The thing I love about the internet: You start out searching for a topic like “prayer” and you end up watching a YouTube video of a pen-and-ink animated Bambi getting squashed by a giant pen-and-ink foot of Godzilla.
The 1969 cartoon, “Bambi Meets Godzilla” by Marv Newland, which is only 90 seconds long, is actually ranked #38 in the book, “The 50 Greatest Cartoons.”
Check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R-rbzcEM8A.
I found the video after searching “Why pray?” on the Christianity Today (CT) website after a phone conversation with a man named Ed from a local church.
Ed is the organizer of the local annual National Day of Prayer gatherings each year. I’ve been covering this prayer event for the Chronicle for probably 25 years. When it first started locally — nationally this is the 70th year — it was an all-day event, beginning with a prayer breakfast at a big pavilion, attended by most of the county’s leaders. Throughout the day there would be smaller prayer events scattered around the county, culminating with a big prayer event in the evening, although I don’t remember where.
For the past 10 or 15 years it’s been a noon event at either the lawn of the historic courthouse or outside city hall, usually with the same lineup of people praying for our nation, our community, families, the military, etc. As I talked to Ed today about this year’s event, I asked, “Why? Why pray? We’ve been doing this every year for a long, long time, and look what is happening in our nation.” He said, “We pray because prayer moves mountains. Things change when we pray.”
Not satisfied with his answer, my CT search led me to a 2004 article, “Why Pray?” That’s where I learned of the “Bambi Meets Godzilla” cartoon. In it, Bambi is innocently grazing in a flowery meadow and then gets crushed by Godzilla. Immediately, I thought it illustrated the futility of prayer. Life is going to crush us whether we pray or not. But that’s not the point CT made as the article asked: “What happens in this world when raw weakness meets raw power?”
The raw power being prayer, persistent, relentless, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit prayer.
“It’s radical; it goes down deep beneath the surface to uproot evil and upset the status quo,” writes the unnamed CT author. “History and the future belong to the intercessors. That’s because the real struggle is spiritual, not physical. Those who know this are the true subversives, guerrillas of the Spirit, moving kingdoms and creation from their knees.”
What happens in this world when raw weakness, when poverty and hunger and sickness, relationship struggles, addiction and apathy, fear and factions, pride, arrogance and selfishness and all the woes of this world meet the raw power of God through prayer?
In all honesty, I can’t say nothing happens. It may look like nothing happens; it may even look like things get worse.
But I’ve seen the raw power of prayer that moves mountains, that crushes adversity and neuters the bitter opposition from our spiritual enemy, or as I like to say, makes pigs fly.
I know it to be true.
And yet, how quickly and easily I forget.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! Lord, hear my prayer.