Major-General Charles Orde Wingate (1903–1944) was one of the most interesting, innovative, and influential, aggravating, and outrageous British commanders of World War II. He was a deeply religious man who often used the Bible as a guide. In the English army, he was one of the forerunners of Special Operations Forces, who led his men on highly unorthodox and innovative missions. In 1936, he was assigned to Israel to put down the largest Palestinian uprising until the 1980s. The country was controlled by Arab bands that roamed through the streets at night, robbing, killing, stealing anyone and anything that came across their path.

Wingate persuaded the British and Zionist leaders to let him organize Special Night Squads. Dressed in casual khaki shorts and rubber soled shoes they quietly walked single file in a zig-zag pattern throughout the city, surprising the notorious gangs. Because of their unusual military tactics Wingate said, “We were able to take back the night.” Later his men followed him when he led a small Gideon’s force against 300,000 Italian troops who were occupying East Africa.

Wingate is credited with turning the tide of the war that Japan waged against Burma in 1943 by the use of his Special Ops soldiers working behind enemy lines. They were a rag-tag bunch, looked down on by the organized military that attacked the enemy head-on. But Wingate’s units of street savvy soldiers located strategically behind enemy lines were effective and powerful.

Here’s what is unique about Wingate: his troops were small in number, their uniforms often looked like civilian dress, their tactics well thought out but unorthodox, yet they could secretly maneuver behind enemy lines and cause great damage to the enemy. Wingate said, “Given a population favorable to penetration, a thousand resolute and well-armed men can paralyze, for an indefinite period, the operations of a hundred thousand.”

Wingate was a unique leader who knew how to bring his troops together to make the greatest impact. As a leader, he was willing to go where no one else had gone before. He grasped an idea and persuaded others to embrace the concept and carry it through to completion.

Here are a few observations about the relationship to what Wingate did and how as those who pray can learn:

  • A innovative leader is a necessity. This has to be a leader who is not afraid of new ideas and who will lead his/her people in prayer and not just tell them to go pray.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of people to make a big difference. Wingate, like Gideon, chose a handful of men who would follow him in his unorthodox methods.
  • We look harmless – Wingate’s army dressed to blend in with the people.
  • We are quiet but powerful – While our walk is quiet, the power we have in our hands will transform our nation.


The Church is in dire need of a Special Operations Prayer Force. With the right leadership and a trained force of men and women we can take the Mountain of Education and turn our nation around. Sign up today to be one of our special ops prayer warriors.