Five Conditions of Prevailing Prayer By George Muller
1. Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the only ground of any claim for blessing.
"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:13-14).
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you" (John 15:16).
2. Separation from all known sin. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us, for it would be sanctioning sin.
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear" (Psalm 66:18).
3. Faith in God's word of promise as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him both a liar and a perjurer.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).
"For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:13-20).
4. Asking in accordance with His will. Our motives must be godly: we must not seek any gift of God to consume it upon our lusts.
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1 John 5:14).
"You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:3).
5. Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God and waiting for God, as the husbandman has long patience to wait for the harvest.
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain" (James 5:7).
"Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”" (Luke 18:1-8).
1. I SEEK AT THE BEGINNING to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. 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 but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
2. HAVING DONE THIS, I do not leave the result to feeling of simple impression. If I do so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3. I SEEK THE WILL of the Spirit 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 lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
4. NEXT I TAKE into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
5. I ASK GOD in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
6. THUS, THROUGH PRAYER to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly.
In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
REAL FAITH George Mueller (1805-1898) Founder of the Orphanages at Bristol, England
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” —Hebrews 11:1
FIRST: WHAT IS FAITH? In the simplest manner in which I am able to express it, I answer: Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His Word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God's Word, this confidence is FAITH. NO IMPRESSIONS ARE TO BE TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH FAITH. Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God . It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make any difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.
PROBABILITIES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of FAITH begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. A great many of God's children are cast down and lament their want of Faith. They write to me and say that they have no impressions, no feeling, they see no probability that the thing they wish will come to pass. APPEARANCES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. The question is—whether God has spoken it in His Word.
And now, beloved Christian friends, you are in great need to ask yourselves whether you are in the habit of thus confiding, in your inmost soul, in what God has said, and whether you are in earnest in seeking to find whether the thing you want is in accordance with what He has said in His Word.
SECOND: HOW FAITH MAY BE INCREASED. God delights to increase the Faith of His children. Our Faith which is feeble at first, is developed and strengthened more and more by us. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God's hand as a means. I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of Faith . I get letters from so many of God's dear children who say: “Dear Brother Mueller, I'm writing this because I am so weak in faith.” Just so surely as we ask to have our Faith strengthened, we must feel a willingness to take from God's hand the means for strengthening it. We must allow Him to educate us through trials and bereavements and troubles. It is through trials that Faith is exercised and developed more and more. God affectionately permits difficulties, that He may develop unceasingly that which He is willing to do for us, and to this end we should not shrink, but if He gives us sorrow and hindrances and losses and afflictions, we should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that Faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.
The Church of God is not aroused to see God as the beautiful and lovable One He is, and hence the littleness of blessedness. Oh, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, seek to learn for yourselves, for I cannot tell you the blessedness! In the darkest moments I am able to confide in Him, for I know what a beautiful and kind and lovable Being He is, and, if it be the will of God to put us in the furnace, let Him do it, that so we may acquaint ourselves with Him as He will reveal Himself, and that we may know Him better. We come then to the conclusion that God is a lovable Being, and we are satisfied with Him, and say: “It is my Father, let Him do as He pleases.”
When I first began to allow God to deal with me, relying on Him, taking Him at His Word, and set out fifty years ago simply relying on Him for myself, family, taxes, travelling expenses and every other need, I rested on the simple promises I found in the sixth chapter of Matthew. Read Matthew 6:25-34 carefully. I believed the Word, I rested on it and practiced it. I took God at His word. A stranger, a foreigner in England, I knew seven languages and might have used them perhaps as a means of remunerative employment but I had consecrated myself to labor for the Lord, I put my reliance in the God who has promised, and He has acted according to His Word. I've lacked nothing—nothing. I have had my trials, my difficulties, and my purse empty, but my receipts have aggregated thou- sands of dollars, while the work has gone on these 51 years. Then, with regard to my pastoral work; for the past 51 years I have had great difficulties, great trials and perplexities. There will always be difficulties, always trials. But God has sustained me under them and delivered me out of them, and the work has gone on. Now, this is not, as some have said, because I am a man of great mental power, or endowed with energy and perseverance- -these are not the reasons. It is because I have confided in God; because I have sought God, and He has cared for the Institution, which, under His direction, has 100 schools, with masters and mistresses and other departments which I have told you before.
I do not carry the burden. And now in my 67th year, I have physical strength and mental vigor for as much work as when I was a young man in the university, studying and preparing Latin orations. I am just as vigorous as at that time. How comes this? Because in the last half century of labor I've been able, with the simplicity of a child, to rely upon God. I have had my trials, but I have laid hold upon God, and so it has come to pass that I have been sustained. It is not only permission, but positive command that He gives, to cast the burdens upon Him. Oh, let us do it! My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” Day by day I do it. This morning sixty matters in connection with the church of which I am pastor, I brought before the Lord, and thus it is, day by day I do it, and year by year; ten years, thirty years, forty years.
Do not, however, expect to obtain full Faith at once. All such things as jumping into full exercise of Faith in such things I discountenance. I do not believe in it. I do not believe in it. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN IT, AND I WISH YOU PLAINLY TO UNDERSTAND I DO NOT BELIEVE IN IT. All such things go on in a natural way. The little I did obtain, I did not obtain all at once. All this I say particularly, because letters come to me full of questions from those who seek to have their Faith strengthened. Begin over again; staying your soul on the Word of God, and you will have an increase of your Faith as you exercise it.
One thing more. Some say, “Oh, I shall never have the gift of Faith Mr. Mueller has got.” This is a mistake—it is the greatest error—there is not a particle of truth in it. My Faith is the same kind of Faith that all of God's children have had. It is the same kind that Simon Peter had, and all Christians may obtain the like Faith. My Faith is their Faith, though there may be more of it because my Faith has been a little more developed by exercise then theirs; but their Faith is precisely the Faith I exercise, only, with regard to degree, mine may be more strongly exercised.
Now, my beloved brothers and sisters, begin in a little way. At first I was able to trust the Lord for ten dollars, then for a hundred dollars, then for a thousand dollars, and now, with the greatest ease, I could trust Him for a million dollars, if there was occasion. But first, I should quietly, carefully, deliberately examine and see whether what I was trusting for, was something in accordance with His promises in His written Word.