Stone Soup for Five: Book Nerd Reading Notes -- George Mueller

Book Nerd Reading Notes -- George Mueller





I recently finished Basil Miller's biography on George Muller.  This little book packs a powerful punch especially if you are looking to grow in prayer and faith.



If you don't know who George Muller is, the sub-sub title gives a great introduction:  "A biography of one of the greatest prayer-warriors of the past century."

George Muller built and ran an orphanage in England and relied only on God to raise the money to fund it.  He never asked anyone for any money, only asking in prayer.  Many, many times, after getting up from prayer there were people who came to the orphanage to give money, sometimes immediately after he prayed.

Things gleaned from the book:

George wrote a list of daily needs.  It was not a list of daily wants.  If I were to make a daily needs list (again, not daily wants) and prayed over it each day, what would change in my life?

We live a life of crazy excess.  George built his orphan homes plain and simple because he was thinking ahead to their future and the fact that it too, would most likely be plain, not luxurious.  "He studied...to school the orphans to be content with the necessities, and not the luxuries, of life.  Cleanness, neatness and method everywhere was in evidence about the buildings and the grounds... Each child had a square and numbered compartment for clothes.  The boys had each three suits and the girls five dresses."  We live in a comfortable house with clothes overflowing from drawers and closets.  My boys pick up, but need to be taught to organize and really clean.  We've GOT to get rid of excess!

I give up way too easily in prayer.  George wrestled all his requests from the hand of God through prayer.  "He prayed definitely and diligently."   I have moments of desperate prayer, but do I pray with confidence and clear and distinct requests daily?  Or do I pray once or twice, get discouraged because God hasn't moved on my timetable, and give up? (usually this)

He did the best he could and left the results to God.  "We aim at this, that if any of [the orphans] do not turn out well, temporally or spiritually, and do not become useful members of society, it shall not... be our fault."  We often own our children's failures and embarrassments or rebellion.  I need to focus instead on raising them in truth and God's word and trust Him to change their hearts in His own time.

Read the Bible.  "[When he was converted] he did not read his Bible, though he read about the Bible extensively...  'my difficulty in understanding [the Bible], and the little enjoyment I had in reading it, made me careless in reading it.'"  I am often tempted to skip Bible reading and instead read about what others have read from the Bible.  Not good.  First priority has always got to be reading it myself.

Think on the Scriptures.  "Before this time, my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing to give myself to prayer after having dressed myself in the morning.  Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it, that my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, and reproved."  How often do I read through the chapters and close the Bible and get on with my day, not once thinking back on what I read and the truths it teaches me about God.  Meditation is the missing link between reading and also being comforted, encouraged, warned, and reproved--life application.

Instead of being jealous, dig deeper into why.  "He was often troubled by the many spiritual voids that marked his work.  On October 7, 1833, he checked the results of his personal ministry by that of Mr. Craik.  he said, 'Many more were convinced of sin through brother Craik's preaching than my own.  1. Brother Craik is more spiritually minded than I am.  2.  He prays more earnestly for the conversion of sinners than I do.  3. He more frequently addresses himself to sinners than I do.'"

Favorite quotes:

"Observe then...how long it may be before a full answer to our prayers, even to thousands and tens of thousands of prayers, is granted . . . . I did without the least doubt and wavering look for more than eleven years for the full answer."

"Should it be supposed...by anyone in reading the details of our trials of faith during the year... that we have been disappointed in our expectations or discouraged int he work, my answer is.. such days were expected from the commencement... our desire is not that we may be without trials of faith, but that the Lord graciously be pleased to support us in the trial."

"Today I have had again much reason to mourn over my corrupt nature, particularly on account of want of gratitude for the many temporal mercies by which I am surrounded.  I was so sinful as to be dissatisfied on account of the dinner, because I thought it would not agree with me, instead of thanking God for rich provisions and asking heartily the Lord's rich blessing upon it."


What are you reading?  I'd love to hear, leave a comment below so fellow book nerds can unite!!


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12 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your post - share a lot of your frustrations. I recently read through three books by H.E. Fosdick - The Meaning of Faith, The Meaning of Service and The Meaning of Prayer - very helpful.

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    1. I haven't heard of those, I'll have to check into them! Thanks!

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  2. "I give up way to easily in prayer"--this is a lesson I'm learning, too.

    Right now I'm reading, "Devoted to God" by Sinclair Ferguson. All about sanctification--and it IS sanctifying!

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    1. Ah, Sinclair Ferguson, he is a hard hitter! I read one of his books a while ago and enjoyed it! I'll definitely have to add that to the list! Thanks!

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  3. I thank you for this post. Yes many of your experiences are common. I used to pray a lot. I had a prayer journal and devoted my first hour of the day to God. Then tragedy struck and it has been 15 months that I have struggled to devote my time to God. Recently about early June I prayed a microwave prayer, if you will, and ithe prayer was "God help me to pray and teach me how you want me to pray". I was online researching an allergic reaction and I saw the name George Mueller. I did not think anything of it other than having heard of his name and that was the end of that. Today I was reading emails and Yours was the second and I believe that I have an answered prayer. God bless you and enrich your life.

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  4. I'm currently reading several books - the main ones being "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller and a biography of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. I have "Cost of Discipleship" on my bookshelf, waiting to be read, but I was intrigued by Dietrich's life story and decided to read his biography first. The book by Miller is about writing a story with your life - I'm not sure yet how I feel about the book (his writing is not quite my style) but I find the idea captivating. After these, I have a series of books lined up about the spiritual life and memoirs from former black slaves. And another book about the Nazis. I've found the topic of "persecution" to be heavy on my heart and mind, as well as the command to love others. I'm trying reconcile Jesus' command with my lifestyle; I'm struggling to reconcile my comfortable American life with the struggles of the rest of the world and the battle that I know is happening around me. This is definitely fueling my prayer life...and your tutorials and videos are helping me a lot!

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    1. That's funny, Donald Miller had that same effect on me when I read Blue Like Jazz. I wasn't sure if I liked his style or not... I'm still not sure! You are so right about the comfortable American life! I'm right there with you!

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  5. Agreed Emily! I am reading 7 Women and The Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. Amazing women. Amazing book. It reiterates many of the thoughts expressed here. I am hopeful to read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi before I go back to school at the end of this month! I started it, but got diverted to Metaxas. :) Typical of me.

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    1. I'm going to have to pick up that Metaxas book!

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  6. I read a book about George Muller last year and enjoyed it. Currently I am reading On Our Knees and Women of the Word as well as a number of fun books.

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    1. Oh, I really loved Women of the Word! I'll have to look up On Our Knees! Thanks!

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