George Müller established orphanages in England during the days of the workhouses referred to in Charles Dickens’ stories. The workhouses were pits of hell and abused child labor for the sake of a bit more profit for the owners. There was no education, little health care and no apparent concern for safety.
Müller took in 1000s of orphans (some estimate 120,000) over the 60 years of his ministry life. He may be best known for the power of his prayers to fund those orphanages and feed those orphans. It’s said that, in today’s dollars, he received billions, all in answer to his prayers.
One story (typical of many others) goes:
One morning, all the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty. There was no food in the larder and no money to buy food. The children were standing, waiting for their morning meal, when Müller said, “Children, you know we must be on time for school.” Then lifting up his hands he prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.”
There was a knock at the door. The baker stood there, and said, “Mr. Müller, I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn’t have bread for breakfast, and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it.”
Mr. Müller thanked the baker, and no sooner had he left; when there was a second knock at the door. It was the milkman. He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it.
George Müller stands as testimony to Jesus’ invitation to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s a prayer for more than mere bread, of course. It’s a prayer for a sense of contentment about God’s ongoing, daily care of our lives. It’s the place where we all start in our journey to develop deep trust in our Father.