Over the course of several decades, George Muller (1805-1898) directed a faith-based ministry that cared for thousands of orphans in Bristol, England. Many were the occasions when Muller and his loyal staff prayed with great faith and urgency for the Lord to supply the pressing needs of their orphanages. Often those prayers were answered in dramatic fashion.
Muller’s right-hand man in his Sunday School ministry to children was John Townsend. Townsend’s young daughter, Abigail, enjoyed visiting Muller at his home. Once while doing so she suddenly declared, “I wish Dod would answer my prayers like He does yours, George Muller.”
“He will,” Muller assured her. Taking her on his knee, he quoted God’s promise: “What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24 KJV). After explaining the meaning of the verse, he asked, “Now, Abbie, what is it you want to ask God for?”
“Some wool,” she responded.
Clasping her hands to pray, Muller instructed her to repeat what he said, “Please, God, send Abbie some wool.”
“Please, Dod, send Abbie some wool,” she repeated in simple faith, then jumped down to go play, assured that the wool would come.
Suddenly the thought came to her that God did not know what kind of wool she wanted. So she ran back to Muller and told him she wanted to pray again. This time he responded, “Not now, dear, I am busy.”
“But I forgot to tell Dod the color I want,” she persisted.
Won over, Muller again lifted her onto his knee and said, “That’s right, be definite, my child. Now tell God what you want.”
“Please, Dod, send it wa-re-gated,” petitioned Abigail, who possessed a large vocabulary but could not pronounce her v’s.
The next day she was overjoyed to receive a package of variegated wool from her Sunday School teacher. The teacher, who was aware of Abigail’s interest in knitting, knew her birthday was coming soon, although she was uncertain of the exact date. God providentially allowed the package to arrive not on her birthday but on just the right day to assure this child that He hears and answers specific prayers.
May we be encouraged to present our requests to God in simple childlike faith. No need, desire or concern is too big or little to bring to Him. He delights to grant trusting, God-dependent prayers that honor Him, both for our blessing and for His glory.
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This is just one of a whole chapter of instructive true stories on various facets of prayer found in my book Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians. If you’re able to read it, I think you’ll find fresh encouragement and guidance for your personal prayer life. I’d love to hear from you if you care to share an important prayer lesson the Lord has taught you along the way.
Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie