but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.” The captain then told how George knelt down and prayed one of the simplest prayers he’d ever heard. When he finished, the captain himself started to pray. But to his surprise, George put his hand on the captain’s shoulder and told him not to pray. “First,” he said, “you do not believe God will answer, and second, I believe He has. Consequently, there is no need whatsoever for you to pray about it. Captain, I have known my Lord for 57 years, and there has never been even a single day that I have failed to get an audience with the King. Get up, Captain, and open the door, and you will see that the fog is gone.” The captain got up, opened the door, and sure enough, the fog was gone. And George Muller made his appointment for Saturday afternoon in Quebec.
George kept a motto on his desk that brought comfort, strength, and uplifting confidence to his heart. It read, “It matters to Him about you.” He believed that those words captured the meaning of 1 Peter 5:7 and he rested his claim for divine help on that truth. He testified at the end of his life that the Lord had never failed to supply all his needs.
George Muller, speaking of the obstacles in the Christian's life, wrote, “I say - and say it deliberately - trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith. Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.”
George Muller died on 10th March, 1898. Let’s be inspired by his example of faith and trust in God. Like George Muller, we need to follow the advice we read in 1 Peter 5:7: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.”
Christian speaker and writer J. John is director of the UK-based charity, the Philo Trust. This story is republished with permission.
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