George Muller was born in Kroppenstadt, Prussia in 1805, and lived to become one of the most famous Christians of the century.
This man, who became a Christian in his 20’s, decided (if I can paraphrase) that the Bible was to be taken literally wherever possible. He therefore did what the Bible said: sold all his possessions and gave the money to the poor.
• Whenever he needed money, or something physical, he simply prayed to God about the need, and the need was always met.
George was a careful record-keeper, and later in life spoke about 30,000 answered prayers - most of them answered within an hour of being prayed, but for several things he had to pray for longer.
• One example is his daily prayers began for the conversion of 6 individuals.
• Some of these came to know Jesus soon, but two required 52 years of continuous prayer.
• These two finally became Christians just before and just after George’s death, respectively.
• But George prayed about everything, even the bread that the orphans would eat the next day.
It all started like this:
• in his 30’s, George decided that Christians needed some encouragement.
• So he decided to create an experiment:
• he decided that he would open a home for orphans.
• He had no money in the bank, would receive no salary, but would pray for all the needs of the orphans, and the orphan-home, to be met.
• Since money and goods were often provided as donations, Muller further ruled that he would never tell any other human of the needs: he would tell God and God alone.
• In fact, this unlikely strategy was so successful that he soon opened another home, then another.
• In fact he went further: whenever he was asked if they had enough money or food by potential donors he said ‘yes, we have enough’.
• But still, God put it into the heart of people to give exactly what was needed, at exactly the right time.
• All this came about through the faithful prayers of George and his team.
Within a few years of beginning he decided to build larger purpose-built buildings, and prayed for land (his aim was that he would take in every child in need: i.e. no waiting lists, he would just accept the needy without condition. Although while waiting for the bigger homes to build he did end up with a substantial waiting list for a while).
• He not only found land, but received enough donations to buy the land and build a large house for 300 children.
• Then another, then another.
• In the end 5 large houses were built to house nearly 2000 orphans.
• This was in the years before Charles Dickens wrote his books to highlight the plight of orphans (and in fact Dickens visited Mueller’s first large orphan house). In those days there were no social services, and orphans had usually only two options: to beg for food or go to the workhouse/prison.
George Muller’s experiment was massively successful.
• Day after day, he, his wife and the small team of helpers, would sit down to pray for the days needs for these thousands of orphans, and would find the needs met.
• Not just barely met, but met with excess.
• They never told another person of their need, but God put it into the hearts of people around the world to send things to Muller whenever the orphans were in need.
• Hundreds of times, an item would arrive on exactly the morning it was needed, having been posted days or even weeks before anyone human could have guessed it would be required.
• In 63 years, the orphans in the homes never missed a meal, and never lacked for their needs.
• God met every single one of their needs at exactly the time they required it.
of George Muller is the story of God’s provision:
• it is the story of God listening to and answering prayer.
George’s experiment was one in which he decided to open and run orphan homes with no money, no savings, and nothing except God to rely on. Without telling others about their needs, just God and God alone.
• Examine objectively the results.
Up until George’s death (not including the 200 years since then), he received the following by prayer:
- 63 years of continuous operation
- over 10,000 children cared for
- another 7000 children educated in 26 schools worldwide (plus another 80 schools and 6 adult institutes funded).
• 14 schools were in Spain, 4 in India, 1 in Italy, 6 in British Guiana and the rest in England or Wales.
- They received
£1,453,513 of unsolicited donations (in today’s money that is
- He also gave away
£10,000 annually to overseas mission (supporting 130 to 200 missionaries a year)
- He gave
£115,000 for school work worldwide
£90,000 on printing Bibles and tracts in English, Welsh, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Greek and Hebrew
- In 1880 alone, they distributed 100,000 Bibles and New Testaments, plus 3,500,000 tracts and small books
60 years, thousands of children in the orphan houses, 30 schools around the world,
• millions of Bibles and Christian books, and thousands of missionaries worldwide, benefitted from the prayers of George Muller.
• When Muller died, and finally was laid to rest in the arms of Jesus in 1898, all the property he had amounted to just
Although he died at the age of 93, George spent his last 20 years or so travelling the world telling people the results of his experiment:
• telling people just how God answers prayers. Nobody could deny this fact (it’s interesting to read the article from the Times which reports his death).
• George told everyone how good God has been: he travelled 200,000 miles to 48 different countries, talking to crowds of several thousand people two or three times a day.
After his death, other Christians took up the challenge, and his work has continued unabated for more than 200 years since his time (although in these years of state provision of education and care, orphan homes are no longer necessary).
• None may have the fame and stature of George Muller, but quietly, behind the scenes, the work goes on.
I would encourage any Christian to read about George Muller to get a great faith boost.
• The biography by Roger Steer is a very good starting point.
• His foundation (which only took his name after he had died), also have a website with some information: http://www.mullers.org
In George Muller, God had created a unique personality.
• However despite 63 years of working, receiving over a million pounds in donations (that was a lot in the 1800s), education and caring for so many children, then travelling 200,000 miles telling people about the results of the experiment (i.e. that God does answer prayers), Muller would be the first to acknowledge that his story is not about George, it is all about Jesus.
God answers prayers.
• George Muller gave us (yet again) concrete, incontravertible evidence of that fact.
If only we will pray.