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How George Mueller read God’s Word

Living by faith

George Mueller lived in England in the 1800’s.  He lived by faith — founding orphanages, relying on God for finances, seeing miraculous answers to prayer.

What kind of Bible-reading sustained this kind of faith?

You might be surprised.

How he read the Bible

In John Piper’s book “Desiring God” (pp.155-157) he quotes from Mueller’s autobiography —

“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.

“The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished.

“For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed … and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit …

Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental [experiential], communion with the Lord …

“The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul.

“The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer …

“The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart.

“I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter.”


  • His priority each day was to nourish his soul in the Word.
  • He was not content with knowing about God — he wanted experiential communion with God.
  • Experiential communion with God happened through meditating on God’s Word.
  • He mingled meditation on God’s Word with prayer over God’s Word.
  • With rare exceptions this resulted in peace and even joy.

Next steps

Try this.  Did you experience communion with God?  Did you come away with peace and joy?  Or not?  Let me know what happens — leave a reply below.  Thanks.

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(Picture from Wikipedia.)

Category: Help with Bible-Reading, Stories about Other People


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