It is good to have heros.
One of mine is George Mueller.
George Mueller’s life stands as a testimony to the power and faithfulness of our Almighty God. Is there someone who doubts whether God still answers prayer? Let them learn from George Mueller. Does anyone doubt whether God is able to accomplish beyond what they could ask or think? Introduce them to George Mueller.Here is a man who desired to live his life so that “men and women might see that God is faithful still and hears prayer still.” (Pierson, 10) By God’s grace, that is exactly the kind of life George Mueller lived.He was born in Prussia in September of 1805. There certainly wasn’t anything special about his youth which would make one think that he was going to grow up to be a great man of God. In fact, by looking at his childhood, one would think just the opposite. He wasn’t born into a godly home. His father “educated his children on worldly principles.”(Mueller, p.47)For the first twenty years of his life, George lived an extremely sinful lifestyle. He was a thief. By the age of ten, he was consistently stealing money from his father. He was sent to prison at just sixteen for deception and theft. He stole from his friends, and even took money from his pastor. George wasn’t only a thief, he was alsoa hypocrite. His father sent him to school to train to be a pastor because he knew pastors were paid well. While at school, George studied hard, but continued in his sin. He participated in the form of religion, but he had no heart for Christ. “Three or four days before I was confirmed, and thus admitted to partake of the Lord’s Supper, I was guilty of gross immorality; and the very day before my confirmation, when I was in the vestry with the clergyman to confess my sins, after a formal manner, I defrauded him . . .” (Mueller, p.48) He would often resolve to live a better life, but to no avail. He didn’t care about the Word of God. He writes, “I had no Bible, and had not read it for years. I wentto church but seldom; but from custom, I took the Lord’s Supper twice a year. I had never heard the gospel preached. I had never met with a person who told me that he meant by the help of God, to live according to the Holy Scriptures. In short, I had not the least idea that there were any persons really different from me.” (Mueller, p.54)
Many would have assumed George a hopeless case. Not for God. Around the age of twenty one, George’s life was radically changed. One of his friends took him to a small Bible Study held in the home of a true Christian. There he heard the Word preached for the first time, and was never the same again. As he walked home after the Bible study had concluded, he remarked to his friend, “All we have seen on our journey to Switzerland, and all our former pleasures, are as nothing in comparison with this evening.” (Mueller, p.55) He began to love studying the Scriptures and praying. Slowly but surely, he worked at putting off his old sinful practices, and putting on righteousness. He developed a greatpassion for witnessing and had a craving for fellowship with believers.During this time, God gave George a great desire to be a missionary. Eventually he was sent to London as a missionary to the Jews. Over the course of a few years, George became the pastor of a small church. He was wholeheartedly devoted to the authority of Scriptures, and his preaching and life was a testimony to that. He lived in complete obedience to the Bible and trusted God for his daily needs.Not too long after his move to England, God led George to establish a Scripture Knowledge Society for the purpose of teaching the lost about God. God used the Society to pass out two million Bibles and one hundred and eleven million tracts, to instruct one hundred twenty one thousand six hundred and eighty three students, and to aid one hundred and fifteen missionaries at a total of cost of over one million dollars.
George is most remembered, though, for the orphanages he established. He founded these orphanages for the express purpose of encouraging believers to trust and obey God no matter what the cost. He wrote, ” My spirit longed to be instrumental in strengthening their faith, by giving them not only instances from the Word of God, of His willingness and ability to help all those who rely on Him, but to show them by proofs, that He is the same in our day. ” (Brooks, p.9) Therefore, he refused to ever ask for money or to let anyone besides God know of his financial needs. Over the course of his life, God provided almost five million dollars for these orphanages which housed over ten thousand orphans. We can learn a great deal from George Mueller. He was a man of the Word. He dared to be obedient in all that he did. But perhaps we can learn the most from Mueller in the area of prayer.
He was a man whose life was saturated with prayer. Over the next several days I want to draw 7 principles that we can learn from Mueller’s example of prayer.