Don't Be Anxious, Instead Make Requests Known To God

In response to a sister's concern about the burden he must carry as it relates to obtaining the needed supplies for the orphanages under his care, George Müller writes about how learning to cast his cares on God has freed him of all anxiety and has given him the confidence that he will never be forsaken.

Following excerpt from 97% into George Müller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson
Though all believers in the Lord Jesus are not called upon to establish orphan houses, schools for poor children, etc., and trust in God for means; yet all believers, according to the will of God concerning them in Christ Jesus, may cast, and ought to cast, all their care upon Him who careth for them, and need not be anxiously concerned about anything, as is plainly to be seen from 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6; Matthew 6:25-34.

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I met at a brother’s house with several believers, when a sister said that she had often thought about the care and burden I must have on my mind, as it regards obtaining the necessary supplies for so many persons. As this may not be a solitary instance, I would state that, by the grace of God, this is no cause of anxiety to me. The children I have years ago cast upon the Lord. The whole work is His, and it becomes me to be without carefulness. In whatever points I am lacking, in this point I am able, by the grace of God, to roll the burden upon my heavenly Father.

Though now (July 1845) for about seven years our funds have been so exhausted, that it has been comparatively a rare case that there have been means in hand to meet the necessities of the orphans for three days together; yet have I been only once tried in spirit, and that was on Sept. 18, 1838, when for the first time the Lord seemed not to regard our prayer. But when He did send help at that time, and I saw that it was only for the trial of our faith, and not because He had forsaken the work that we were brought so low, my soul was so strengthened and encouraged, that I have not only not been allowed to distrust the Lord since that time, but I have not even been cast down when in the deepest poverty.

Nevertheless, in this respect also am I now, as much as ever, dependent on the Lord; and I earnestly beseech for myself and my fellow-labourers the prayers of all those, to whom the glory of God is dear. How great would be the dishonour to the name of God, if we, who have so publicly made our boast in Him, should so fall as to act in these very points as the world does! Help us, then, brethren, with your prayers, that we may trust in God to the end. We can expect nothing but that our faith will yet be tried, and it may be more than ever; and we shall fall, if the Lord does not uphold us.

George Müller of Bristol

Scripture Testimony Index stories in this book

The obvious need for a befitting biography on George Müller after his passing became a subject of prayer for his son-in-law and successor, James Wright. His prayer was answered when Arthur T. Pierson reached out to inform him that he had been led to write the memoir.
The wealthy and cultured Hermann Ball chose to abandon his worldly advantages and pursue missionary work in Poland amongst the Jews. Prior to this, George Müller had begun to drift away from God's calling on his life, pursuing a young woman instead. Mr. Ball's bold decision helped George Müller give up the girl and return to his true calling.
George Müller's resolve to follow God's leading against his father's career advice, and the fallout of that decision, taught young Müller the hard but important lesson of becoming independent of man by depending fully on God for his material needs.
Young George Müller was working as an itinerant evangelist when the congregation at Teignmouth asked him to be their minister. Some in the congregation supported him while others were wary of his religious zeal. The cautious ones won out and, while Müller was offered the position, it was without pay. George Müller was undaunted, trusting God to supply all his needs, which He did.
Mrs. Muller gave birth to a stillborn baby and was herself seriously ill for six weeks. Not only did this crisis give Mr. Müller a deeper gratefulness for his wife, but it taught them both a powerful lesson in trust, as God provided for their every need. They realized that no situation is an unforeseen emergency to Him. They need not—indeed must not, if they are to live a life of trust—save "for a rainy day."
From the very beginning of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Müller purposed to only have treasures in heaven. They sold what little they had and gave it to the poor, then lived—for the rest of their lives—a life of complete dependence upon God for their every need.
No matter how pressing the need at hand, and no matter how temptingly large a gift may be, George Müller never accepted donations that were not freely given under clear divine leading.
On a trip to Bristol, God helped George Müller to see that a worker for God must first be a worker with God. He learned that nothing, not even the work of God must take the place of meditation and personal communion with Him.
While congregations preferred Mr. Craik's teaching of the Word to George Müller's, he did not become envious, but remained humble and content. In time God honored this humility and exalted Mr. Müller, who would go on to have a much wider and deeper witness for Christ not only in Bristol, but around the world.
Upon seeing the greater effectiveness of Mr. Craik's teachings over his own, Mr. Müller—after much introspection—committed himself to prayer and to studying so he too could become as skilled a workman in God's vineyard; one who need not be ashamed but one who could rightly divide God's Word.
Through prayerful inquiry, Messrs. Müller and Craik were able to judge that it was not God's will for them to accept an invitation for mission work in Baghdad, even with their travel costs already covered. This decision to obey God was not regretted by either of them, as it soon became clear that God was leading them into a very different life work.
Upon the launch of the orphan houses, the greatest need was for suitable helpers to join the work. George Müller was not hasty but determined to wait upon God, who answered perfectly. A brother and sister not only offered themselves and all their possessions but were willing to join the work without pay.
George Müller is famous for giving thanks for what has already been given, even though the actual answer is still yet to come. A life of daily provision from God alone gave Müller unwavering confidence in His faithfulness to His promises.
A building had been secured for a third orphan house. But when the potential new neighbors objected, Mr. Müller gave it up on the principal that the Lord desires us to live in peace with all men.
George Müller's journal revealed a man who was beset with the same struggles and temptations as any person seeking to follow Christ, and yet it also instructively reveals a man who—through obedience—was being transformed by degrees into the image of Christ.
Over time George Müller and the staff of the work became convinced that they were to trust God for their daily needs, and no more. This became the primary ethic of their financial operation, and God never let them down.
The urgent need at hand notwithstanding, George Müller stood his ground on talking to the Lord alone about the specific needs of the work—even when asked to do so by a potential helper. George Müller's faith in God was rewarded when the very same man was led to donate a timely gift of £100 even after Müller's refusal to divulge any need to him.
Knowing his Heavenly Father to be the giver of what is good, George Müller was not surprised at answers to prayer, even when they were large, timely, and dramatic.
So timely was a sister's gift of her valuable jewelry to the orphan work that a grateful George Müller used a diamond ring from the gifts to inscribe upon his windowpane the words: "JEHOVAH JIREH"—a constant reminder that God will always provide.
At two different times in the autumn of 1841 when needs were most dire in the orphanages, the Lord used the seemingly insignificant donations of a poor woman and an anonymous donor to provide exactly what was needed at the time.
George Müller's meek submission to God's will was seen in the restfulness he felt, especially in the face of apparent obstacles. Not only did he find rest, but because Jesus was bearing the burden, he found delight in these difficulties. He was excited to see how God was going to overcome them!
While on a visit to Stuttgart, George Müller firmly but courteously used the word of God to refute the false teachings and errors that had gained ground among the believers there.
George Müller was firmly committed to sound doctrine and often spoke boldly against doctrinal error. However, when he was presented with an opportunity to speak in the German state church, with which he differed greatly, he took the opportunity "for truth's sake" and "for love's sake." He was ready to be made all things to all men that by all means he might save some.
In the spring of 1855, four siblings sick with consumption were admitted into the orphanage in faith even though accepting them was not ideal for the institution. A few weeks on, these children who could have died became healthy again, to the glory of God.
Three instances of marked deliverance in answer to prayer from drought, from disease, and from storm damage, show that George Müller and his staff could truly ask anything of the faithful God.
In a remarkable answer to Mr. Müller's specific prayer, not only was the weather—which had been freezing cold and windy—suddenly warm and friendly for the children when emergency repairs had to be carried out on the boiler of one of the orphan houses, but the workers working to fix the problem volunteered to work overnight.
A seventeen-year-old orphan girl, well-known for her hardness of heart, was converted on her sick bed. Her sudden and complete transformation was such a powerful witness to the other orphans, that it led to the most extensive spiritual awakening up to that time, with hundreds of children being converted.
Rather than giving in to hopeless despair upon the death of his beloved wife, George Müller used the opportunity to offer heartfelt thanksgiving to God for the life she lived and for her being delivered unto her heart's desire, from earthly pain into the everlasting presence of her Savior.
George Müller committed the latter years of his life to travelling the world with the good news of Christ. From age seventy to eighty-seven, he traveled to forty-two countries covering thousands of miles and reaching an estimated three million people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1874, over £44, 000 (worth over £5 million in 2022) was needed for the sustenance of the work under George Müller's care. Faced with this great challenge and the possibility of bankruptcy, he declared without wavering; "God, who has supported this work now for more than forty years, will still help...though I know not whence the means are to come". Twenty-four years after that 1874 journal entry, the work was still ongoing.
George Müller and his helpers fervently prayed for a visitation of grace upon the orphans. After Mr. Müller was already in America for a speaking tour he received word that these prayers had been answered, resulting in the conversion of five hundred and twelve orphans.
It took many years, but George Müller finally could look back with certainty at the unfortunate loss of his beloved wife and say that indeed, “All things work together for good to them that love God”.
To the very end of his life, in spite of what others may have thought about his great faith, George Müller was conscious of his weakness and great dependence upon God to support him and keep him on the narrow path.
Mr. Wright's long-continued prayers for a partner to help with the work after George Müller's death were answered in the person of George Frederic Bergin. Mr. Wright felt led of God to ask Mr. Bergin, while at the same time, God was leading Mr. Bergin to offer himself to Mr. Wright.
Having lived a life dedicated to obeying Jesus’ command to “Give and it shall be given unto you,” George Müller was able to prove the truth of God’s word as he gave and received bountifully.
Year after year, for over sixty years, George Müller committed his life to laying up treasures in heaven by giving up what he had received for the work of Jesus; reserving for himself only what was needed to meet his most necessary needs. In his own words, “My aim never was, how much I could obtain, but rather how much I could give.”
George Müller held on to God's promise to answer his petitions and intercessions. Like Jesus' parable of the persistent neighbor in the middle of the night, Müller persisted in prayer for years, believing that the reason God had kept a particular burden on his heart for so long was proof that God would grant his petition.
In an attempt to prove the validity of the many claims to answered prayer published by George Müller, an unbelieving businessman decided to test and see for himself if God really was with Mr. Müller. God answered the man's specific prayer, and even provided additional proofs.
When a very poor seamstress donated a hundred pounds to the orphan work out of the meagre amount she received as legacy from her grandmother's estate, George Müller asked to know why she made such a donation and her golden reply was, “The Lord Jesus has given His last drop of blood for me, and should I not give Him this hundred pounds?”
A poor widow sold her house—her only possession—and donated all of the proceeds to support the orphan work. All attempts, including one by George Müller, to dissuade her from giving away all of the money were rebuffed; her mind was made up to give God everything.
Three examples show the variety of motivations people had in giving to the orphanage work, from the giving up of idols in their lives, to the stern spiritual warning of Annanias and Saphira when one donor "kept back part of the price" after having promised it to the Lord.
A brother gives £5 to the orphan work in fulfillment of his promise to God despite temptation from Satan to postpone fulfilling his pledge.
Two stories show George Müller's insistence on vetting gifts before receiving them. However needy he or the work may have been, Müller trusted God to provide, and so was able to refuse gifts given improperly. The money did not belong to the respective donors.
Martha Pinnell was an exceedingly stubborn and disobedient orphan girl under Mr. Müller's care, but all that changed when Martha came to know the Lord. From wielding a pernicious influence, she became humble and influential for good until her return to the Father.
Two stories reveal God's faithfulness in rewarding—with precious harvests—the excellent Bible teaching given to the orphans at Ashley Down, and the doubt-defying testimony of His reality through the daily provision of their needs.
Emboldened by reading about George Müller's unwavering faith in God and Christ-like love for orphan children led Mr. Ishii of Tokyo, Japan, and a Christian evangelist at Nimwegen in Holland to likewise trust God and take up orphan work.
When a Christian in Rome was summoned before the Governor and ordered to stop the Christian meeting he had started, he declared boldly, "As I have a mouth to speak I shall speak for Christ...for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
A ten-year-old boy was inspired by Mr. Müller's example to pray and trust that God would hear him just like He hears George Müller. He began to seek God in faith, and just like Mr. Müller, he was helped by God.
Just by reading the many amazing stories of trust in God and answers to prayers contained in George Müller's Narrative, many Christians had their faith in God strengthened, some were encouraged to give to God, and even unbelievers were drawn to Him.
“There was a day when I died, utterly died—died to George Müller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will—died to the world, its approval or censure..." This was George Müller's powerful reply when asked what was the secret of his great service to God and His people.
For George Müller, nothing was too big or too small to be a subject of prayer. Fervently he sought God, not only for men to give to the work, but to know when to accept or not accept gifts, however large they maybe.
By being careful to not run ahead of God, but to follow His leading, George Müller was able to purchase the parcel of land upon which his orphan houses stood—for much less than the advertised price—for God had told the seller in a dream to lower the price.
George Müller shares two wonderful examples of God's timely provision in answer to his prayers for the breakfast needs of the orphans under his care. In the latter case, God communicated clearly to the donor that the timing was crucial.
George Müller had a particular prayer request he brought before God every day that was still unanswered. Yet, twenty-nine years after he first brought this request to God, Mr. Müller writes about his unwavering faith and belief that God will eventually answer his prayer.
Mr. Cobb, a businessman from Boston, pledged to give incrementally to the work of God. As the Lord blessed him, he kept his promise without defaulting once. Then, as he drew near to the end of his life, a grateful Cobb was thankful to God for the grace granted him to honor his pledge.
On his deathbed, Boston businessman Mr. Cobb, who had led a successful business and Christian life; considered all his earthly possessions—and even loved ones—as nothing compared to the glorious hope he had in Christ Jesus and his excitement at nearing heaven.
In response to a sister's concern about the burden he must carry as it relates to obtaining the needed supplies for the orphanages under his care, George Müller writes about how learning to cast his cares on God has freed him of all anxiety and has given him the confidence that he will never be forsaken.