Summary: Basic Tips to having a dynamic prayer life.
The Beginnings of a Great Prayer Life
How many of you have heard the name George Mueller. George was known for a number of things in his lifetime. One of the greatest accomplishments of his life was the formation of an orphanage in Bristol, England. One day as George looked down the street there, he noticed the hundreds of homeless children on the streets, and he decided to do something about it. He decided to start an orphanage.
Even though the dream had been planted, Mr. Mueller had issues. For one, he had no clue what he would need to do to run an orphanage let alone start one up. He knew he would need money, but he only had two pence in his pocket. That is equivalent to two shiny pennies. He also did not have a building to house these orphans. The problems were many and the answers were not easy, but George continued to trust the Lord that He would bring about the means necessary. Mr. Mueller made the declaration that prayer was going to have to fund and fuel this orphanage because he could never do it without the power of God.
George Mueller stayed true to his word. He started the orphanage and he used prayer to guide every step. When George came to the end of his life, he had cared for over 10,000 orphans with only two pennies. That’s the power of prayer. It was stated that George would wake up every morning at 3:00am to pray and that he never missed a morning. It was also reported that George had calluses the size of softballs on his knees because of all of the kneeling for prayer. Meuller’s prayer journal was over 3000 pages long and contained 30,000 answered prayers. In his prayer journal, you can read some of the miraculous answers to prayers such as milk trucks breaking down in front of the orphanage when he was praying for milk, and bread being delivered for free when they had run out of bread. To say that this man was a great man of prayer is an understatement!
As I researched the life of Mr. Mueller, a number of things ran through my mind, but I was mostly just overwhelmed. When I looked at my prayer life and compared it to his, I felt completely incapable of being a good Christian. This giant of the faith made me feel about three inches tall. My prayer life waned in comparison to his, and I was intimidated because I was trying to pit my prayer life against his.
How many of you have been completely intimidated about prayer? We have all been there. Think about times you may have been in a group praying. You go down the line of people there and it getting closer to your turn. Sister Sally says a nice prayer. Then, Brother Bob uses some of your favorite phrases, so you begin to rework your prayer. Then, Brother Buford, who is a stalwart of the faith begins. He prays in a way that leaves everyone spellbound. Doctrine and unknown Christian vocabulary spews forth from his lips. The tone and volume of his voice change up and down as he dances from syllable to syllable. He continues on and on and you wonder if he will ever run out of words to say. You almost forget it is your turn to go next until you realize that he is starting to wrap it up. You start to panic and think, “How am I ever going to top that?” Suddenly, you realize you have forgotten how to talk, and you forget how to even open your prayer. Finally, you start speaking, and stumble to find the words. You come to the end of your prayer, but it has been far too short when compared to Brother Buford, so you just begin to rattle off any name that comes into your mind and ask God to be with them. Finally, when you run out of friends and family and can think of no more words, you pass the baton to the next person in line while the sweat rolls off your forehead.
Can anyone relate to what I am talking about this morning? There are many Brother Buford’s and George Mueller’s out there that can intimidate us in our prayer lives, but it does not have to be that way. Prayer was never intended to be intimidating. Prayer was made to be intimate and to be enjoyed by every believer, but most of the time, we make prayer more difficult than it needs to be. Last week, we talked about 6 characteristics of the House of God and we are going to take a few months to take a more in-depth look at these characteristics starting with the beginnings of a great prayer life. I know no better teacher on prayer than Jesus himself, so I ask you to turn to Matthew 6:5-8 so we can gain some wisdom on prayer from Jesus.