Friday, July 17, 2015

The Man Who Knew How to Pray

It was time for breakfast in the orphanage at Ashley Downs, England, but there was no food. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money is the home's account.

A small girl, whose father was a close friend of Mueller, was visiting in the home. The director, George Mueller, took her hand. "Come and see what our Father will do."
Dining Room at Ashley Downs

In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and mugs. Mueller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank You for what You are going to give us to eat."

Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Mueller, I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt that you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up a 2 o'clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is."

Mueller thank him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. "My cart has broken down in front of the orphanage. I want to give the milk to the children so I can empty the cart and repair it."

Why could George Mueller pray with such confidence? Because God had taken care of the children many times previously.

George Mueller (1805-1898)
George was born in Prussia (now Germany). His father gave him a lot of money, but George spent it in "riotous living," just as the Prodigal Son in Jesus' parable. One night, a friend invited him to a meeting at a house. George didn't know it was a prayer meeting. As he listened to the Bible reading , he felt conviction and repented of his sins. For this first time, he felt true happiness. He studied for the ministry and went to England as an evangelist.

There, he discovered many homeless children. As he prayed asking God what he could do for them, he knew God would help him provide a home for them. Although he had told no one of his plans, people began sending him dishes, furniture, bedding--all the things he would need to start a home for orphans, including money for rent and workers to help care for the children. And Mueller scrupulously sent receipts to all donors.

But more needy children kept asking him to help them. Soon, he was renting four houses and caring for more than 100 children. Neighbors began to complain about so many children.

Mueller began to pray for land in the country. For 35 days he prayed every morning that God would send him the money he needed. On the 36th day, people began to send him the money. In two years, he had built a home large enough to house 300 children.

Five new Orphans' Homes at Ashley Downs, England
More children asked for help. In the next few years, Mueller prayed for the resources needed to build a total of five homes that could feed, house, and educate 2,000 children. It took a lot of food and clothing to provide for that many children. When Mueller ran out of money, he'd pray. God never let the children go hungry.

My grandparents, pioneer missionaries to Alaska, often spoke of George Mueller. He never asked for money or financial support for his work of housing, feeding, clothing, and educating more than 10,000 orphans in his lifetime. In addition, he traveled around the world doing missionary work. He only prayed to God for the supply of his needs for his ministry.

My grandparents too practiced living by faith just as he did. As a young person, I read biographies of many great men and women of God--Martin Luther, John Wesley, Adoniram Judson, David Livingston, Mary Slessor, David Brainard, Dwight L. Moody, to name a few. My grandparents' stories and these stories of men and women of faith influenced me to dedicate my life to full-time Christian service too. And God has supplied all our needs.

How has God met your needs? I'd love to hear your stories.

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