Friday, September 20, 2013

The Kneeling Warrior by David D. Ireland

Do you want to be trained in the art of spiritual warfare? Do you want to regain what the enemy has stolen from you?

If so, Ireland has written this book for you. His primary intention is to equip you to put your faith in action and help you adopt a biblical mind-set regarding spiritual warfare. Reading this book, he says, is taking a step toward taking a stand to secure what God has promised you.

The book follows an outline from the life of David: engage your feelings, engage your faith, engage in the fight.
Engage your feelings: you must have a passionate reason to fight. Perhaps it is an experience of loss or the threat of it. Ireland helps you become equipped and skilled, suggesting a prayer regimen (time, place, agenda).
Engage your faith: like biblical characters, you wrestle the forces of evil. You learn how to use defensive weapons, then offensive ones (some of the latter were a surprise, such as tithing). He has a great section on prevailing prayer. He writes about encountering resistance to executing the will of God, using spiritual and natural action.
Engage in the fight: keeping in top shape by practicing spiritual disciples. He suggests corporate prayer and prayer of agreement. He explores intercession, spiritual representation and advocacy. He also explains how to know the subject of your intercession. He encourages you to be a legacy maker.

Ireland is quick to point out that this is not a name-it-and-claim-it kind of book. The emphasis is finding out what God wants to do, or has promised to do, then moving in that direction. He deals with “unanswered” prayer too. He gives lots of examples of prayer, from his life, others, and from the Bible.

As a young Christian, I was steeped in the sovereignty of God. I do not feel Ireland addresses sufficiently how God's sovereignty and prayer work together. For example, he writes, “Satan has no legal right to touch you if you're walking in total submission to God and His will for your life. … Submission means total surrender and compliance to God's desires and direction for your life. When you strap this defensive weapon to your life, there is nothing Satan can do to hurt you.” (91) I am not sure any individual (other than Jesus in the flesh) has actually ever been in total submission and compliance. And then there is Job, who was “blameless and upright” yet experienced tremendous disaster. And there was the fellow in John 9 who was blind, not because of anything humans had done, but for God's glory. I just don't think we can guarantee, under any circumstances, the kind of promise Ireland made. God is still sovereign.

That issue aside, this is a good book on being a prayer warrior. I learned a great deal from it. I really liked his prayer agenda (all the “p” words) and will be implementing it myself. Ireland writes, “The Bible is clear on God's call for all believers to become kneeling warriors.” (26) This book is a good place to learn how to be exactly that.

David D. Ireland, PhD, is the founding and senior pastor of Christ Church, a 6,000 member multiracial congregation in New Jersey. He is the diversity consultant to the NBA, hosts seminars on diversity, leadership, and prayer and is the author of numerous books. He and his wife have been married for nearly thirty years and have two adult daughters.

Charisma House, 216 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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