Monday, April 10, 2017

Prayer and Evangelism

In November of 1825, George Müller heard the gospel preached and, by the grace of God, he came to faith in Jesus Christ. Sometime later, he read several missionary stories and met with a couple missionaries, and this aroused in him a desire to be a missionary himself. His mentors, however, encouraged him to wait, wisdom which he was willing to receive but which discouraged him a bit. But at that very time, Müller had an opportunity to visit for a couple of days with an older pastor who greatly “refreshed” his spirit and helped him to fix his eyes on Jesus (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, pg 12). 
 
When he returned to his hometown, he spent some time with two of his old friends. The three of them used to carouse together, but now that Müller was a Christian he no longer partnered with them in sin. He did, however, seek to share the love of Christ, and on this particular occasion he told them of his recent visit with the pastor and how happy he was. He said that he wanted them to be happy in the Lord along with him, but unfortunately, they answered, “We do not feel that we are sinners” (page 12). 
 
Müller was very discouraged by their response, and wondered what to do. Being so young in Christ, he threw pretense to the wind and bowed down in their presence to pray for them. “After this I fell on my knees, and asked God to show them that they were sinners. Having done so, I left them, and went into my bedroom, where I continued to pray for them. After a little while I returned to my sitting room, and found them both in tears, and both told me that they now felt themselves to be sinners. From that time a work of grace commenced in their hearts” (pages 12-13, emphasis mine).

On that day, Müller began to see with his eyes the powerful connection between prayer and fruitfulness in evangelism. In the coming months we’ll hear more stories from him along these lines, but for now, let’s search our hearts and answer these questions before the Lord. Do we have specific people on our hearts who we want to come to faith in Christ? Are we fervently praying for them? Have we in any way let them know that we’re praying for them? Do we believe that the Lord is willing and able to bring people to himself as we pray?

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