Reader’s Note: As we enter a new year and new decade, the power of prayer is necessary to see every promise of God come to pass. Lead and Founding Pastor of Christ Church and Prayerfest visionary, Dr. David Ireland, shares these words of encouragement from his book, “The Kneeling Warrior.”

Becoming a kneeling warrior means you follow Paul’s advice in Ephesians 6:11 to “put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Putting on the armor is more than just a trial fitting. Much like when a person leaves civilian life and becomes a professional soldier, the full armor of God is to become your permanent uniform. It is a sign to you and others that you are on full-time spiritual warfare duty. It shows you are always ready to spring into action to fight against any of Satan’s attacks.

When you take a defensive posture, you decide upfront that you won’t retreat. Retreating would mean yielding a valued promise of God, part of your destiny, or a prized possession to the will of Satan. Paul advises us to stand firm against the tricks of Satan (Ephesians 6:13–14). This defensive posture of standing firm will keep you committed to the will of God no matter how difficult or uncomfortable the challenge becomes. For instance, if you believe God blessed you with your current job, why let the devil drive you away from it? Stand your ground!

Standing firm in the will of God is like a security blanket. It’s one of God’s most precious tools for protecting us. In Colossians 4:12, Epaphras wrestled in prayer for those at Colosse, “that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Colossians 4:12). Similarly, it is my prayer that you defend yourself against the hordes of hell by standing firm in all the will of God. Let’s heed the words of Peter who wrote:

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Peter tells us that we can resist Satan and his attacks by standing firm in the faith. This defensive action suggests that believing and obeying God’s Word anchors us. We don’t have to retreat or relinquish precious ground to the enemy. We successfully resist Satan’s assault when we allow the Bible to become the basis of our faith and life practice. Let’s live like a professional soldier––a full-time kneeling warrior engaged in kingdom business.

Dr. David Ireland is founder and senior pastor of Christ Church, a 9,000-member multisite congregation in North Jersey representing over 70 nationalities. Former diversity consultant to the National Basketball Association, Dr. Ireland has led chapel services for the New York Giants, New York Jets, and at the U.S. Pentagon. Ireland has traveled to more than 75 nations and built a reputation of teaching culturally relevant messages that inspire and empower his global audiences. He is a well-respected columnist contributing to such media outlets like Fox News, Huffington Post, and Patheos. Dr. Ireland is the author of over 20 books including Raising a Child Who Prays. Ireland has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including The Dr. Phil Show, The CBS Evening News, The 700 Club, and Focus on the Family. Through his community development corporation, he offers a home for victims of domestic violence.

The Rev. Ireland holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (Fairleigh Dickinson University), a graduate degree in civil engineering (Stevens Institute of Technology), a master’s degree in theology (Alliance Theological Seminary). He has an earned Ph.D. in organizational leadership (Regent University) and completed post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a candidate for a graduate degree in social innovation from the University of Cambridge in England. Dr. Ireland was recently appointed as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Faith-Based Initiatives. He serves on the boards of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Dr. Marlinda Ireland, have been married since 1984 and have two adult daughters and a son-in-law.

Prayerfest 2021, hosted by Dr. David Ireland, takes place on Friday, July 30 at Christ Church in Rockaway, New Jersey, USA.