George Müller discovered the deep meaning and powerful effect of prayer soon after his conversion. In his lifetime, he cared for over 10,000 orphans, started many Christian projects, and gave millions of pounds to missionary work and Christian literature every year.
Müller said that he wanted to prove to Christians that God answers prayer. He believed firmly that God was moved by prayer alone, i.e. he did not ask people for help, directly or indirectly. He recorded some 50,000 answers to prayer in his lifetime!
The following are six guidelines Müller used to determine the will of God:
- Release your own will: First, I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to the given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people, generally, is at this point. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually just a little way before one discovers the knowledge of what God’s will is.
- Do not trust in feelings: Second, having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
- Look to the Spirit and the Word: Third, I seek the will of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I also lay myself open to great delusions. If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
- Consider the circumstances: Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
- Pray for God to show you His will: Fifth, I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me so that I may understand it correctly.
- Assess your peace regarding the decision: Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment, according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues to be after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. Both in trivial matters and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
A few things stand out in the life and approach of George Müller:
- His patience. There was a lack of hurriedness. He trusted God to answer him at the right time. Once, he prayed for 11 years before he had the definite assurance that he must buy a specific piece of property to build an orphanage! As soon as he moved to purchase the property, God gave him the money.
- He had no will of his own. He was committed to do what God desired – nothing less, nothing more.
- He did not focus on supernatural revelations and manifestations, and he never sought them. He was not opposed to them, but this was not his primary approach to finding the will of God. He knew the danger of giving supernatural manifestations and revelations priority over the Word of God, the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, and patient waiting until complete assurance is received.
- His unwavering faith. He knew that God cared for him and wanted to help him and that he could trust God. This led to his unwavering faith. He knew that he didn’t need to overcome God’s unwillingness, but rather, lay hold of God’s willingness to help him.
This article was taken from “Knowing the will of God” by Bennie Mostert.