I had the joy of preaching yesterday at East Valley Bible Church on Colossians 4:2-6, which really deals with committing to prayer and missional living. One of the examples I shared was about George Mueller, the 19th century evangelist and orphanage coordinator who was marked by his devotion to missional prayer. Here’s the story:
George Mueller, the great Victorian Christian and social reformer, tells a story of persistent prayer in his diary:
In November 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of five individuals. I prayed every day without a single intermission, whether sick or in health, on the land, on the sea, and whatever the pressure of my engagements might be. Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the five was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years elapsed, and then the second was converted. I thanked God for the second, and prayed on for the other three. Day by day, I continued to pray for them, and six years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the three, and went on praying for the other two. These two remained unconverted.
Thirty-six years later he wrote that the other two, sons of one of Mueller’s friends, were still not converted. He wrote, “But I hope in God, I pray on, and look for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be.” In 1897, fifty-two years after he began to pray daily, without interruption, for these two men, they were finally converted- but after he died!
May we be people who are marked by a devotion to prayer for the gospel of Jesus Christ to spread and take root in the hearts of our friends, families, and neighbors.
For John Piper’s excellent biographical message about Mueller, click here.