We use this word a lot in our prayers. For ourselves and people we love – for finances, for marriages, for ministries, for healing, and for direction. These prayers often ring out as drops in a cup; seemingly repetitive, with no tangible result – until that final drop fills the cup to overflowing. But sometimes the day to day drop, drop, drop can get tiring. The waiting. The persevering faith.
In the waiting, both time and perspective are absolutely essential – because many significant breakthroughs don’t come after one prayer in one solitary moment (though I certainly have seen exactly that). The day-to-day peeping is way too narrow for these huge areas we are trusting to Him – the 10,000ft view tells so much more of the story.
I love that according to Dictionary.com, a breakthrough can be either:
A productive insight
A penetration of a barrier such as an enemy’s defense.
Growing faith for the seemingly impossible breakthroughs are essential vitamins for doing the real adventure-life with God. We emphasize this with our kids in the way we begin each new year. I cut out paper links from two different colors and we sit together at the weathered kitchen table, sharpie markers in hand. Each family member gets 4 white links on which to thank God for things that happened in the closing year, and 4 green links to write their prayer requests for the year ahead – we then gather them, all 64!, and read them aloud together.
Before we begin, we always read the links (which by then have been cut and pasted into a haphazard collage) from last New Years. I can feel both the faith level and thankfulness rise in the room with each prayer read, as we truly see God’s faithfulness and heart from the 10,000ft view. Some of my favorites are always praying for friends desiring babies who have had trouble conceiving or the pain of miscarriage – and then getting to thank God the following year for the new little life born to them (like my rolypoly nephew!). Tangible answered prayer. Living, breathing breakthrough.
Once the atmosphere shift has taken place and faith has flooded the tiny kitchen, we begin pouring out both our thanks and requests for the now.
‘Healing for Zoey’s leg!’
‘A baby for Erin!’
‘New church building!’
‘A silver van!’
‘A silver Nissan van!’
And so it goes. Then we form the links into a giant chain and hang it in our living room for awhile, as a reminder of all He has done, and will do. A chain of faith, forged by tiny hearts who despite the big losses in their lives are solid in their beliefs that God IS, and that He is GOOD, and that He is always working while we wait.
We did a similar thing with our small group this week – we all shared the great things God did this year, followed by our deepest breakthrough needs for the year ahead. Tears flowed, on both ends of the spectrum, in great thanks and great need; our own, and those we are doing life with. It was beautiful.
As I began to push into these new prayers on the table, building a landscape of hope and faith for these friends I love, God flooded my mind with the amazing breakthrough He has brought in a year to so many other loved ones.
Marriages totally on the brink, now restored, with an amazing trajectory of hope.
Beloved families on food stamps, now with money to spare and brand new jobs.
Babies in the arms of mothers who had been previously empty.
Precious friends going to bed hungry, blessed with a miraculous financial provision extravagant enough to flip their entire situation.
A new daughter at home, with an incredible family, after years of deferred hope.
Trust restored to marriages.
Loved ones defiled and displaced by their church; only to be adopted into a new church family and blown away by brand new life and passionate faith.
I could go on and on and on. Things that I’ve missed as they happened little by little – but taking them all in as a landscape are breathtaking. He hears us. He helps us. He loves us.
So I press in again this year, for those very people and situations Has has now placed in our lives, to hope with them and for all the answers we will see another year from now. To remember all He has done, as we trust for all He will do again. Because the 1million ft view is that He is truly the same yesterday, today, and forever.