Monday, June 26, 2006

Biography of George Müller

I just recently finished reading Roger Steer's biography of George Müller.

In case you don't know (I didn't really), George Müller was a Christian who lived through pretty much the whole 19th century. He was most famous for founding several orphanages, but also preached a lot. He deliberately made most of his life a demonstration of God's faithfulness. He never asked for money, gave spare money away, prayed a lot and got all the money, food etc he needed.

The thing I found really striking include Müller's insistence that we take God at his word when he promises to give us what we ask for in prayer if we believe we will receive it and seek to use it for his glory.

Müller then gets round the problem of how we can be sure that we will receive something not directly promised in the Bible (e.g. money for the orphanage) by saying there is a seperate gift of faith that God gives that he will answer some specific prayers. So he would pray differently for things he believed he would receive and things he was not certain about. He does however manage to avoid claiming infallibility for his own perceptions of what God wants, rather using the usual means of guidance. I'm not entirely sure how that fits together - it's something I need to work out in my own mind. I don't want to argue with Müller's experience, or with God's promises.

Certainly a very interesting read, and also challenging to take God at his word and pray more, to pray also for faith when praying. I guess many of the questions this book raises for me in the end are pastoral in terms of how I pray - I'll pray and trust God that he will lead me into the right way.

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