Muller’s primary ministry work however was ministering to orphans. It was his ministry to orphans in England that Muller is most noted for. Throughout that ministry he never begged or manipulated people into contributing to the work, he prayed in the resources for the needs of all the thousands of children he ministered to in his lifetime.
But how did Muller know what the will of God was for his life? This praying man, this man of the Word had a very definite practice of discerning the will of God. His way of discovering the will of God involved six parts, which were as follows:
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.
In this last regard, toward the end of his life in 1897, Muller was invited to preach at a Bible Society but was unable to attend. IN his apology for not being able to attend he wrote:
“Will you have the kindness to read to the meeting that I have been for 68 years and 3 months, viz., since July, 1829, a love of the Word of God, and that uninterruptedly. During that time I have read considerably more than 100 times through the whole of the Old and New Testaments, with prayer and meditation, four times every year.”
“It is estimated that he read the Bible through more than two hundred times, one hundred of these times being, as he here suggests, on his knees.”
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 judgment 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.
Muller went on to testify, “I never remember,’ he wrote three years before his death, ‘ in all my Christian course, a period now (March, 1895) 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 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.)”
For further biographical information on George Mueller please see the following book from which the above was gleaned: Basil Miller, George Muller, Man of Faith and Miracles, (Minneapolis, MN: Dimension Books, Bethany Fellowship, Inc.)