This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 2 John 5:14
George Mueller was educated in the universities of Germany during the period of time when rationalism was the dominant philosophy of the day. Rationalism is a humanistic philosophy that leaves God out of life, and Mueller certainly did that very thing for the first twenty years of his life. As a young man, Mueller’s life consisted of wine, women and song. He ended up in jail, to the disgrace of his father and family who wanted their son to become a clergyman. Mueller wanted anything but that!
During his lifetime, George Mueller never asked for money for his work, yet in response to his prayer, God sent in the equivalent of well more than one million U.S. dollars.
At the age of 20, while studying at the university, he was invited to the home of a friend who was a Christian. That evening Mueller was intrigued to see his friend kneel and pray—something which Mueller had never seen before. Following the meal, the host read a chapter from the Bible—the same one that Mueller’s professor had ridiculed—and the reading of Scripture was followed by a hymn. Mueller felt so awkward that night that he apologized for even being there, but that night changed his life. When he wrote his autobiography, Mueller could not remember if it was that night that he went home and knelt down for the first time to pray as he had seen his friend, George Wagner, do. But it is certain that Mueller was shortly thereafter converted to Jesus Christ. After his conversion, he quickly learned the secret of prayer.
In the university, Mueller had excelled as a scholar; and with the same fervent dedication, he now turned to the Scriptures and began to apply them to his life. Rejecting a rationalistic approach to life, Mueller believed that faith is believing the promises of God and then standing on them completely. At the same time, Mueller began to be concerned for the orphans that wandered the streets of Bristol in England, where he had taken a church. This was the beginning of the orphanages that Mueller established, which were operated on the principle of faith in God.
During his lifetime, George Mueller never asked for money for his work, yet in response to his prayer, God sent in the equivalent of well more than one million U.S. dollars. There were times when there was no food, yet Mueller would not allow his staff to send out an SOS for money. Instead, he would go into his room and bend his knees in prayer. Often, he would instruct, “Set the table for dinner,” although there was nothing to cook, and then he would go to prayer…and God provided. The power of the bended knee—in a world of ICBM’s and bombs measured in megatons, a world where so much that happens, even in the Christian world, is a result of good promotions and clever psychology. We need to rediscover the power of the bended knee—the power of prayer.
When Mueller was in his 80s, he was asked to speak to a group of seminary students. One of them raised his hand as the old man finished his address. He said, “Mr. Mueller, there is a question which some of us would like to ask.” “Yes,” answered Mueller as he strained to listen. “What is your secret?” the youth queried. The eighty‑year‑old man pushed his chair back and began to bend his old limbs to the floor as he knelt in prayer. “THIS IS THE SECRET,” replied Mueller.
One of his biographers wrote that when Mueller died, it was discovered that there were two ridges, or grooves, worn into the wooden floor by his bed. Mueller had literally worn two depressions into the floor by his knees as he knelt beside his bed in prayer day after day. The God of George Mueller is yet alive and well today, and He still answers prayer. May God help us to discover the power of the bended knee.
Resource reading: John 14:1-14
EDITOR’S NOTE: Learn more about George Muller here.