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  • Shawn Thornton

Watching God Work

Tuesday - September 7th

Scripture to Read Today: John 14:5-14


The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

Many consider British ministry leader George Mueller (1805–1898) one of the greatest prayer warriors in church history. He lived nearly the entire nineteenth century. Mueller led several influential ministries throughout his life, but today he is known for the children's orphanages he ran.

During Mueller's lifetime, most English orphans lived on the street or in workhouses. They rested between 10-12 hour work shifts in local mines and other hard labor industries. Mueller took them in, fed them, clothed them, educated them, and nurtured their lives spiritually. Through his orphanage in Bristol, he cared for as many as two thousand orphans at a time—more than ten thousand in his lifetime.

Remarkably, Mueller never made the needs of his ministries known to anyone. Instead, he took all of his needs to God in prayer. His annual reports to financial supporters outlined the previous year's needs and how God answered prayer in meeting those needs.

On one occasion, things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller's orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty cups. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but Mueller had no money in his pocket or his bank account. So Mueller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat."

Immediately, everyone in the orphanage heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o'clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is." Mueller thanked him and led the children in giving praise to God. Soon, a second knock filled the house. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said he wanted to give the children the milk so he could empty the cart and repair it.

Mueller had over fifty thousand specific recorded answers to prayers in his journals when he died. Thirty thousand of which he noted God had answered the same day they were prayed - and many the same hour. According to Mueller's journals (which he kept meticulously), God provided over half a billion dollars (in today's dollars) to Mueller and the orphanage in answer to prayer.

James says, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). Just as he stressed throughout his book that faith works, James emphasized that prayer works. Someone who walks righteously with God in this world has the attention of God. We may not always agree with his answer to our prayer, but He hears, and He answers. George Mueller's journals highlight times the answers that came did not match his request. He noted, however, that the response from God turned out to be better than the outcome he expected when he prayed.

Take time this week to write down two or three prayer requests and pray them daily. Watch for the response God gives. His answer may not be what you wanted, but God in His sovereignty always gives us what is best for us! Record the answers God gives to your requests and take time to lift your praise to Him!

As we closely watch how God answers our prayers, our faith grows stronger!


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