In all my prayers for all of you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6
One thing I love about going to the beach is taking photographs from the edge of the water that take in the wide expanse of the Gulf of Mexico – especially at sunset! There is something both overwhelming and at the same time assuring about being one tiny part of that enormous expanse. But to catch the magnitude of that scene I have to switch my camera from the portrait setting to a wide angle lens.
That reminds me of a song we like to sing at church with the line, “I know breakthrough is coming.” Usually while I am heartily belting out the lyrics I am thinking of some issue that I am hoping God will help me or maybe someone in our family with. Now it is true that God does want to meet our personal needs, but the amazing thing about the Apostle Paul’s prayer is that it is completely focused on others. He wasn’t only clinging on to that hope that God wasn’t finished with him yet (Remember Paul is sitting in prison while he is writing). No! In fact Paul writes to encourage the Philippian church not to give up on what God has started with them. He is trusting the God of breakthrough, but not just for himself to get out of jail. He is believing that God has great things in store for His friends back in Macedonia.
Praying like Paul is like switching from looking down at our feet while we stand on the seashore, to looking at the people around us through God’s wide angle lens. That is not to say that our own battles are insignificant, but that the breakthroughs which God has in store include far more than just us. We are one small part of God’s big plan. His amazing love includes so much more than we can imagine and so many more people than we could ever dream of. So in switching over to using God’s wide angle lens, think about who you can pray for this morning. Maybe that someone else needs a breakthrough that only you can ask God for today.