Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Pavel Goia
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000278
00:30 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again to
00:33 Issues and Answers. We're so glad that you've joined
00:35 us today. You're going to be glad that you've joined us today
00:39 if you're interested in prayer. You know, if you ever want to
00:43 get a pulse on your spiritual life, put your finger on the
00:47 pulse of your spiritual life figure out how much time you're
00:50 spending in the Word and how much time you're spending in
00:53 prayer. Let me share a scripture with you. It comes from 1 John
00:57 5. I'm going to read verses 14 and 15 from the Amplified
01:02 Version. It says: This is the confidence which we have in him
01:06 (in Christ) that if we ask anything according to his will,
01:10 he listens, he hears us, and if we know that he listens to us in
01:16 whatever we ask, we also know that we have the request that
01:21 we have made of him. I am so excited to welcome back
01:26 to 3ABN Pastor Pavel Goia. Pastor, thank you so much for
01:31 coming back to 3ABN. Thank you for inviting me.
01:34 Now this is you first time on Issues and Answers but I had
01:38 the privilege of interviewing you on a Today program.
01:41 We talked about prayer and you do a lot of seminars on prayer
01:45 don't you? Yes. I am glad that you've come back because when
01:49 we were talking before we didn't get to cover everything that we
01:53 wanted to and I really felt like the Lord has led you on an
01:57 incredible prayer journey. So for our viewers who've never had
02:01 the opportunity to meet you before, please share a little
02:05 bit of the story of how you came to be a pastor.
02:11 It's a two-fold story. First part when I was about 5-6 years
02:18 old right before going to school there was a pastor in Romania
02:25 that came from the Union to visit our church and he talked
02:31 on Jeremiah 29:11: I know the plans I have for you. He said
02:37 God has designed a specific plan for each one's life and we
02:42 should search for that plan so God could use us for his glory
02:47 and we should have a purpose that God created for us. I went
02:52 home and I went to my Dad and said do you think he has a plan
02:57 for kids too? And my father said he has a plan for anybody.
03:01 Some people feel that they may be sick or poor or not have
03:05 enough training God doesn't have a plan for them. What if they
03:10 are too young like you, but my father said God has a plan for
03:14 everybody because he said it's not you for feeling the plan, it
03:20 is God's power in you. I said, Okay, okay, how do I get a plan?
03:25 And my father said, you must pray. I said, Oh easy. I went
03:30 into my room. I said, please show me the plan, then went to
03:34 my dad and said, he didn't, he didn't show me anything.
03:37 My father said, you don't just pray and leave. People do that.
03:43 But after you pray you study. What you study. He said the word
03:47 I said, but I don't know how to read. So I took the Bible and I
03:52 will never forget that moment. I opened it. I said, would you
03:56 read here for me. It was Jeremiah chapter 1, that very
04:01 verse, don't say I am a child because I chose you and I'm
04:04 going to send you and you will speak for me and so on and so
04:09 forth. Don't be afraid to speak for me. I closed the Bible.
04:13 I said, God wants me to be a pastor.
04:15 How old were you? About 5. Five years old.
04:18 So that was the message. I said I know God wants me to be a
04:22 pastor. That always stayed in my mind. That's the very first part
04:27 of my decision to actually serve God.
04:31 Then now Pavel, if I remember correctly, as you grew older you
04:35 left the church for a while didn't you?
04:37 Yes. I didn't literally leave the church but I left God.
04:42 Boy! What an excellent point because there are people who are
04:47 going to church as a cultural thing. It's something that's
04:51 a habitual thing. They do it as habit but they don't have that
04:56 intimate personal relationship with the Lord. That's what
04:58 you're saying isn't it?
05:00 Yeah, even more. I kind of doubted in my mind if there is
05:05 any God anywhere. Wow! So I was a teenager spending too much
05:11 time with my friends from school and I first stopped praying.
05:16 and then slowly going down without even realizing it.
05:20 I remember I would go to church because I didn't want to hurt my
05:25 father; I loved him too much. But I didn't care much for
05:30 church. They started first to say very bad jokes. Then they
05:35 started to more you know drink and smoke and go a lot deeper
05:40 into bad things you know. I was not a part of it. I never used
05:46 alcohol or... I was not part of it but I was with them there.
05:51 I would go home and I would not have peace. I could not sleep
05:55 because when they would say a bad joke I was laughing too.
06:01 So I was part of it like Saul when they killed Stephen. He was
06:06 part of it. He was involved somehow. So I would lay in my
06:10 bed and I would say, that's not good. But then I said who cares?
06:16 It's fun. You know the Bible says that
06:19 bad company corrupts good morals and when you're talking about
06:23 being part of it, it reminds me of Romans 1:32 where Paul said
06:27 we not only show our approval for these things and then we
06:32 do it ourselves. So even though you did not drink or smoke by
06:36 continuing to associate with them, laughing at their jokes,
06:40 it was like you were approving of what they were doing even
06:44 though you knew it was against God's will.
06:46 Absolutely. So I could not sleep and I would say there is no God.
06:51 But what if there is a God? I remember after a few months
06:56 of coming 1, 2, 3 a. m. at home. They would meet in a park and
07:00 spend the whole night there. And I would get home and I would
07:04 give my father... It was an apartment that you would walk
07:09 from room to room and he was still praying and I knew he was
07:14 praying for me. He would come to me and he would get his hand
07:19 around my shoulder and he said I am praying for you. I wished
07:24 he'd pick a fight with me because I would just leave home,
07:27 but he didn't. I wished that during that time because I was
07:32 very stubborn. Right now I am happy he didn't. I remember one
07:39 night those young men, they started to plan some very bad
07:45 stuff. I felt that I should not be there. So I decided that
07:49 night that I am going to leave earlier. I left and after that
07:54 they stopped a girl who was coming from work and they abused
07:58 her. All of them went to prison for many years except me that
08:02 I was not there. So glory to God. I believe that
08:05 was the Holy Spirit leading you wasn't he?
08:08 The next day when I found out I was convinced that God prevented
08:13 me from being there because he had a plan for me. It came back
08:18 in my mind Jeremiah chapter 1. So I got home and I was crying
08:24 and I was wondering if God would be able to forgive me and to
08:30 restore me and to give back my plan that I lost on the way.
08:37 My father noticed that the light was still on and it was 2 or 3
08:42 a. m. So he came and I said is there any hope for me. He talked
08:48 about King David. God didn't just forgive him but restored
08:52 him. My father said our God is a wonderful, wonderful God.
08:58 His mercy is infinite. He is longsuffering. So he said let
09:04 me pray for you. And he had a prayer for me and then he left.
09:08 He said now it's your turn to pray, to discover God, to learn
09:14 how God is. So I prayed until 5 or 6 in the morning. I said if
09:18 you forgive me and if you show me today that you restore me
09:22 I'm going to change. I don't know if I will be able but I
09:27 know you can help me. Around morning I started to study the
09:31 Bible because I remember when I was 5 he told me you don't just
09:35 pray and leave but you give God a chance to talk to you. So I
09:39 opened the Bible and it was Isaiah 54. For a moment I'm
09:44 translating from the Romanian Bible in my mind but you know
09:48 what I am talking about. Isaiah 54, I believe verses 10 and 11,
09:53 For a moment I was angry with you but I receive you back even
09:58 if the mountains move my love will never move from you.
10:02 I cried and I said thank you. So that was my second how to call
10:11 it time when I knew that God wants me to serve him.
10:15 Amen. Jeremiah 31 verse 3 that he has loved you with an
10:20 everlasting love and underneath are his everlasting arms he
10:24 tells us in Deuteronomy 32:37 I think. Glory to God that you had
10:31 a praying father. A father, as Isaiah says in chapter 50 verse
10:36 4: A father with the tongue of an instructed disciple. He knew
10:41 and was being led by the Holy Spirit. He knew to hold you up
10:46 in prayer, to cover you in prayer and God gave him great
10:50 wisdom how to deal with a rebellious son. So as you then
10:55 accepted the call of God on your life to be a pastor,
10:59 and you are now pastoring
11:00 you're a district pastor in Janesville, Wisconsin.
11:03 You pastor three churches. Did you immediately from this
11:08 experience, did you move into this realm of prayer that you're
11:15 now enjoying or did you find that you got caught up in
11:19 churchy things, I mean, in the studies and all that? How long
11:23 did it take you and when did you really establish that intimate
11:27 one on one relationship with the Lord?
11:30 It was an up and down road. At that time I started to wake up
11:37 early in the morning. In fact, I didn't decide I'll wake up at
11:43 6. I started to pray that God would wake me up whenever he
11:48 knows that I need to pray. Sometimes he would wake me up at
11:52 5. Sometimes he would wake me up at 2 a. m. and I said isn't it
11:57 too early. But I knew God was calling me to pray. In fact even
12:02 during the army service I remember God would wake me up.
12:06 They took us because there were floods in Romania in that time
12:11 and they took us to one site to help with that catastrophe and I
12:16 remember we were working and soldiers were very tired and
12:20 could not wake up in the morning. I would be the first
12:23 one to be up and the lieutenant would say how do you manage to
12:27 wake up so early and I would say well God wakes me up. He would
12:31 smile and he would say, how could God wake somebody up?
12:35 He would say listen I would like you tomorrow morning at 6
12:38 o'clock to wake everybody up. So I would pray and I would say
12:41 God you know when I need to wake up for prayer and study.
12:45 Wake me up so I have enough time to spend with you. And God
12:49 would wake me up like 4 a. m. to study and pray and spend time
12:52 with God and then around 6 I would go and hey it's time to
12:55 wake up and they would be amazed I remember one morning when God
13:01 woke me up around 1:30. I said God I'm tired. I worked
13:05 yesterday so hard and I said do I really need to be up so early?
13:11 I was kind of arguing with God you know. But God is patient,
13:16 God is good. He didn't get upset with me. So I felt that I do
13:22 need to pray. So I prayed. My wife, at that time my girlfriend
13:28 used to send me Bible verses and quotations on small letters
13:34 because you are not allowed to have Bibles. So I got the
13:38 letters and read them after I prayed and then I spent time
13:43 again with God contemplating what I read and letting him
13:48 impress me. As soon as I finished I got dressed and it
13:53 was about, I don't remember, 3 or 4 a. m. when we had a drill.
13:57 Like it was a false attack, you know. So when the trumpet
14:03 started to sound everybody was supposed to get up and within 3
14:08 minutes to be ready for war. I mean have all your equipment;
14:13 that takes forever. We used to get dressed by the light of a
14:17 match. You light it and you've got to be dressed until the
14:22 flame is off you know. None of them were ready so they got
14:27 punished except me. That's because God got you up
14:30 early and had you prepared. It's so amazing though now;
14:34 you said it was an up and down thing. First of all you were
14:38 very blessed. It took me a long time and when I go out and teach
14:42 on prayer I always teach that God intends prayer to be a two
14:47 way communication. So many people rush into the presence of
14:51 the Lord. They lay out their requests and they leave and
14:56 they don't know that they can make the word... God speaks to
14:59 us primarily through the word. They don't know to make the
15:03 word a part of their prayer time How blessed you were that your
15:07 father taught you this at an early age. Yet at the same time
15:11 as I'm listening to you it has to be encouraging to people
15:16 who have been Christians for a long time who have known this
15:20 great one on one intimacy in prayer and then find themselves
15:24 kind of dipping down occasionally only to come back.
15:28 You know sometimes we think... and I know I pray Lord I believe
15:33 what you're trying to teach me is consistency. I had a prayer
15:37 time with the Lord for seven years. I'd get up and pray two
15:42 or three hours every morning early. Now I'm struggling to
15:46 keep that and I think what's wrong with me. But that's what
15:50 we're going to be talking about is how prayer is something that
15:56 is a progressive, sanctifying process of learning and redoing
16:02 and just coming to know God. Your focus when you were praying
16:07 what I'm hearing you say Pavel, your focus wasn't rushing before
16:12 the Lord and saying Lord here's what I want you to do.
16:17 Your focus was coming to the Lord to know him, to really
16:21 speak to him as your heavenly Father and intimate friend.
16:26 How is that different that people who just come before him
16:31 and say, here it is, here's my request? Explain that a little
16:36 bit. It is amazing to see how things
16:41 change when we don't place ourselves in the center, but we
16:47 realize that God is the center. It took me a long time to
16:53 realize that though theoretically I knew it.
16:55 I want to give a few examples. This is a funny example but I
17:03 love it. No offense, I'm not talking about Chrysler or Dodge.
17:09 But if somebody has a Dodge and they hear this story, I hope
17:15 they're okay. I use to have a Dodge Grand Caravan. Great
17:21 comfort. TV, VCR, wood around the doors and I mean luxury.
17:29 However, the transmission broke and I struggled. I found a
17:36 transmission in a junk yard. I found somebody who knew how to
17:41 fix it, install the transmission paid for it and finally the van
17:47 was good again. I drove it for three months and the
17:51 transmission broke again. Oh it was so frustrating. So I prayed
17:57 and I found another transmission in the junk yard and I paid
18:01 again for the labor and he installed the transmission and
18:06 I decided not to drive the van anymore but to put it for sale.
18:12 So I put it in the newspaper and I put a nice paper on the wind
18:17 shield FOR SALE you know enumerating how many qualities
18:22 that van has. Nobody called. And I was praying God please
18:27 you know that I cannot afford to fix this van again. Please
18:32 help me to sell the van. About three months, no phone call.
18:36 I dropped the price several times. It was like people didn't
18:40 even care. It's like people knew the transmission is going to
18:43 break again. So I was driving from one church to another
18:48 church in my district and I was thinking about the prayer
18:53 seminar. Here I am and I say to myself it's like God was talking
18:57 in my mind. You teach people to make God the focus of their
19:02 prayers and you make your van the focus of your
19:05 prayer. Big difference. And I said God please forgive me.
19:09 What is this van? And I said if you want me to keep the van let
19:16 me use it for you as long as it goes. If it breaks, it breaks.
19:21 If it goes, it goes, as long as you want it used and if you want
19:26 the van sold you sell it to whoever you want for the price
19:30 you want and maybe just for your work, because this is what is
19:35 what is important. Your plan, not mine. So I said use it for
19:39 your glory for your plan because you are the center. It is more
19:43 important what you think about the van than what I think about
19:47 it. I finished that prayer. Within seconds I got the phone
19:51 call on my cell phone. It was a church member and she says
19:56 Pastor, do you still have that van? Now that was after the van
19:59 was for several months in the newspaper. It was not sold and
20:03 and it was not in the newspaper anymore and the paper FOR SALE
20:07 was not on the wind shield any more. I said yes I still have
20:12 the van. Do you still want to sell it. Yes I do, but I said I
20:16 need to warn you, I had transmission problems. She says
20:20 well you forgot that my brother fixed it for you. And she said,
20:24 my brother is a mechanic and he has transmission as a reserve if
20:29 he needs one. She said, I was thinking about our school and
20:32 I know there are children who want to come to our school and
20:36 don't have transportation and they need a van and I would like
20:39 to serve God transporting the children who have no
20:42 transportation to the school. So God inspired me to call you.
20:46 How much do you want for the van. I said, you know what,
20:49 whatever you can afford. And she said that's the price then, that
20:54 price is good. She was happy. I was happy. It just changed my
20:59 paradigm. I said what a change when you don't put yourself in
21:04 the center, but you worry about God.
21:07 Amen. This is a paradigm shift that so many people need
21:12 because what we find is that most people are bringing their
21:16 problems to God, they're focusing on the problem rather
21:20 than on the Problem Solver. They are the center and I mean this
21:23 is something that I prayed that way many, many years. I would
21:27 bring my problems to God and my focus was on self rather than on
21:32 the Lord. But as we look at what John had to say in 1 John 5:14
21:36 This is the confidence that we have in prayer, if we're asking
21:40 according to his will, it will be done and that's what you did
21:45 Tell the rest of the story. After you sold the van were you
21:50 without good transportation?
21:51 No not at all. In fact she is still using the van today and
21:55 the van never broke again.
21:57 How about you? Did the Lord provide for your transportation?
21:59 Absolutely. So what would you tell to people
22:04 who are focused on the problem rather than on the promises
22:10 of God? It happens that people go to
22:17 prayer struggling, or they go to church struggling and they leave
22:23 prayer still struggling regardless they may pray one
22:28 hour, one day or one year. Things don't change much.
22:33 I know people who have prayed for a problem for many years or
22:36 have been going to church for many years. They say things
22:40 don't change much. I notice that when they put God in the center
22:44 beside that we order the way that he knows that is best.
22:49 We have peace, we have joy and I believe that instead of focusing
22:57 on the problems and getting depressed, the more you
23:00 contemplate problems the more discouraged we are. We should
23:04 rather focus on God and his greatness and his love and his
23:09 will and his plans. We have an amazing God. We don't give him
23:14 a chance to show who he is.
23:15 This is something that I'll never forget. I was claiming
23:19 the promise of Isaiah 26 verse 3 that God says that he is
23:24 righteous and he promises to keep us in perfect peace if we
23:27 will keep our mind steadfastly fixed on him trusting in him.
23:32 As I was praying this, Pavel, about an hour later after my
23:37 prayer, I got a troubling phone call. It was terrible and I was
23:41 wringing my hands for about an hour I was wringing my hands and
23:44 focusing on the problem and suddenly the still small voice
23:48 of the Lord impressed this thought upon my mind: Where are
23:51 your eyes focused, on the problem or on the problem
23:52 solver. I had totally lost my peace but as soon as I returned
23:58 my focus to God saying Lord you knew this was going to happen
24:02 before it happened. You're the one that's got the solution.
24:06 And I trusted in him. He restored that perfect peace, the
24:10 peace that transcends all understanding and within 24
24:14 hours he had worked everything out. Amen.
24:17 Studying a little some Bible prayers God impressed me that
24:25 they have some common characteristics, some common
24:29 points and this is what got my attention. This is one of them.
24:34 For instance instead of focusing so much on needs and problems
24:39 while it is actually okay to go with our problems before God
24:43 and present them. But instead of keeping our eyes on the problems
24:48 we should rather switch and put God in the center and fix our
24:53 eyes on God's glory. I would use a Bible example. For instance,
24:59 Moses. After they made the golden calf, Moses goes to God
25:03 and he says instead of please, please forgive them, please let
25:07 them live, please let them go to the promised land, Moses said
25:11 Yes they sinned and they deserve to die but what are the nations
25:14 going to say about you? What happens to your name and your
25:18 glory? Think about your name. So he put God right in the
25:22 center, not people. Excellent point. Now I know
25:26 you've got a lot of answers to prayer. Tell us a quick one in
25:29 the time we have left.
25:31 I remember when I was in the university, they wanted to
25:37 expel me for not going Saturdays to school.
25:40 Because of the Sabbath and your religious convictions.
25:42 Yes. And the dean told me that I would be expelled without any
25:47 right to ever register in any school for the rest of my life.
25:52 So I prayed hard for a long time that God would help me because
25:56 I wanted to have an education. I remember that Thursday the
26:01 secretary of the school said give up God. There is nobody who
26:05 can save you. Come to school this Saturday. And I said God
26:09 can help me if he wants. So I prayed different. I said God
26:13 I'm not going to pray until I prayed until now for me but I'm
26:17 going to pray for you. That Friday the president of the
26:20 the country, Coscescue, gave a law that from that Friday on
26:24 there would be no school Saturdays to save power and heat
26:29 So I remember the secretary being pale and saying wow it has
26:33 never happened in the history of the country. Who do you know
26:37 in the government. They changed the law for you. I said well I
26:41 don't know anybody in the government but I know that God
26:44 can change nations and can do great things.
26:47 Amen! And it reminds me of what James wrote when he said that
26:53 the earnest prayers, the effective, fervent prayers of a
26:57 righteous man availeth much. When you were praying instead
27:02 of Lord fix my problem, Lord let your name be glorified.
27:06 God moved heaven and earth not only to see that you stayed in
27:12 school and had his plan for your life fulfilled but it gave glory
27:18 to his name because this woman saw that your God was bigger
27:23 than the government. What an amazing story! Thank you,
27:27 Pavel, for joining us today. You will come back and share
27:30 some more that the Lord has taught you about prayer won't
27:33 you? Thank you for inviting me.
27:35 It will be my privilege to come.
27:36 Praise God! For those of you at home remember to make God the
27:41 focus of your prayer not your problems. It's okay to present
27:45 your problems to God but let him be the focus and ask for
27:49 the glory of his name. Now may he multiply his mercy, love and
27:53 grace to you. Thank you.