“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
One of the costly lessons learned by the passionate prayer warrior, George Müller, was that faith must be tried if it is to be strengthened. His faith-maturation was sequential. Faith sprouted with his saturation in the Word of God; it flowered in his increasing intimacy with God; and it came to fruition through trials, obstacles, difficulties, and defeats—all of which Müller welcomed as the stepping stones with which his heavenly Father affectionately lined his pathway. He wrote in 1839, “Should it be supposed . . . by anyone in reading the details of our trials of faith during the year . . . that we have been disappointed in our expectations or discouraged in the work, my answer is . . such days were expected from the commencement. Our desire is not that we may be without trials of faith, but that our Lord graciously [may] be pleased to support us in the trial. And again, when sometimes all has been dark, exceedingly dark, judging from natural appearances; yea, when I should have been overwhelmed indeed in grief and despair had I looked at things after the outward appearances . . . I have sought to encourage myself by laying hold in faith on God’s almighty power, His unchangeable love, and His infinite wisdom.”
Müller had discovered the costly correlation between mature faith and trials: faith grows incrementally as it engages personal and spiritual opposition.
Father, sometimes my faith seems so weak and unable to sustain the belief that You will answer my prayers! I am encouraged by the lives of saints who have gone before me, and know that they are no different than myself – except that they prayed with great faith, expecting You to answer. Instead of being overwhelmed by circumstances or trials, would You show me how to see You at work in the midst of them? I am asking today for the strength to believe in Your power to do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or think!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 24, An Historical Role Model of Personal Passion in Prayer by Karen O’Dell Bullock). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise the Lord God Almighty, whose deeds are great and marvelous. Thank God for the opportunity to become godly, and that “godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Confess your lack of the devotion to God which results in a life pleasing to him. Commit yourself to a life of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col. 3:12). Ask that the grace of God will teach you “to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live [a] self-controlled, upright and godly [life] in this present age” (Titus 2:12).
Pray that your church leaders will be uncompromising examples of godliness for your congregation. Ask that they will receive consistent support from the congregation.