“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) After Jesus, there is one man with whom this verse seems to be identified most often, George Mueller. He studied the promises of God, particularly Matt 6:25-26, Matt 7:7 and John 14:13-14, and decided that trusting those Scriptures on God’s provision were the best way to serve the Lord. At the age of 26, newly married and serving as minister in Teignmouth, he announced to his small congregation that though his salary was to be $275 a year, because such money came from pew rents and the like, which he believed unscriptural, he would not accept it. He would serve with no salary, relying solely upon what would be given as gifts. Only in prayer to God would he express his needs. Not without trial and frequently with less than one dollar on hand, he prayed, and God answered George in his first year with earnings of $660. As time passed, George moved to Bristol and expanded his activities to include adult and child Sunday schools and a Day School, all completely funded through prayer. But his life’s work was yet to come. He had a heart for orphans and prayed that if God wanted him to start an orphanage that He would supply the premises, $2500, and people to run it. He claimed the verse, “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.”(Ps 81:10) And fill it God did. The next years were spent expanding the orphanages from the first 26 applicants until they numbered over 2000. Buying land, building buildings, feeding and caring for the orphans and the workers who toiled among them, all the money required was never requested in public, no subscriptions, no special church offerings, no private letters asking for funds. George Mueller went to prayer and asked God. Just as his early days in ministry, there were times when the money was gone, with nothing for the next day, yet pray he did, and his faith was always rewarded. One well known story relates how there was no money or food for the next meal in the orphanage. George gathered the children in the dining room, he and some staff went to prayer and soon thereafter a bread wagon “just happened” to break down right in front of the orphanage. The wagon man knocked at the door and asked if they could use the bread. At his death at the age of 93, George Mueller’s net worth was about $850 of which most was the value of his books and furniture. Yet not only did God support his orphanages, but George gave large amounts of money, as he would pray for it, to missionaries around the globe. That money alone totaled almost a half million dollars. George said, “I had given and God caused to be given to me again and bountifully.” The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man, any righteous man, availeth much. Could you be that man?

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