I Shall Not Want

Brent McDougalBy Brent McDougal8 Minutes

Excerpt taken from PRAYER POWER: 40 Days of Learning to Pray Like George Muller by Brent Patrick McDougal.

Chapter 6
I Shall Not Want


Learning to Trust God

Once he was invited by a friend to attend an off-campus Bible study. Müller thought it would be interesting to go so that he could later make fun of the believers. However, he was surprised when he discovered that he actually enjoyed the Bible study. All of his former pleasures dwarfed in comparison to what he felt when studying God’s Word and praying in the fellowship of believers. “Whether I fell on my knees when I returned home, I do not remember,” Müller recounted, “but this I know, that I lay peaceful and happy in my bed.’ He attended another Bible study the next night, and then the next. He began to be transformed by the compelling faith he saw in believers and by their simple trust in God.

The change in his life was immediate. He stopped going to bars and mocking believers. He spent more time in worship, reading his Bible, and talking to others about God. This was the beginning of a life of faith. But there was a moment that jumpstarted his trust in the living God for all things.

When Müller told his father that he felt called to become a missionary, his father became irate. He wanted Müller to become the clergyman at a wealthy parish, not become a struggling missionary, and warned him that he would no longer pay for his schooling if he chose that path.

Müller returned to school not knowing how he would pay for his tuition. He decided to do something that many people, including Christians, might consider foolish. He got on his knees and asked God to provide. Shortly afterward, Müller was offered a paid tutoring job that was enough to cover his expenses. Muller was amazed. This was the beginning of his complete dependence on God.

Our problem is that we tend to have faith on one level, but practice life on another level. By the daily schedules we keep, the way we conduct our finances, or the way we think about careers and retirement, we can use the language of faith while our actions suggest otherwise.

You might say, “Doesn’t God wants us to use common sense:’ Doesn’t God want us to save for the future, so we won’t be a burden on others:'”

It’s certain that God wants us to be wise and good stewards of all that He has given us. The problem — or perhaps the blessing — is that we generally have more than enough. We have so much that we don’t have to depend on God for daily bread or future blessing. We don’t see the excess of God’s gifts as being the help others may need.

In October 1856, when George Müller was advancing in years, a kind donor sent him a hundred British pounds (£100) to start a fund for his retirement. Before this offer, Müller had never saved a penny for his future. He trusted God to provide him with daily bread, praying for the needs of his family as well as the orphans under his care.

Müller recalled, “By God’s grace I had not a moment’s hesitation as to what to do. While I most fully appreciated the great kindness of the donor, I looked upon this as being permitted by God as a temptation to put my trust in something else than himself.”

In his return letter to the donor, Müller wrote:

I have no property whatever, nor has my dear wife; nor have I had one single shilling regular salary as a minister of the gospel for the last twenty-six years, nor as the director of the Orphan House and the other objects of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad. When I am in need of anything, I fall on my knees, and ask God that he would be pleased to give me what I need; and he puts it into the heart of some one or another to help me. Thus all my wants have been amply supplied during the last twenty-six years, and I can say, to the praise of God, I have lacked nothing…  Of this blessed way of living none of us are tired, but become day by day more convinced of its blessedness…  Under these circumstances, I am unable to accept your kindness of the gift of one hundred pounds towards making a provision for myself and family.

After receiving Müller’s letter and understanding his heart, the donor replied back that he would be pleased if Müller used the money for the orphans. Then the donor sent another hundred pounds… and later another hundred.

Can you imagine living that way:’ How would your life be different if the words of Psalm 23:1 became a true and practical expression of your faith:’

I can’t answer that question for you. You can’t answer it for me. All I know is that I look at my life and find myself ashamed of my lack of trust for daily bread and future needs.

God, help me. God, help us all.

I take heart in knowing that Müller wasn’t always a man of great faith. God changed his heart. Maybe it’s not too late for you and me.

Maybe with the time you and I have left, we could learn to be more generous. We could stop chasing possessions. We could let go of some of our dreams that essentially keep others from receiving a blessing of God through our hands. We could plan for retirement differently. We could fall on our knees more and ask God to provide for us so that we could spend God’s money in God’s way.

It’s not too late to trust the Good Shepherd.

Order your copy of PRAYER POWER: 40 Days of Learning to Pray Like George Müller by Brent Patrick McDougal. ©2022 Whitaker House Publishing. Used by permission.