It is absolutely impossible to read the life of George Mueller and miss this simple point: He made prayer a top priority.
He prayed privately. He prayed publicly. He began his days with prayer, sometimes he'd pray for hours. He lived his days in prayer. He would often go for long walks with his New Testament spending the entire time reading his Bible and crying out to God. He led his family with prayer. He had a daily time of prayer with his wife. He led his ministry in prayer. He had a regularly scheduled prayer time with his staff. He devoted himself to prayer. When asked if he spent much time on his knees in prayer, Mueller replied, "More or less every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down, when I rise up." (Steer, p.130)
Some may object and say that they are too busy to pray. Mueller, "used to say to brethren who had 'too much to do' to spend proper time with God that four hours of work for which one hour of prayer prepares is better than five hours of work with the praying left out." (Mudge, p.112)Mueller did not just teach this principle, he lived it. In spite of his preaching schedule, providing care for thousands of orphans, managing a large staff, and taking care of countless details, He always made time for prayer. He explains, "Here is the great secret of success. Work with all your might, but trust not the least in your work . . . pray and then work." (Pierson, p.458)
Still others might complain that prayer and study of the Scripture are not enjoyable. Mueller warned against giving in to feelings when it comes to prayer and urged believers to continue to pray and study even when they don't feel like it. We will never feel like praying and studying the Scripture unless there are times when we refuse to give into our feelings and instead work hard at praying and studying the Scripture.
If we are going to grow to become more like Christ we must recognize that there is hardly anything if anything that is more important for us to do today than to pray. We must make prayer a top priority. Mueller would tolerate no excuses for a lack of prayer, and neither should we!