Pipeline to Battle

I came across an incredible story from World War 2 that has been a huge source of inspiration for us at Pipeline. Our name Pipeline is a bit unique for a church, but way back in 2004 when we were waiting on the Lord for a name he gave us this and we loved it. It seemed to fit with our location in downtown Humble (oil boom city) and our emphasis in serving the skateboarding culture. But the name means so much more. In Zechariah 4 God reveals a picture of pipes and a plumbline to Zechariah which we also feel has deep significance for us. Anyway, along our journey our burden in intercession has grown and grown. As this burden has grown we have become students of intercession, finding all the resources we could by those who know what it means to prevail with God on their knees “& win”. One of those books was about Rees Howells. An intercessor from Wales, whose entire life was marked by an astonishing diligence in intercession. Throughout the 2nd World War Howells and a group of intercessors from the Bible College of Wales stood in the gap in prayer for their nation against the invading Nazi forces. The author Norman Grubb, shares 5 critical strategic errors Hitler made during the war that changed its outcome. For every one of these errors, Rees Howells and his intercessors were on their knees before God contending together.


One of those strategic errors was at the battle of El Alamein (in North Africa) where the German Panzer division under the legendary General Rommel (aka, the Desert Fox) faced the allied forces of the British 8th Army, under General Montgomery. The battle was a battle of attrition, a slugfest, a blow for blow death match. The battle was critical and Hitler had given Rommel the order ‘victory or death’. However just minutes before the Allied forces were to be overcome. The German’s suddenly stopped firing & appeared over the ridge waving white flags of surrender. They rushed to the allied forces for water. What had happened? Incredibly in the German’s under-nourished and under-hydrated condition they had come across a water pipeline. They shot into it and immediately gulped down the water that broke forth. What they didn’t realize was they were drinking salt water, but by then it was too late. The Pipeline had just been laid down by the engineering corps of the eighth army and was still being tested with salt water. Fresh water was far too valuable for testing a pipeline. In the German’s haste to quench their thirst their bodies were actually becoming even more seriously dehydrated, which forced them to surrender. The original book this story was recorded in was called “Pipeline to Battle” by Major Peter Rainer, of the Engineering Corps. He described the situation as nothing short of a miracle, “divine intervention”. At the start of the war Rees Howell’s stated, “when prayer fails, intercession begins.”

How does that apply to Pipeline Church? Well first off it is not very often that I have found the word Pipeline, linked to such a prophetic title ‘Pipeline to Battle’. The timing of my first coming across this story was also particularly significant. It is my conviction, like this Pipeline, that the Lord himself has positioned us and tested us & is calling us to a battle (guarding the heart attitude of abiding) to prepare ourselves and this generation for a release of his ‘living water’  unlike what many may have ever experienced before.

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.