– Habitat Loss –
The reddy-brown Orangutan and her little baby drifted through the air, suspended in a
metal cage. Their beautiful faces flecked with warm, bright sunlight through small air-holes
as they swung together in the sky beneath the helicopter that carried them like a tired
pendulum. The great apes were en-route to the jungle of Borneo to be released back into the
wild to be given a fighting chance of returning to their lofty world of tree-top canopies.
Emen had endured the traumatic death of her own mother and the cruel loss of most of her
right hand before being brought into a Orangutan rescue centre years before. Now she was
being taken back to her original habitat with her 3-year old baby, Leonara, in a brave attempt
to release them into their natural environment to rescue something extraordinary for their
lives. The success of the BBC’s The Great Ape Escape project was literally hanging in the
balance with the hopes of not just these two beautiful creatures but the lives of over 600
other Oragnutans back in the rescue centre – Would they remember where
they were from and survive the transfer or would the project be too much for them to cope with and threaten their lives?
The Great Ape Escape project was born because these uniquely beautiful animals
have experienced such massive decline in recent decades, through illegal hunting and decimated
habitat loss, that their species status has fallen from being endangered to now critically
endangered. Tragically, Orangutans are encountering the real threat of extinction
on our watch and world-wide efforts like this have had to rise up to rescue them back into their
natural habitat in the hope of dragging them back from the brink.
You’re reading this book, so you’re not an animal, or anything like one, but you are an
exceedingly beautiful creation – infinitely more so than the Orangutan or the Lion or the
Tiger or the Great White Shark or anything else in all of creation! You have a natural
habitat too and it’s called the private place of prayer. Whether you feel it or not, whether you
have never prayed before or whether you have prayed for years and grown tired, it is your
natural habitat – it is your home, the place where you are meant to be.
But your home has been damaged, endangered and, in parts, lost by the insatiable hunting of
your soul. The place in which you were made to dwell and live, recreate and spend vast
amounts of time with Jesus, has become a world endangered by the creeping tide of
secularism and atheism, nominalism, selfish ambition, unbelief, neglect and celebrity
hysteria. At worse, the private place of prayer has become a foreign habitat for many of us to
the point where we now don’t know what to do or say, how to thrive or even survive, and so…we don’t – we don’t pray.
sure how to feed ourselves or rest in God. We have become ‘prayerless’ and restless, endangered ‘pray-ers’, patients of an epidemic disease quickly moving us into realms of critical endangerment because eventually prayerlessness
renders us all unconscious, vulnerable and unaware like an RTA patient on ICU. Frighteningly, not praying feels normal for us and we stop feeling pangs of ‘something’s not
quite right’ when we forget about being with Jesus and we neglect the place He tells us
forcefully about in John 15 – the place of abiding in Him.
Abiding? It simply means staying for Him,
waiting until you hear Him and you know He has heard you. This is the Christ-abiding
habitat of your praying home – God’s Green Room. I pray you might stick these few pages
out with me so that I can help to show you just how much this is really where you are made to live, how you can live there again and what this ultimately means for your life and family lineage.
What excited me most about seeing these beautiful Orangutans released back into
their natural habitat was their instinctive and immediate behaviour to emerge from their metal cages on the jungle floor and instinctively climb toward the tree canopy high above –
it was moving, powerful and absolutely amazing to watch! In uncharted and forgotten territory
their DNA told them what to do as their God-given nature led the way. So will yours
because this upward call in Christ is what you were made for and this is where you were made to live.
God’s Green Room of John chapter 15 is the biggest gig of your life.
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