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George Muller: Men and Women of Faith Series

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As I was thinking about who to study this week, I remembered George Muller, and I couldn’t believe that a man of such faith and prayer hadn’t been featured here yet. Sometimes, I think there are the “spiritual giants” that are spoken of so often we overlook the magnitude of their testimony because we are so accustomed to their stories. So today I would invite you to revisit the life of George Muller with fresh eyes and be convicted and encouraged by his life. 

George was born in Germany in 1805. He had a difficult childhood and resorted to stealing from friends and family at the young age of ten. Eventually, he was arrested and spent time paying his debt to society in jail. A friend he met at the University of Halle was the first person to show him what true Christianity is and later led him to the Lord. While finishing his college education George dreamed of one day becoming a missionary.

Shockingly, when he approached the missions board about going to preach wherever God might send him and living there by faith, they refused to continue supporting him if he did not go where they wanted to send him. He instead took a job at a small parish with only eighteen members. It was there he met Mary, a girl that would become his wife in three short months. 

Mary and George were inspired by her brother’s decision to sell all of his belongings and live with the firm belief that God would provide whatever he needed. The Mullers spent much of their early life growing the church, supporting missionaries, and evangelizing locally. 

Around 1835, George’s heart was burdened for the orphans that abounded in nineteenth-century England. Most orphanages charged a fee to care for children, leaving poor children little other option than to live on the streets and steal. He began to pray for funds to start an orphanage designed to train children in a trade. Then,
 
Miraculously, without sending any word out that he needed help, funds began to arrive!

Most of you know the story from here; he did receive the funds to start an orphanage and kept it running for over two decades. The orphanage itself cared for orphans for one hundred fifty years, long after Muller had passed. 

What set George apart from many, was his strong faith that God not only hears but also answers our prayers. He refused to ask for funds to support the orphanage, choosing rather to spend hours every day praying and rest believing that God would come through. He always did. 

Some of George’s most profound words give us but an inkling of the man of faith that he was:

“I had a secret satisfaction in the greatness of the difficulties which were in the way. So far from being cast down on account of them, they delighted my soul."

“It is not enough for the believer to begin to pray, nor to pray correctly; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray. We must patiently, believingly continue in prayer until we obtain an answer. Further, we have not only to continue in prayer until the end, but we have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained, and in not expecting the blessing."

"Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends.”

There are many more wise words from this man of faith. May we be encouraged to take up the mantle of prevailing prayer with renewed fervor this week!


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Men and Women of Faith: Corrie Ten Boom

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"The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God’s realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love."
~ Corrie Ten Boom

Today we look at the example set by one of history’s most remarkable women, Corrie Ten Boom. Living through one of the darkest periods of history, Corrie was an undeniable force of prayer during World War II. Raised in a Christian home, and brought up with a deep love for God’s chosen people, Corrie and her family converted their house to be an “underground stop” for Jews seeking to flee Nazi persecution.

For almost an entire year the Ten Boom family had as many as 10 people at a time hidden in their small home. Corrie built a “hiding place” in her own room that six to seven people could be concealed in at a time. She hid extra ration cards to feed them and a radio to learn more about what was happening around them; both illegal. She worked tirelessly to find new Dutch families to house the refugees. Throughout that year, Corrie and her family hid and saved an estimated 800 Jews.

Ultimately the Ten Boom family was betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo. Out of the ten of them, only six would live to see the end of the war. During the arrest and search of the house, four refugees and two Dutch underground workers hid successfully behind the false wall. They escaped two days later, and four of them would survive the war.

There are many stories to tell of how prayer saved Corrie, including how she was miraculously skipped over while smuggling a New Testament through a prison camp, despite the person in front of her being searched twice, or how she was accidentally released from prison a week before all the women in her age group were gassed to death. They are too long for us to include today, bur if you’re interested in learning more about her story please consider her book, The Hiding Place.

It’s needless to say, that a person could only go through the horrors she experienced and come out with the forgiveness she extended, by enduring with prayer. I will leave you with a few words from her on the subject.

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”

“We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.”


Sources:
https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Corrie_ten_Boom

https://www.tenboom.org/about-the-ten-booms/

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Men and Women of Faith: Thomas Jefferson

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Our own native Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, was a Founding Father of the United States and was the primary draftsman of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the nation's first secretary of state and the second vice president. As the third president of the United States, Jefferson stabilized the U.S. economy and defeated pirates from North Africa during the Barbary War. He was responsible for doubling the size of the United States by successfully brokering the Louisiana Purchase. He also founded the University of Virginia. Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at the Shadwell plantation located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jefferson was born into one of the most prominent families of Virginia's planter elite. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, was a member of the proud Randolph clan, a family claiming descent from English and Scottish royalty.

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Men and Women of Faith: Spurgeon’s Response to Tragedy

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“For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.” Psalm 91:5-8

As we delve into the mighty words of Spurgeon, on the happenings of the great Cholera outbreak of 1854 in London, we are happily reminded of our many blessings. Compared to the tragedies that have struck mankind, with our current ‘crises’ we have scarcely known the heartbreak that most humanity has known.
May we take to heart, bravely, as David, Joshua, and Caleb did. When the naysayers shouted the negativity, the impossibility, the doom, the giants; the great men of faith shouted only His miracles, His greatness, His provision, His care for His children. There are 365 proclamations of “fear not” in the bible, one for each day of the year, plenty to supply. May we shine as we are called to in these times, with bravery and kindness and do not as the Israelites and give into fear, mumbling, and complaining. Let’s look at the attitude of one of the great men of faith, in a time deadlier than our own:

“In the year 1854, when I had scarcely been in London twelve months, the neighborhood in which I labored was visited by Asiatic cholera, and my congregation suffered from its inroads. Family after family summoned me to the bedside of the smitten, and almost every day I was called to visit the grave.
All day, and sometimes all night long, I went about from house to house, and saw men and women dying, and, oh, how glad they were to see my face! When many were afraid to enter their houses lest they should catch the deadly disease, we who had no fear about such things found ourselves most gladly listened to when we spoke of Christ and of things divine.
At first, I gave myself up with youthful ardor to the visitation of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the district by persons of all ranks and religions; but, soon, I became weary in body, and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it.
I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when, as God would have it, my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemaker’s window in the Great Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore, in a good bold handwriting, these words: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying, in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm. The Providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window, I gratefully acknowledge; and in the remembrance of its marvelous power, I adore the Lord my God. “Rather, the Christian “need not dread sickness, for he has nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by death.””

Spurgeon source:https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/spurgeon-ministry-cholera-outbreak/

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Prayers of Note: President George Washington

Prayers of Note: President George Washington

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
- George Washington

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Andrew Murray: "Casting Thyself on Christ"

Andrew Murray: "Casting Thyself on Christ"

This week we’re going to look into the life of Andrew Murray. Well known for the phrase “casting thyself on Christ” and his many authored works, Murray has valuable lessons to teach us regarding prayer and self sacrifice.

 

Andrew Murray was born in South Africa in 1828. His father, a Dutch Reformed minister, was in his own right, a prevailer in prayer. He read weekly to Andrew and the rest of the family, stories about past revivals and prayed with them regularly for revival in South Africa. Later, Andrew moved to Scotland to stay and study with his uncle who was also a reverend. It was here that Andrew was, no doubt, affected for the rest of his life when Revivalist William Burns visited and spent long hours into the night discussing God with the Murrays. Burns himself had a deep burden for lost souls and would often weep and pray for hours, giving Murray a lifestyle to model.

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Men and Women of Faith: Elisabeth Elliot

Men and Women of Faith: Elisabeth Elliot

As one of the most influential writers of our Christian faith, Elisabeth Elliot has truly known the meaning of sacrifice, forgiveness, and perseverance. A short biography will never do her justice, and can read multiple biographies on her life and never truly touch who she is and her relationship with Christ until you delve into her breathtaking books, which tackle some of the hardest life topics with an immense amount of grace. 

 

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How They Prayed Series: Barclay Buxton

How They Prayed Series: Barclay Buxton

Today we will be taking a peek at another ongoing series we will be visiting hopefully quite often. Our “How They Prayed” series looks into the lives of the peoples past who were involved in the great conquests of missions and revivals. We find these stories from the books of Harvey Publishers, who for many years have worked tirelessly to preserve the history of Christian missions and revivals. These stories have been kept alive so that this current generation may also carry on that hope, and know what we also can be capable of if we think outside the norm of the culture we have been brought up in and expand our vision upwards and outwards.

 

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Four Years of Hell

Four Years of Hell

This week we will look into the prayer life of Oswald Chambers. While his name might sound familiar, you will almost certainly recognize his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. Despite dying at the young age of 43, his writings and transcribed sermons have influenced thousands, if not millions of people in times past till today.

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Little Slips of Paper Igniting a Fire of Prayer

Little Slips of Paper Igniting a Fire of Prayer

Today’s subject is a woman whose name, in all likelihood, you’re quite familiar with, Eliza Shirley.

 

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King David: Maintaining Balance in Steadfast Prayer

King David: Maintaining Balance in Steadfast Prayer

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” 

Colossians 4:2 

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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Today, we’re going to look at the prayer life of a missionary who, while not well known during his life, left an impact on souls for years to come: Jim Elliot. 

 

Jim was born in Oregon in 1927 to a minister and his wife and their two other children. Jim accepted Christ at a young age and grew to be increasingly close to his Heavenly Father. In 1945 he began attending Wheaton College where he learned, perhaps one of the most important lessons for any Christian, discipline. 

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King David: Utilizing Psalms as Prayers

King David: Utilizing Psalms as Prayers

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Often, we find ourselves at a loss of words during our prayer time, or we are just learning to pray, or we have felt we have prayed so much that there are no more words left! We find good news regarding this predicament if we look into the verse found in Romans 8:26-27.

 

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

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A Praying Apron

A Praying Apron

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Imagine its 1710 in a little village called Epworth, England. You’re the wife of the town cobbler and its been a very busy day for your husband so you’re taking some deliveries for him throughout the village. Spring has arrived and everyone has their windows open, grateful for a taste of fresh, clean air. As you go along you pass the parsonage and glance inside the open window. The sight that meets your eyes stops you in your tracks.

 

There are 8 children on the floor, table and chairs. Some are reading, some are working mathematical equations and a few smaller children are playing with blocks and sticks. In the midst of them is woman, sitting in a chair, and over her face is an apron. Yes, she has set an apron over her face and sits quietly and still. You shake your head, That Susanna Wesley is a strange one, you say to yourself as you walk on. 

 

Yes, that woman was Susanna Wesley, and that was her praying apron.

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King David: A Man of Prayer

King David: A Man of Prayer

b2ap3_thumbnail_King-David.jpgIt seems a fitting start, in the series on individuals of intercession, to discuss the man of prayer named King David. Since he practically wrote a whole entire book of prayer called the Psalms, found smack dab in the middle of our Bibles, we see many of his own accounts of desperate prayer and praise directed specifically towards the throne of God itself. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the Psalms has noticed that David had a full spectrum of very raw and real human emotions, just as we do. But he had the bravery and the deep intimate relationship with the Lord to feel it appropriate to expose the reality of his life and the truest feelings of his heart to God Himself, because he knew God! Before David was lifted to the place of royalty, he was but a lowly and lonely shepherd. He spent days and years alone in the fields tending to sheep and mastered his harp, spending countless hours singing praises to God, fellowshipping, and praying. That is why his psalms are so intimate, because they sprung from an intimate relationship with God himself.

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Praying John Hyde

Praying John Hyde

As Christians, we seek to model men and women of faith who run after God and have a relationship with Him that is undeniable. But something, something powerful, sets apart certain men and women of God from the rest. What is it? We believe it is their life of prayer. Those times, early in the morning, midday, or late at night, spent in their closets on their faces before God. Prayer. Prevailing, intercessory prayer, sets the great men and women of God apart from the rest.

 

We will be doing a series, alternating from the lives of men and women of intercession and lessons from King David’s prayer life, with the object of learning from and being encouraged by those who have gone before us.

 

So today, we begin with John Hyde, better known as “Praying Hyde.”

 

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