This is the review/reflection I posted on my blog:
This past weekend I finished this book and basically it's his diary from when he first started his ministry in the 1830s to 1860. And his ministry actually didn't even stop then, he lived for another 38 years and became a missionary! Not because he was a workaholic or an egoist, but he genuinely wanted to do the work of the Lord. His ministry was to build orphanages and care for the “unwanted” children in Bristol, England, in addition to founding the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, and supporting hundreds of missionaries around the world, and later becoming one himself.
The autobiography, like I mentioned, is essentially his diary. The first few chapters are about his life before he came to know Christ. Strangely (or perhaps not), I resonated with a lot of his way of living before he accepted Christ.
The most striking thing about his autobiography is how repetitive his life seems…but how much joy he finds in it. Allow me to explain. At one point, I kind of got bored. It was the same cycle: their ministry has no money, so they pray, and then God provides in the nick of time. The next entry, same thing. The next, again. The next, wow. Maybe I read too quickly without pausing and really reflecting. But when I caught myself getting bored, I went back and reread it and I found that I was very very wrong. George Muller found so much joy in praying to God for every single, literally, every single thing in his life. NOTHING was from his own hands. He never asked for a dime from his congregation and never hesitated to give whatever was left to missionaries. I bet he only had three different outfits to wear and one pair of shoes. Yet, he never complained or doubted His power.
There were a few times where God did not answer his prayers. But instead of accusing, fighting, complaining, and turning away, Muller accepts that God has simply closed that door, but will open another one.
Another thing I learned from his life is how meticulous he was about recording his prayers. My dad actually does this as well and it’s pretty crazy. Sometimes we complain about how God doesn’t answer prayers, but do we really know what we’re praying about? If we were to record our prayers and listen to them again, can we truly say that we are seeking God’s will and not our own? Can we truly confess that we are not praying out of selfishness? Are we really praying in faith? Muller went so far as to always write down pros and cons to every major decision he had to make whether it was expanding the orphanage, accepting hundreds of new orphans, fixing the broken heat tank, etc. And he brought all his concerns before the Lord. I can say that I pray, sure. But I can’t say for sure that I always pray in faith for His will to be done.
If you need a slap in your face about your prayer life: I recommend this book. I know I need it.