This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 John 5:14,15
We can't overestimate the importance of faith and prayer in our life, or in the life of the church. We can see the result of faith and prayer in God, in the ministry of George Mueller. George had confidence that God would answer his prayers because he earnestly sought to know and do the will of God. George never undertook any adventure, or the smallest expenditure, without feeling certain he was in Gods will. Many people asked George how he determined Gods will. This is his response.
1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impressions. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.
4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
6. Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgement according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
"Did this plan work?" you might ask. Here is Georges answer: "I never remember, he wrote three years before his death, in all my Christian course, a period now of sixty-nine years and four months, that I ever sincerely and patiently sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have been always directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, or if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes." (Italics his)
May we continue to seek the Lord with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding. May God reveal Himself to us as we seek to know and do His will through prayer.
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