Heb 6:12 “We do not want you to become lazy (sluggish, drag your feet) but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
George Mueller was a 19th century evangelist who started orphanages and schools in England. His orphanages cared for over 10,000 kids and he started over 100 schools that educated over 120,000 kids with Christ-centered curriculum. During a 17-year period he traveled over 200,000 miles preaching the gospel (in an age before airplanes!). All this he funded himself, never once asking for money but taking his requests to the Lord who had called Him. Not surprisingly he was known as a man of prayer!
Near the end of his life he wrote this:
In November 1844 I began to pray for the conversion of 5 individuals. I prayed every day without interruption, whether sick or in health, on land or at sea and whatever the pressure of my engagements might be. Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the five was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years elapsed and then the second was converted. I thanked God for the second and prayed on for the other three. Day by day I continued to pray for them and six years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the three and went on praying for the other two. Though God in the riches of His grace had given me tens of thousands of answers to prayer in the self-same hour or day in which they were offered, I have been praying day by day for nearly thirty-six years for the conversion of these individuals and yet they remain unconverted. But I hope in God, I pray on and look yet for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be.
The last man accepted Christ as Savior after Mueller’s death but eventually each one did. Such was Mueller’s trust in God and tenacity in prayer.
I fear we live in a day where if we don’t see immediate answers to prayer we become sluggish, lazy and apathetic; we begin to drag our feet quickly forgetting that it is by “faith and patience we inherit what has been promised”. May our faith in God be unwavering and our prayer be tenacious and persevering just like Mueller, Livingstone and countless other heroes of the faith who have gone before us. May we continue to encourage one another to live for the audience of One, fully convinced that “He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23) even if it means we don’t see the fulfillment of God’s promise in our life time.