It has always been very hard for me to ask anybody for anything — even God. My family valued independence and we made do with what we had.
I brought that mindset into my new life as a Christian. But throughout life I was faced with many situations where I needed help. My first major test of faith came as a college freshman. I had committed to attend a conference, but had no money for it. I remember Connie, my bible study leader, praying for me. She said, “Lord, we ask that You remove all the barriers preventing Germaine from attending this conference – in Jesus’ name. Amen.” I had never heard anyone pray that way before, but I added my ‘Amen’ to hers.
Soon after, I learned that I was entitled to a 50% discount because I was the leader of a freshman block. Suddenly the money I needed seemed reachable. Within weeks I had the funds needed, and I had my first taste of this access we have as God’s children to ask Him seemingly huge things in faith and have Him answer in big ways.
All through college, I unlearned my heart’s independent streak and learned to embrace my state as “the needy one” before God. I prayed over small needs (a jeepney ride off campus) and big needs (not failing certain classes), and each time God was faithful – though not necessarily on my time table or by my preferences. Sometimes the jeepney came but it moved like a snail. And I did pass those classes but I also glaringly flunked others that I thought I would pass.
When I became a missionary, I came across my second major faith-stretching test. I was required to raise my own support and the amount seemed impossible to raise. But by this time I had learned that I could come into His throne room and He would hear me. Yet, two weeks before my deadline, I was still short by a large amount. Then, someone called to say that he would foot the remaining amount so that I could report to the field as soon as possible.
Still, by far, the boldest prayer I have ever prayed was when a fellow missionary challenged me to come up with a Miracle List – prayer requests that only God could answer. I balked at first – a regurgitation of my past habits in prayer. But with my mustard seed faith, I wrote down one item: a home of my own. Less than five years later, I moved into a small condominium unit that was my refuge and joy after having lived with many roommates almost all my adult life.
At times, I remain timid and proud in asking God for help with my wants and needs. But I am learning to be humble and to push towards greater boldness in asking my Father things not only for myself but also for His kingdom know that, quite literally, I have not because I ask not.
Writer’s Bio: Germaine Santos-Cochran was a 26-year full-time staff with Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ. She is currently figuring out what it means to be a full-time wife in a foreign country.