Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

When it comes to prayer, we must be as tenacious as a British bulldog. A British bulldog has unique characteristics in the design of its jawbone, which provides tremendous biting strength. In this podcast, Carl uses this bulldog as an illustration to encourage you in your prayer life. Are there some things you’ve quit believing God for? Jesus spoke to His disciples about a widow woman (Luke 18:1-8) who was the epitome of persistence in prayer. However, this passage is often misinterpreted. Is God a just or unjust God? Is it fair to compare Him with an unjust judge? Tune in now, to find out how you can persist in faith, until your prayer is answered…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Friend, today I’d like to talk about prayer but particularly, persistence in prayer. You know what the old timers would say, we need to storm the gates of heaven, bind Satan and pray until God hears you. Well, I believe there’s some truth in that statement; however, much has been said down the years regarding persistence in prayer and sometimes for the wrong reasons. Having studied the scriptures for a little bit; I firmly believe that God’s ability to intervene in our lives is impacted by our prayer life. This may seem like an obvious statement but let me put it to you another way, I truly believe Gods ability to move in our lives can even be ‘restrained’ by our prayer life (or lack thereof). Therefore, if we’re not diligent in some areas, we can miss out on seeing God’s best come to pass in our lives. We have to realize that God is not deaf, he hears us the first time when we ask Him for something. When Jesus said in Matt 7:7 and Luk 11:19, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. ” He wasn’t talking about repeating the same petition over and over. He was saying that you need to be persistence in your intentions when it comes to prayer and not quitting until you get an answer. As I’m sure you know by now, when it comes to getting our prayers answered, the resistance is from the evil one, not God, providing your petition is in line with God’s will and his Holy Word reveals that. We don’t pound the gates of heaven again and again with the same prayer, no, Jesus said we are not to pray with vain-less repetitions as the heathen does. He said in Matthew 6:7, But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

I really like the illustration that Pastor John Osteen gave some years ago, with regard to receiving from God. He said, if my daughter came to me and asked me for a new dress or something else, I would answer yes, but you’re going to have to wait until Saturday when we go shopping. As far as John was concerned, he’d already granted the dress to his daughter, but it wasn’t in her physical possession until Saturday came around. Friend, it’s the same way with our Heavenly Father, when we approach Him in faith and petition Him, He grants us the petitions of our heart immediately, but it hasn’t’ manifested in the natural realm yet. So, what do we do until that dress manifests? Do we come to him every day and ask, daddy where’s the dress, daddy, where’s that dress, daddy? No friend, that’s irritating from God’s perspective to say the least because as far as He’s concerned, He’s already answered the desire of our heart but its far better to thank Him until it manifests. In fact, the best way to show your continued faith in the situation is to thank and worship Him in advance for your petition, and this gives Him glory. It says in Rom 4:20-22 regarding the Patriarch Abraham, that, 20 “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” Ever since I heard Pastor John’ Osteen’s illustration regarding the dress, this is what I do in prayer because it’s scriptural. I go to the Father, find the scripture or promise in His word that I can stand upon, then I ask Him in faith and once I ask Him, I stand on, 1 John 5:15, “And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Now one thing I do is make sure my heart isn’t condemning me before I ask, because if it is, then I won’t have confidence that God is going to answer my prayer, remember 1 Jn 3:21, ” Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” Remember the Apostle Paul said holding a clear conscience is the mystery of faith and we need to keep our hearts tender before God. So, when we’re confident, we can stand upon 1 Jn 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.. There are quite a few scriptural examples, where the Lord commands us to ask and pray. If God is in control of everything and the world works according to His perfect will by default, then why in the scriptures is God asking us to pray, call upon his name, cast out spirits, heal the sick, send laborers into the harvest or do the works of the Father. My friend there is a purpose for prayer and action. Now let’s turn to Luke 18 which is a very famous passage on persistence in prayer but it’s often wrongly interpreted. And I will read it for you now, Luke 18:1:

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Isn’t it comical that Jesus was talking to bunch of blokes as we’d say in Wales, about persistence in prayer, and then He says, “And there was a widow in that city.” This could be interpreted as a bit of a slap in the face for the disciples. Jesus is going to give an example of real tenacity in prayer by starting out with an example of a woman. Why? Because I have to be honest, the best pray (ers) I’ve ever met are women not men and it looks like Jesus thought so too. Sorry guys. Men pray for about 30 seconds to one minute but because women understand the birthing process intimately, lol they have a gumption to continue until this thing is manifested in the natural realm. They won’t let go and are willing to endure some discomfort along the way too but men, not necessarily so. I like the way Marilyn Hickey used to say it, we need to have bulldog faith, a faith that’s not willing to let go until the answer to our prayer materializes. The reason she gave the example of the bulldog, is because the lower jawbone of an English bulldog projects upward in front of the upper jaw, and is called the ‘turn up’. Therefore, the jaws not only clench, but rotate upwards, effectively locking it into place. This typically creates a stronger clench than a normal dog and your clench needs to be stronger than the devil’s friend.

Now, back to Luke chapter 18, the widow woman is commended for her persistence in petitioning for justice against her adversary, compounded by the fact that she was facing an unjust judge. The unjust judge was temporarily withholding the rightful justice she deserved and she needed to cry out day and night. Satan is the one who withholds rightful justice on this earth and he is a typology of the adversary in this passage. We need to remain steadfast in faith until we see our prayers come to pass friend but it certainly isn’t because we have to ‘convince, persuade or beg’ God to do it. God is our vindicator friend, he will avenge us in due season and we should not take vengeance into our own hands, no matter how tempting it might be to do so. Remember, King David, several times he had the opportunity to take vengeance upon King Saul who was hunting him day and night, but he chose not to do so. Remember in the book of Romans chapter 12, verse 19 it says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Friend, this widow woman was seeking to make right a wrong that occurred against her and prayer is the best means by which God can do this in your life, instead of taking matters into your own hands in the flesh. In my own life, there have been times when I’ve been wronged, and taken matters into my own hands and times when I didn’t and left it up to God, when I did so, the outcome was for the benefit of all and especially in my favor also.

Now people have mistaken God for the unjust judge in this passage whom we need ‘to wear down by our continual coming’. This is not so. To designate God as an unjust judge is not in unison with the total representation of God in scripture and is the wrong interpretation of this passage. Also, an unjust judge is subject to bribes. So, this judge was evidently not to be trusted for the right outcome. One takeaway from this passage, is that even if an unrighteous judge is willing to answer the prayers of this widow, this serves as a standard Jewish, “how much more” argument, i.e., HOW MUCH MORE will a righteous judge like our heavenly father answer our prayers. Friend, it won’t take much will it, remember when Jesus spoke of God’s goodness in Matthew 7:11, “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? ” Friend, we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves justice and doesn’t need to be coerced, manipulated or forced into answering our prayers. He’s willing to fulfill any of His promises toward us and swiftly. Now what does it mean when it says in verse 7, “though He bear long with them”? Remember this isn’t a statement but a question. I prefer the way it’s worded in the CJB, ” Let’s read it now:

Then the Lord commented, “Notice what this corrupt judge says. Now won’t God grant justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Is he delaying long over them? I tell you that he will judge in their favor, and quickly! But when the Son of Man comes, will he find this trust on the earth at all?”

Friend, God isn’t delaying anything, like I said the resistance is not from Him although I will say that sometimes it can take time for God to position certain things to answer our prayers. Remember Abraham received the promise of Isaac, through faith and patience, not faith only. Patience is waiting well, not just waiting otherwise the scripture would say, he inherited the promise through faith and waiting. We could also be waiting on the angels to do their bidding in the spiritual realm, before we see the answer manifest in our life. Do you recall the prophet Daniel when he prayed in Babylonian captivity? Let’s read Daniel 10:12-13, Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”

Two things to note here friend, Daniel’s words impacted the situation and there was satanic resistance in the heavenly realm hindering the immediate answer to Daniels prayer. Clearly the Prince of Persia is not a physical entity in this context as he resisted an Angel in this passage. So, what if Daniel had not prayed at all or even quit after 10 days? I fear he wouldn’t have seen the manifestation of his prayer. Only when Daniel diligently continued in faith did his prayer manifest and it’s this same persistence that the Son of Man seeks when He returns to the earth. Friend, it’s time to go back to some things you’ve quit on God for. I know there are people out there who’ve given up on several desires in their life, but God hasn’t friend. It’s time to stand on His promises once more and be persistent until it manifests.

Related Keyword Searches:

How to pray?
How to pray to God?
How to pray in the Spirit?
What is prayer?
Praying for results

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Episode 54