Prayer. That might be a word that gives you a sense of comfort or makes you shiver & feel uncomfortable on the inside. A couple years ago I would have told you it gave me the latter of those feelings. There were things I observed & experienced in high school that gave me that sense of insecurity whenever I tried praying. That has changed over the past 2 years due to a guy named George Müller.
I don’t remember when or how exactly I heard about him for the first time, honestly, I think it actually may have been from an Adventures in Odyssey episode, but 2 years ago I decided to begin reading his biography written by Basil Miller. It took me a while to read it but I’m so glad I did. It changed how I viewed faith & prayer. His life’s testimony encouraged me & was one of the things God used to pull me through a very dark place in life.
Müller was Prussian-born but did most of his work in England. During his life, he opened thousands of Christian orphanages & schools, all of which were supplied with nothing but prayer & unsolicited donations. I thought that was both amazing & insane. What kind of faith he must have had in order to rely on God for everything…not just for himself, but for the children he was raising & protecting in the orphanages, too? If I were him I would have been so stressed…which I guess is a sign of the current state of my own faith. And honestly, I want the kind of faith he had, as much as that terrifies me, it’s what my heart longs for. But even he stated in his own writings that his pattern of life & faith was not without battles against anxiety & doubt…especially when God would wait to answer Müller’s prayers at the last minute. His testimony was incredible, though, despite having no guaranteed funding, his missions grew & flourished constantly through God’s provision.
Overall, his testimony has taught me the importance of prayer & reliance on God for His will & the things we need to accomplish it. It has also reminded me that prayer is not just about my needs, but about worship & quiet communion with God, about seeking God for the sake of His will & the provision & aid of others. That often, prayer requires us to pray for the things we don’t necessarily want…but the things we need.
His writings provided a description of the kind of prayer journal he kept. In his journal, the left-hand page was divided into sections & this page was always reserved for prayer
requests. The right-hand page was divided into equal sections that matched the left-hand page, & it was reserved for the description of how God answered the prayer. I thought this was a fascinating way, that, when I’m struggling with doubt I could look back & see all the ways God was faithful & provided previously, so I began my own journal. I add to it regularly, whenever someone asks me to pray for something…whether they ask in person or I become aware of a situation via social media. The list sometimes seems daunting, but I just try to pray over each one as I go. Some of the requests have been answered clearly, some of the slots for the answer remain blank, some have been answered in the negative, and some I need to follow up on to find out about. No matter what, though, it is amazing to see how God is moving & how He truly does hear & answer our prayers. I have even turned my prayer list into an audio file on my phone, so when I’m going for a walk or I’m driving, I can still pray over each of the items without having to actually read the journal.
So, I’m thankful to George Müller for the testimony of his life, his willingness to serve the Lord & others for the glory of the Lord…and even more for his willingness to pass his wisdom & experiences- both good & bad- down to the future generations, so we can also know we’re not alone in our struggles. I’m thankful that his testimony showed me that prayer to my Lord & Savior is not something to fear but something to find sweet sanctuary in…& just another way I get to watch God work.
What methods do you use to help with your prayer walk?
Be blessed, friends.