George Müller — a man of faith

Published 5:50 am Sunday, October 6, 2019

By Dr. William Holland

Living on Purpose

Night was falling over the harbor of Bristol, England, and in the orphanage founded by George Müller and his wife Mary, the children were getting ready for bed. George was working in his study when Mary arrived with alarming news. “We’re out of milk,” she said. “There isn’t enough for the morning oatmeal.”

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He slowly laid aside his pen and had a look of calmness. This was not the first time they faced a critical situation without any money to buy food and other supplies. 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 as innocent children were depending on them for sustenance. George declared, “Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.”

A short time had passed and there was heard a knock 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 their immediate needs. Within a few moments, two more letters arrived with money and pledges of support. Miraculous responses to prayer had become a common experience for the Müller’s.

They had taken the step of faith to bring in their first group of 30 girls in 1836, and in a short period of time, their orphanage now housed over a hundred. From the beginning, George was determined to never ask for funds from people or to borrow money but instead making an agreement with God that he would depend on Him alone for every need, trusting wholly in the Lord’s faithfulness and provision.

The passage that he was constantly quoting was Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

As a self-proclaimed “poor man,” regarding good works and holiness, George was well aware of what he lacked spiritually. He had grown up the privileged, arrogant son of a lawyer and routinely, drank, gambled and skipped out on bills. However, as revealed in his autobiography, one night he attended a prayer meeting, and Christ changed his life completely. He gave away his library of over 300 books and kept only one, the Holy Bible, as it was now his only focus.

One night while praying and seeking the Lord regarding the orphanage, he heard a voice in his spirit say, “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” He believed God was encouraging and inviting him to simply ask for what he needed and so a miraculous journey of faith began. Now as a pastor, he sensed that he should live without a salary, relying only on money given to him. He learned to pray faithfully from his heart, humbly asking his Heavenly Father to provide and equip them to accomplish God’s plans.

Eventually, the Müller’s built five homes, costing more than $100,000 to build, which is over $14,000,000 in today’s value. Very few such places like these existed as many orphans lived on the streets or went to poorhouses, where they were treated like slaves. In the Müller homes, each child was tenderly cared for, clothed, fed and educated, with Christian instruction as the bedrock. When they left the orphanage in their late teens, they went on to live productive lives. George continued to establish six children’s schools and in 1834 he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institute.

Even with him refusing to accept any type of loans for the Lord’s work, the ministry continued to prosper abundantly. By 1880 the ministry was still debt-free and now responsible for 72-day schools with 7,000 students in Bristol as well as others in Italy, Spain and South America.

Müller’s journal is filled with amazing stories about how the Lord directed finances to them throughout his 66 years of service. He raised these funds on his knees as many lives were changed through unwavering and persistent prayer and he always gave God all the honor and glory for everything that was accomplished. His sincere trust in the Bible inspires all of us to believe and depend on God to meet our needs. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you” Matthew 7:7.

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