What the Autobiography of George Muller Taught Me

If you’d like a journey of inspiration, pick up the brief Autobiography of George Muller. You’ll find yourself amazed at God and encouraged to pray more.

What I Learned From George Muller's Autobiography

(Photo: George Muller)

More than once, I’ve read the journal of George Muller. I return to it when I need some encouragement to pray and trust God with the impossible.

After my last read, I decided it was time to write down some good takeaways from Muller’s life that I could apply.

I’ll share them with you.

God’s List of What You Need

Okay, let’s make a quick list. If you had to write down what you need, what would top your list? Let me take a stab at what you might write.

God's List of What You Need

(Photo: courtesy of ooomf)

If you’re like most folks, your list of what you need may read something like this:

  • I need a new iPhone, Android, techie-whatever.
  • I need more money and more time.
  • I need my spouse to listen to me.
  • I need more respect at work.
  • I need a friend.

What DO you need? Ask that question to ten different people, you’ll likely get eleven different answers. But your needs aren’t subjective.

God has revealed what you need.

How to Pray for Your Children and Grandchildren

We all pray for our children. We want them to do well in school, or to get a good job, or to stay healthy. But their greatest need for prayer is their spiritual lives.

The longer I am a parent, the more I see the truth in the Apostle John’s words:

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. —3 John 4

How to Pray for Your Children and Grandchildren

(Photo by Photodune)

If our children have a genuine walk with God, they will be better equipped to make wise choices throughout their lives. Our challenge, then, is how to pray for our children in this way.

When our daughters were only toddlers, Cathy and I participated an excellent parenting class that gave us a handout called: “How to Pray for Your Children.” We prayed through this list for years. In fact, as I read through each point today, I can remember specific instances in which God answered the prayers. He is still answering them.

I have edited the list and added some verses to it. I have also made a PDF you can download and print to keep in your Bible or prayer journal.

It’s never too late to begin praying for your children—and your grandchildren.

It is one of the greatest investments you will ever make into their lives.

5 Reasons God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers

You’ve heard the old cliché, “Prayer changes things.” Yeah, okay, but what about the times when it just flat doesn’t? What’s wrong?

prayer

(Photo by Photodune)

Why doesn’t God answer your prayers? As I’ve searched the Scriptures, I have discovered at least 5 reasons.

In some cases, we are not waiting on God; He is waiting on us.

Obama’s Prayer . . . and Mine

I remember in the 2008 election when Barack Obama conducted his world tour as part of his presidential campaign, he visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

You may remember that he inserted a prayer in the wall. The Jews consider this a sacred act—even if the individual represents another faith.

Obama's prayer

(Photo: Paul J. Richards / AFP – Getty Images)

After Obama left the Western Wall Plaza, someone scrabbled out the prayer—written on King David Hotel stationary—and took a picture of it.

Here’s what Obama’s prayer said:

Stretching Our Prayers Past Our Pain

My prayers don’t go far enough. Maybe your prayers need some stretching too.

We need to stretch our prayers past our pain.

Often our prayers begin and end with asking God to change the way things are around us.

  • “Provide enough money this month”
  • “Protect us as we travel”
  • “Heal my friend from pain”
  • —etc.

These are fine prayers, and all legitimate, but incomplete.

They just don’t go far enough.

Israel Tour Day 6—Passion Week Places

I love the places of the Passion Week in Jerusalem! We saw some of them yesterday and today.

The Dominus Flevit Church on the Mount of Olives, marks the place where Jesus wept over Jerusalem at His Triumphal Entry (Dominus Flevit is Latin for “the Lord wept.”)

The sprawling panorama atop the Mount of Olives is where Jesus gave His “Olivet Discourse,” outlining the prophetic events surrounding Jerusalem’s future (Matt. 24:3).

The Garden of Gethsemane at the bottom of the same hill, where Jesus wept in anguish, surrendering His will as He cried out to the Father. It’s ironic that on the same hill where the disciples hailed Jesus as Messiah at His Triumphal Entry, only a few days later they would abandon Him at His arrest. So fickle! (And so much like us.) Interesting also that Jesus wept on both occasions.

The Church of All Nations covers the traditional spot where Jesus prayed in agony on the night He was betrayed. At the front of the church, four groupings of columns support a massive mosaic that crowns the facade. It depicts Christ gazing up in prayer to the Father who holds the alpha and omega letters. Angels hover near Jesus, and the disciples bow to His left and right.

Inside the church a large altar against the center of the back wall overshadows a bare outcropping of rock on the floor. This is the spot where it is believed Jesus bowed in prayer. Person after person approached, knelt and kissed the rock blackened by decades of lips pressed in the same spot.

I always find it difficult to believe sincerity in the hearts of the worshipers simply because I don’t share their tradition. When I see Jews kissing a mezuzah (a case with a scroll of Scripture inside of it) on their doorposts, I think of them as devoted. But when I see Christians kissing rocks, it bothers me. I guess the inconsistency of my reasoning reveals my own hypocrisy. For all I know, they love the Lord Jesus far more than I do.

The eerie Church of the Holy Sepulcher represents the location of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. (Check out the fascinating 360-degree views of the church here.)

How marvelous to be in Jerusalem during the same time of year as Jesus was during the Passion Week (give or take a couple of weeks). This year, Palm Sunday is March 28, Passover begins on March 30, and Easter Sunday is April 3. (Historically, Jesus died on April 3, AD 33, and rose from the dead on April 5.)

Tomorrow . . . we take a day trip to the blistering shores of the Dead Sea and tour Masada, Qumran, and Engedi.

Want to know more about how to know God? The answer is here.
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I’m Headed to Israel!

In just a few days, I’ll take my seventh trip to Israel.

After going again and again so many times, I have to be honest . . . it never gets old.

Why? Because seeing the places where biblical events occurred helps me understand the words of Scripture like little else can. Frankly, I have spent hundreds of hours studying the original languages of the Bible, but nothing has broadened my understanding of the Word of God more than studying and experiencing the places where Scripture occurred.

For many who will join us on our tour with Insight for Living, this tour will be their first to Israel. What a treasure awaits them!

My request of you? Please pray for us. Specifically, for:

  • Good health and adequate rest
  • Safe travel . . . alert bus drivers . . . agreeable Israeli guides
  • Excellent weather
  • Opportunities to share Christ with those who may not know Him
  • God’s grace for Chuck Swindoll as well as for those of us who will be teaching at various sites. (I’ll be serving as the Bible teacher on Bus 4—the “Green Bus.” Our busses all have color names in addition to numbers.)

In addition to following the daily posts on my blog, you can also subscribe to Insight for Living’s Video Blog. There you will see video from each day’s touring . . . as well as candid interviews and photos of folks taking the journey with us.

Shalom . . . and thank you for praying! 

Israel Filming Trip Report


I just returned from a wonderful—but fast!—few days of filming in Israel. Thank you very much for your prayers! They really made a difference, because God answered so many of them! For the most part, we had good health and adequate rest, safe travel and an alert driver, no technical glitches with cameras, microphones, etc., excellent weather—no high winds or rain, good access to the locations where we need to film, quick minds and ability to remember our scripts, creativity, openness to God’s leading and redirecting, and finally, opportunities to share with others.

The opportunity to share came unexpectedly. We had just filmed a segment at the City of David and we were about leave. A man with an Irish accept approached me and asked, “What are you filming?” He introduced himself as a journalist and raised his handheld video camera for my answer. What an opportunity! I answered that we were in the City of David to film where David looked on Bathsheba and sinned, and later David wrote Psalm 51 where he asked for forgiveness through a sacrifice. That ultimate sacrifice came through Jesus who died for our sins and promised that whoever believes on Him would have forgiveness. He filmed the whole thing!

Other than the privilege of sharing, the greatest experience was seeing Israel in spring—SO green and beautiful!

Thank you again for your prayers and for your part in what God will do in the production of the video we shot—and the lives that God will change as a result.
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I’m Headed to Israel to Film


Next week I head to Israel with several associates to film on location!

With a schedule that allows for little margin, we’ll shoot video in Caesarea, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the Judean Wilderness, and in Jerusalem.

We’ll film Dr. Reg Grant performing a number of his biblical characters, and I will serve as a “host” on camera for the DVD series we’re producing for Insight for Living.

Last year we videoed Chuck Swindoll preaching at a number of biblical sites, and the footage we’ll shoot next week will spice up the finished product.

My request of you?

Will you please pray for us? Specifically for:

  1. Good health and adequate rest
  2. Safe travel and an alert driver
  3. No technical glitches with cameras, microphones, etc.
  4. Excellent weather–no high winds or rain
  5. Good access to the locations where we need to film
  6. Quick minds and ability to remember our scripts
  7. Creativity
  8. Openness to God’s leading and redirecting
  9. Opportunities to share with others

I’ll give a follow-up and post a few pictures after I return.

Thank you!
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