The 15 Minutes After

George Müller (1805-1898), a remarkable evangelist and missionary, lived in Bristol, England.

Over the course of his life, he cared for over 10,000 orphans. He also started 117 schools that served over 120,000 kids; many of George Muellerthem the poorest of the poor. Not everyone agreed with his focus. Some folk argued that offering such hope merely encouraged the poor to pursue something above their God-ordained station in life. Müller felt differently.

But for all of his activity, busyness, and service, Müller became renowned as a man of prayer. On one occasion, speaking of his own prayer-life, he noted: “The most important part of prayer is the fifteen minutes after saying ‘Amen.'”

The fifteen minutes after.

“Amen” usually closes the prayer and concludes our prayerfulness. Not for Müller. “Amen” simply marked a transition. It indicated the time to listen harder for Christ to speak and look harder for Christ to answer.

In 1877, while crossing the Atlantic, his ship ran into thick fog. Müller needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but the captain had to slow the ship for its own safety. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The skeptical captain followed him down, and after Müller prayed the two men went back to the bridge. The fog had indeed lifted. The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.

The fifteen minutes after.

We’ve been trained to think that the time during prayer is what counts. Have we failed to listen and look earnestly after prayer?

With the “Amen,” some of us immediately stop listening … if we listened at all. And the voice of Christ quickly gets swept away by chaos and distraction. Others of us pray with such little expectation that we’re almost afraid to look for answers, lest we feel let down.

It’s easy to seize from God “the fifteen minutes after.” Harder to seek Him in those moments. Perhaps this week Müller’s testimony can become our testing ground?

The Book of Acts suggests that “the fifteen minutes after” may have delivered the most exciting minutes of the day!

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13 Responses to The 15 Minutes After

  1. Dan Gonzaga says:

    A resounding Yes! Listening all the way through and joining Him all the way through…

  2. Sam Sublett says:

    Amen. I shall now listen with greater focus. Thank you. Sam –

    >

  3. Jerry says:

    Hi Paul,

    I thought you would enjoy this beautiful piece about prayer. It is often (usually?) the case that after amen we rush off to whatever is next. I think these profound thoughts could change our pattern. It might be a good story in one of your sermons, maybe one that speaks to the power of prayer.

    See you in a few minutes,

    Jerry

  4. Tim Lentz says:

    Could this “15 Minutes After the Amen” also apply to the “15” minutes after “soaking up” the Word, or listening to a sermon, or singing a praise chorus, or reading a Because of Grace article online?

    Thank you for your blog and this excellent reminder to always be listening–a constant challenge for me!

  5. Norm Hamre says:

    Great post!!!!

  6. Gerald says:

    David. I look forward to your messages, and miss them when I don’t see them for awhile. Although I have not commented before, I felt the desire to do so this time. Your message opened up my heart and caused me to pause to sit and listen, something that was not in my methodology. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    • David Timms says:

      Gerald, thanks for taking a moment to drop a note. There’s something about that “sit and listen” that is unpracticed for most of us. Surprisingly small step that makes an exponentially great difference over time. 🙂 Blessings.

  7. John Bond says:

    Great to hear from you again David – great thought for the year – let alone a week.
    Yours in Seeking to make a Kingdom Impact

    John

    John Bond
    Minister @ Large Sonlife DCPI Compassion
    Lifestreams Christian Church Director World Zone Leader Chairman

    jb7@iinet.net.au
    Office: 61 8 9450 7614
    Mobile: 0417 965 119

    • David Timms says:

      John, good to hear from you, too! Yes, there’s something about the prayer life of George Muller that would change us dramatically if we practiced it long-term. Blessings, my friend.

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