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Pastor David Ireland’s Weapon of Choice

David says it is important to defend yourself and family through prayer.  He reminds us that prayer was the backbone and foundation of the ministry and life of Jesus.  It is one of the most powerful gifts we’ve been given.  Like soldiers who have gone absent without official leave, believers who don’t prayer are disinterested in the fight against the enemy.  

“They’ve gotten to a place where they don’t care any longer,” says David.  When we don’t pray we are sinning against God.  He calls this life on the sidelines “spiritual HIV,” or high indifference virus.  Just as HIV weakens an immune system, spiritual HIV decreases a warrior’s instinct and ability to engage in spiritual battles.  A balanced spiritual life includes reading God’s Word, prayer, communing with God and fellowshipping with other believers.  David reminds us that praying gives us authority.  This authority has been given to us by Jesus.  Anything we use to overpower an opponent is considered a weapon; therefore there is a connection between prayer and a weapon.  

Many people don’t see God as a general.  It’s easy to see Him as a loving father or a humble shepherd.  “He’s a mighty general, too,” says David.  “He’s the commander of the army of the Lord.”  When we start seeing ourselves as soldiers of Christ, we will be motivated to contribute to the battle.  “Sideline living is not for us, no matter how comfortable it may appear,” says David.  “The devil is poised to pounce and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.”

David says there are strategic ways to pray: offensively and defensively.  When the enemy attacks us, we have to respond with defensive prayers for our marriages, relationships with our children, for our career and health.  God searches for believers who will pray defensively and who care deeply about the people or territory they are praying for.  “People fight for people they love and value,” says David.

Being watchful is a defensive stance.  When a Christian goes on the defense, he or she goes into a fighting mode and may even schedule special times of intercession.  When their children were away at college, David says he and Marlinda would meet for an hour in the afternoon once a week to pray for their children’s protection, their ongoing spiritual growth, etc.  They both prayed independently over the course of the week, but they isolated that hour to “defend their house.”  

Other times, prayers shift to the offense.  “Offensive prayer is anything that moves into the turf of the enemy,” he says.  For example, when we pray for our children and their future mates, or for the promises of God for our lives.  “You can’t win a battle without going on the offense,” says David.  “There’s nothing wrong with being in the foxhole, but at some point, we move into the offensive mode.”  David reminds us that the army of God calls for offensive living.  “If we are going to venture beyond the walls of our faith, offensive praying is critical,” he says.  

The Lord spoke to David’s heart many years ago about ministering to the whole person.  To do that, the church needed more space.  They found a 107-acre parcel of land with three buildings totaling over 300,000 square feet.  The moment they signed the contracts, an intense public battle began as some people opposed their plans to use the property as a church campus.  David had a dream where the Lord gave him a revelation about patiently handling the opposition and addressing their questions honestly and respectfully.  (The actual physical battle – which they won-- lasted over three years.)  David was able to pray offensively.  

“I knew what God desired for the outcome,” he says.  “This emboldened me.”


Mentioned in the Video



Guest Info


Author of more than 25 books, his latest The Weapon of Prayer, Charisma House 2016

Founding Pastor, Christ Church, an 8,000 member, multi-racial congregation with over 60 nationalities

Diversity Consultant, National Basketball Association, hosting seminars nationally and internationally on diversity, leadership, marriage and prayer

MPS, Alliance Theological Seminary

PhD, Organizational Leadership, Regent University

Has completed post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania

Wife: Marlinda, 32 years

Two adult children


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