I remember many years ago that I was given a book entitled an Autobiography of George Muller. At that time I was not interested in reading books. Subsequently the book was put on a shelf and forgotten about as I really never thought I could learn anything from someone who had been born in 1805 and died in 1898. How wrong I was! When looking for another book many years later I came across this autobiography of George Muller. On the front cover was written ’readers will find their faith strengthened, their prayer life enriched and their ministry expanded by the life and example of this man of God’. My attention was drawn immediately to the words ‘the life and example of this man of God’. My curiosity was aroused and as I read I discovered how George Muller, the founder of Christian orphan-ages, had come to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His conversion radically changed him, and for the rest of his life he demonstrated this by living by faith and serving the Lord to the best of his ability. He decided to depend on God alone for every detail of his life and not to rely on man. This was achieved by prayer and faith. It is one thing to say that we are saved but are we proving every day that we are? Is our faith seen in our actions? George Muller was perhaps someone who wasn’t very well known to start with but God had chosen to use him. We might feel at times that we are not well enough known to serve God in a particular way, but God knows and He has fitted us for the work that He gives us to do.
What was Muller’s secret in life? Faith in God and a life of prayer. In 2010 can I ask you, as I ask myself, how is your faith in God? In 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 5-7 Peter gives us a checklist, or progress report, of things that we have to add to our faith – virtue, knowledge, temperance (self control), patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity (love). Peter goes on to say, ‘If these things be in you and abound they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’. While Peter is teaching us about adding to our faith he may also have in mind the words of the Lord Jesus to him in Luke chapter 22, verse 32, ‘I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail’, NKJV.
How do you find prayer? Do you, like me, find it difficult? In John chapter17 we have the great example of prayer as the Lord Jesus prays to his Father. John MacArthur says, ‘The prayer recorded there is truly the Lord’s prayer exhibiting the face to face communion the Son had with the Father’. This prayer reveals some of the precious content of the Son’s communion and intercession with the Father. Prayer does work, as George Muller proved in his lifetime. May you and I prove in our day and generation that God hears and answers prayer!