George Muller was originally a thief. Through his conversion, God made Muller a man of great faith and prayer. It just goes to show, that God can use anyone for His glory to be made known, even a thief.
Muller was born in Prussia (modern day Germany) in 1805. His father was a tax collector and George would often steal from his father. Not only was young Muller a thief, he was also a gambler and a drunkard. According to Müllers in 1819, 14-year-old Muller on the night his mother died “was out with his friends playing cards at a tavern, and spent much of the next day drinking, unaware of his mother’s death.” Muller’s parents did not know the Lord either, so they had no way to train him in the ways of a Christian son.
Young George Muller was sent to Halle at the age of 20 to study to become a Lutheran minister, not because he was a believer, but so he could have a comfortable lifestyle. Despite studying to become a minister, Muller continued in his reckless lifestyle. He would often steal from his friends. Muller and a group of his friends went to Switzerland for a summer, through Muller forging their father’s signatures.
A Life Changing Bible Study
One day, Beta (one of Muller’s friends) invited him to a Bible study that met on Saturday nights. Muller had never experienced anything like it. The students prayed on their knees, sang songs and listened to a message written by a minister. Muller said to Beta on the way home, “all we have seen on our journey to Switzerland, and all our former pleasures, are as nothing in comparison with this evening.” That very week, Muller got on his knees and committed his life to Christ.
After his choice to follow Christ, young Muller decided to become a missionary, but his father disapproved. Young Muller decided to not take any of his father’s money for tuition. Muller prayed for his tuition to be provided for. One day, some American professors came in to ask if he would be their translators. When Muller found out it would pay more than the normal going rate for translators, he agreed. Thus, his first prayer request for tuition was answered.
Missionary in Bristol
After college, Muller went to train with the London Missionary Society to become a missionary to the Jews. He became ill during his training and had to move to another part of the country for a time in order to get better. While he was away, he became convinced that the imminent return of Christ was soon. After getting better, Muller returned to London, where he quit his training. He wanted to start his missionary work right away. He started preaching in Bristol. While there, Muller could not help but notice the orphans out on the street. He had to do something, but what could he do? Muller came up with the idea of starting an orphanage. Many in his congregation mocked him, telling him it was not what they did in England. Muller wanted to prove them wrong and to show them with God, he could start an orphanage. As he prayed for funds and workers to be provided for, people started donating to the orphanage and offering to help in the orphanage in various ways.
A Man of Prayer
In 1836, Muller opened his first orphanage on Wilson Street. At first there were no children and them he realized he and his wife had not prayed for children. Once they started praying, children came pouring in. Muller had to build multiple orphanages, because of the demand. Eventually, there were too many children on Wilson Street. The neighbors started complaining about the children. Muller knew it was time to start looking for a new place. As usual, he prayed for a future home for the orphanages. The orphanages eventually moved to Ashley Down, where there was more room for the children and for the orphanages to grow.
One morning, the children were hungry and had gotten ready for school. They sat down at the table and blessed the food that was to come. All of the sudden, there was a knock at the door. Standing in the door way, was the baker. He told Muller that he couldn’t sleep and decided to bake bread for the children. The next moment, there was a knock at the door. Standing there was the milkman. His truck had broken down and he wanted to give all the milk to the orphans before it spoiled. It was just enough food for the orphans to have their fill.
On March 9, 1989 Muller was leading a prayer meeting at the church he pastored at in Bristol. The next day, March 10, Muller died at the age of 92. A whole procession of orphans who had been impacted by his work and church members (who he continued to preach to even while running the orphanages) followed his coffin.
After George’s dramatic conversion, he became a man of prayer. He knew that God would provide for all his needs and even the orphan’s needs. Through the story of Muller, we can learn to persevere through prayer and that God will answer prayers in His timing.