water buffalo…lions…and prayer movements…

i am a freak…and it’s almost embarassing mentioning this. i like watching the national geographic channel…and all of those animal shows. sure…it may be because we are on the family plan…which means we get a grand total of 15 channels…therefore my choices are limited. but that excuse goes out the window when from 11pm to 1am on a tuesday night i start watching “relentless enemies”…this episode…water buffalo and lions. (watch the preview)

i know…but don’t ask me why. yes…somehow i was completely enthralled by this battle…this story of survival…this obsession with enduring. the interesting dynamic in this story is how one pride of lions and a herd of water buffalo end up trapped on an island in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa…and the only meal that this particular pride of lions feasts on…is water buffalo…nothing else. as a result…an obsessive pursuit continues day after day after day after day. the female lions scope out the herd…formulate a strategy…look for the most vulnerable…the sick…the young…the wounded…and then attack.

i don’t know if you know anything about water buffalo…but they don’t have much of a defense strategy…individually. ok…well who does have a strategy against five lions jumping on you with razor sharp claws…razor sharp teeth…and going for your neck…right? it really got to be a joke…because the water buffalo would have calves…the lions would run after the herd…and then eat the slow calves. the only way the water buffalo are sustained…is through their massive numbers.

it was exhausting watching the show. i really felt terrible for the water buffalo. the lions were just relentless. they would chase an individual buffalo…the buffalo would turn around and face them…the lions would stop. the buffalo would turn to run…the lions would pursue. you just knew the outcome every time…and i was just waiting for the moment that the lions would get what was coming to them. and it finally happened….

you see…the water buffalo finally figured out the their strength is in numbers. they figured out that when the lions grab one of their brothers…they would turn around and charge the offenders. this sent the lions scrambling…completely disoriented…and no doubt wondering what changed. as time went on…the water buffalo became empowered and confident. they realized that their numbers scared the lowly pride of lions…to such an extent…that they even became crazy and aggressive toward the lions…charging them…taking control…preserving their lives.

alright…here is the deal. the entire time that i was watching this documentary…i couldn’t help but look at this from a spiritual perspective. maybe i was influenced by a book that i just finished called Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation. if we were able to tap into a dimension…a spiritual dimension…that we currently cannot see…we would see a battle raging. we would have a better understanding of the spiritual forces that are at work…trying to destroy our relationship with God…our relationships with others…and then ultimately destroy us as individuals.

we are being pursued…persistantly…obsessively. many times we run. many times we fall. we are the spiritually weak. we are the spiritually stagnant. we are the spiritually sick…the spiritually feeble. easy targets…individually trying to shake off the aggressors…by ourselves. and sometimes…it seems so overwhelming…so consuming…so exhausting. we run a little bit…turn and face the enemy…run some more…and then get attacked. when we feel the weight of the lions…we just want to give up.

as followers of christ….we have strength in numbers…but most of the time…we don’t act like it. what would happen if we actually turned together in the name of Christ…and faced the enemy? what would it look like to mobilize and pioneer a prayer awakening among the Church (capital C church)? what would a movement of people praying every moment for their friends, family, neighborhoods, and towns look like? what would it be like to come together in such a way through prayer the enemy was terrified? it would be a revolution.

the reality is that these are not new questions. in fact…there have been huge prayer movements throughout the centuries…where God has moved in amazing and confounding ways…when His people were given to Him in prayer. at the [living] room…we realize that unless our foundation is prayer…we are completely ineffective. as a result, we continue to talk about ways that the [living] room can be a house of prayer full of people who hunger for praying and obeying like never before. i am excited about the seeds God is planting with us!

in the meantime…please be praying for ways that we can pray in more and better ways as a church. pray for our planning and implementation of a prayer room at the [living] room. also…i highly recommend reading Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation by Pete Greig and Dave Roberts, and Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. please post your feedback as a comment.


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