A MAN OF FAITH AND PRAYER
Muller was born in Germany. His father was a tax collector and George would often steal from his father. Not only was young Muller a thief, he was also a gambler and a drunkard. On the night his mother died Muller was out with his friend’s playing cards at a tavern, and spent much of the next day drinking, unaware of his mother’s death. Muller’s parents did not know the Lord either, so they had no way to train him in the ways of a Christian son.
Young George Muller was sent to Halle at the age of 20 to study to become a Lutheran minister, not because he was a believer, but so he could have a comfortable lifestyle. One day, Beta (one of Muller’s friends) invited him to a Bible study that met on Saturday nights. Muller had never experienced anything like it. The students prayed on their knees, sang songs and listened to a message written by a minister. Muller said to Beta on the way home, “he has never experienced such Peace in his Life”. That very week, Muller got on his knees and committed his life to Christ.
After his choice to follow Christ, his life started transforming. Young Muller decided to become a missionary, but his father disapproved. Young Muller decided not to take any of his father’s money for tuition. Muller prayed for his tuition to be provided for. One day, some American professors came in to ask if he would be their translators. When Muller found out it would pay more than the normal going rate for translators, he agreed. Thus, his first prayer request for tuition was answered.
After college, Muller went to train with the London Missionary Society to become a missionary to the Jews. He became ill during his training and had to move to another part of the country for a time in order to get better. While he was away, he became convinced that the imminent return of Christ was soon. After getting better, Muller returned to London, where he quit his training. He wanted to start his missionary work right away. He started preaching in Bristol. While there, Muller could not help but notice the orphans out on the street. He had to do something, but what could he do? Muller came up with the idea of starting an orphanage. Many in his congregation mocked him, telling him it was not what they did in England. Muller wanted to prove them wrong and to show them with God, he could start an orphanage. As he prayed for funds and workers to be provided for, people started donating to the orphanage and offering to help in the orphanage in various ways.
In 1836, Muller opened his first orphanage on Wilson Street. At first there were no children and then he realized he and his wife had not prayed for children. Once they started praying, children came pouring in. Muller had to build multiple orphanages, because of the demand. Eventually, there were too many children on Wilson Street. The neighbours started complaining about the children. Muller knew it was time to start looking for a new place. As usual, he prayed for a future home for the orphanages. The orphanages eventually moved to Ashley Down, where there was more room for the children and for the orphanages to grow.
George Muller founded schools and orphanages while serving as a missionary in Bristol, England. His humble testimony regarding God’s miraculous provision for thousands of needy children under his care still inspires our faith today.
One evening as night was falling over the harbour of Bristol, England, and in the orphanage founded by George Muller and his wife, the children were getting ready for bed. George was working in his study when his wife arrived with alarming news. “We’re out of milk,” she said. “There isn’t enough for the morning oatmeal.”
George laid aside his pen. This wasn’t the first time that money needed to buy food and other supplies was tight. The Muller’s took in their first group of thirty girls in 1836, and their orphanage now housed over a hundred. From the first George remained resolved never to ask for funds from people or to borrow money. He went to God alone for every need, trusting wholly in the Lord’s faithfulness and provision.
The pastor rose from his desk and reached for his wife’s hand. “Mary,” he said, “let us pray.” Two orphanage employees joined them, and together they made their humble yet necessary request to God. Tiny, helpless mouths were depending on them for sustenance. “Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him,” George reminded them afterwards, “He will never fail you.”
Someone knocked on the door. Mary hurried to answer, returning to the study a moment later. She handed her husband an envelope. “It’s a letter, George. Hurry up and open it.”
Enclosed was a sum of money, more than enough for the milk. Within minutes, two more letters arrived with money and pledges of support.
This immediate and abundant response to prayer had become a typical experience for Muller. The secret of his useful life was his simple faith in God and in His Word. He loved the Bible, read it not only at stated times, but whenever he found moments of opportunity, believing it, acting upon it, and finding it true in his experience. And the burden of his teaching was that if we would so read it and act upon it, we might all enjoy the same experience, each in our own station of life or sphere of service. As a pastor, he decided to live without a salary, relying only on money given to him. George learned to pray faithfully from his heart, asking His Father to move the hearts of men so that they would supply him and his family with what they needed to survive.
George raised each and every penny for this wonderful ministry on his knees, through unceasing, persistent, thankful prayer and an unwavering faith in God.
Almost two hundred years later, the George Muller Charitable Trust in Bristol still operates today and continues to adhere to George’s commitment to seeking money only through prayer. Tens of thousands of souls—orphans and other needy children, families and the elderly—have been helped.
Through the true story of Muller, we can learn that God chooses the weak things of the World for his purpose and one can persevere through faith and prayer in Life and that God will answer prayers in His timing.
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor his ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:1)
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
JESUS MAKES THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE