Stories like this about prayer catch my attention and make me consider my own approach to prayer, my faith, and what it means to believe God in prayer.
Norman Harrison in His in a Life of Prayer tells how Charles Inglis, while making the voyage to America a number of years ago, learned from the devout and godly captain of an experience which he had had but recently with George Müller of Bristol. It seems that they had encountered a very dense fog. Because of it the captain had remained on the bridge continuously for twenty-four hours, when Mr. Müller came to him and said, “Captain, I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.” When informed that it was impossible, he replied: “Very well. If the ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chartroom and pray.”
The captain continues the story thus: “I looked at that man of God and thought to myself, What lunatic asylum could that man have come from. I never heard such a thing as this. ‘Mr Müller,’ I said, ‘ do you know how dense this fog is?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.’ He knelt down and prayed one of those simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray. ‘Firstly,’ he said, ‘because you do not believe God will, and secondly, I believe God has, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.’ I looked at him, and George Müller said, ‘Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get an audience with the King. Get up and open the door, and you will find that the fog has gone.’ I got up and the fog was indeed gone. George Müller was in Quebec Saturday afternoon for his engagement.”
[From Reuben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer (Nashville, TN: Upper Room, 1983), 293.