A Man of Prayer
(adapted from Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney)
George Mueller (1805–1898) is widely considered one the greatest men of prayer and faith since the days of the New Testament. He lived nearly the entire nineteenth century, two-thirds of it in Bristol, England. He led four far-reaching, influential ministries, but we know him best today for his orphanages.
During a time in England when most orphans lived in miserable workhouses or on the streets, like Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Mueller took them in, fed them, clothed them, and educated them. Through his orphanage in Bristol, Mueller cared for as many as two thousand orphans at a time—more than ten thousand in his lifetime. Yet he never made the needs of his ministries known to anyone except to God in prayer. Only through his annual reports did people learn after the fact what the needs had been during the previous year and how God had provided.
Mueller had over fifty thousand specific recorded answers to prayers in his journals, thirty thousand of which he said were answered the same day or the same hour that he prayed them. Think of it: that’s five hundred definite answers to prayer each year—more than one per day—every single day for sixty years! God funneled over half a billion dollars (in today’s dollars) through his hands in answer to prayer.
It Starts with Prayer
If you know anything about me or my church, you will learn very quickly about the power and importance of prayer. In fact, I can’t think of anything else that is as important to the health, vision, purpose, and power of a church than prayer.
Although, once again, there are a lot of things I would love to write about in this chapter, there was one that stood-out above the rest. You guessed it, prayer!
Colossians 1:3 (NLT) 3 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:9-11 (NLT) 9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,
How to Pray for Others
Paul here provides an excellent model of how to pray for others: To end the reading today I want you to stop reading and start praying. Quiet your mind for 2 minutes and allow the Holy Spirit to call to mind the people He wants you to pray for. Write them down as quick as they come to mind. Then pray through the nine points below for each person.
- (v. 3) Thank God for them
- (v. 9) Pray they discern God’s will
- (v. 9) Ask God to provide them with wisdom
- (v.10) Pray that they honor and please God
- (v. 10) Pray their lives will produce every kind of good fruit
- (v. 10) Pray that they come to know God better and better
- (v.11) Pray that they will be strengthend with God’s glorious power
- (v. 11) Pray for their endurance and patience
- (v.11-12) Ask that they be filled with Joy and thankfulness