I am on staff with Campus Outreach at MTSU, and in my first couple of years on campus there I made major requests to God. We had just left a thriving campus ministry at another campus and we thought that we were the answer to all the problems at MTSU. We scribbled down some huge trust-God’s and got to work. I adopted the not-so-biblical thinking that I should put the ministry on my back and will my way to ministry success. After some time, many of our requests were not answered and I was exhausted. I often found myself wondering, “God, are you in this?” It wasn’t until I read Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds that I realized God wasn’t the problem; instead the problem was my theology and prayer life. I believed that God was powerful, but my actions were saying “I’m powerful.”
I have approached raising support with a similar perspective. If I can just get in front of this person they will fall in love with us and they will support us. When this scenario doesn’t happen I am left saying “C’mon God! What’s up?” I am left feeling distraught and am pushed around by my emotions and a false identity.
God doesn’t just want us to be fully funded; he wants to be involved in the process. He wants us to experience intimacy with him through our asking.
E.M. Bounds also says, “Our prayer requests and how fervent we pray for those requests reveal our understanding of God.” If you are anything like me you tend to act first and pray second, revealing our true perspective: that if we work then God will work. However, that perspective isn’t biblical. In the book The God Ask, Steve Shadrach spends half of the book on our perspective of God and his willingness to give to his servants who ask. Over and over again he says, "You can’t, God can.” The principle is simple and extremely God centered. We can’t do it, only God can raise our support, which leads us to the question, why are we not asking first? James 4:2 says, “we have not because we ask not” meaning that our prayer is the antidote for our needs. God doesn’t just want us to be fully funded; he wants to be involved in the process. He wants us to experience intimacy with him through our asking. There is nothing intimate about raising your support without any true prayer. He wants us to experience his power, his love, and intimacy with him through our asking him. So, whether you are a full time staff person who raises support, or a student who raises support for the summer, I encourage you to make the "God Ask" by starting with consistent and fervent prayer for your support!