Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Pavel Goia
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000279
00:31 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again to
00:33 Issues and Answers. Today the issue is prayer and
00:36 we've got some answers for you because we have invited back
00:39 Pastor Pavel Goia. Pastor it is so wonderful to have you return.
00:45 Thank you much for inviting me.
00:47 You know I was so impressed the very first time I met you when
00:52 we talked on the Today program. I was so impressed by the many
00:56 answers to prayer that you've had and God has really trained
01:02 you up to teach you how to pray his will and his way. Now what I
01:08 would like for you to do in this program is share the story of
01:13 how you and your wife came from Romania.
01:16 We used own a business in Romania. It is a different story
01:24 a very profitable business when God opened the door for me to be
01:29 called in ministry. That was a call that God gave me since I
01:35 was five years old. So I was hired as a pastor. I went to the
01:40 seminary in Romania but I felt that I am not trained enough.
01:46 Our seminary was not accredited. I was praying that God would
01:51 give me the opportunity to get good training to know how to do
01:56 a good work, a good job for God. So my wife and I started to pray
02:01 for a school. We sent applications to several schools
02:04 in Europe, Colognes, Newbold, and so on and so forth but with
02:11 no answer. So eventually we placed it before God and we said
02:17 if you want us to go somewhere to be trained in ministry, you
02:22 will open the door for us. We determined a week of prayer for
02:26 school and to let God work the way he wants and we will accept
02:30 his will. After a week of prayer, Saturday night, around
02:36 11:30 I got a phone call from America. Now America never
02:42 crossed my mind. In fact, in Romania they educated us
02:46 through the TV to believe that in America it is horrible.
02:50 You will get your kids taking drugs every day and if you go on
02:54 the streets in the night they will shoot you and it just is
02:57 not safe. it's horrible; it is the worst country. So it never
03:02 crossed my mind to come here. Well when my friend called me
03:06 and said, Paul how are you doing? I said, Who are you?
03:09 and he said, I am Loren. I said, I don't know any Loren. He said,
03:14 why don't you remember? We used to be in the choir together.
03:18 He used to be my friend and 13 years before he called me
03:22 we used to sing in the same choir in the church. So 13 years
03:26 later he called me from America and he says, I'm here. I am
03:30 married with your cousin. I have a powerful business in
03:34 construction and this week we could not sleep every night
03:37 after prayer. You would come in our mind and God impressed us
03:42 to call you. We thought since you are a pastor, what about
03:47 you come here to attend a school? And I said, You know I
03:51 was praying for a school. How did you know? He said, I didn't
03:55 know. God just impressed me to call you here. And I said, I'm
03:58 afraid to come there. They say that if you come there it is not
04:02 safe. He said, Oh those are movies and stories. It is very
04:05 safe, it's very nice. So he said You pray and if God wants you
04:09 here, God will solve all the other problems and provide
04:14 everything. Well we started to pray. Meanwhile he went to
04:19 Southern Adventist University, put in the papers, applied for
04:24 me and in our previous meeting last time we talked about
04:30 Jeremiah 29:11- I know the plans I have for you. Well I
04:36 remember one morning my wife and I were studying the Bible and
04:41 our study was right from Jeremiah 29. We finished our
04:45 study and that day we got in the mail a letter from Southern
04:51 Adventist University. They said you have been approved to come
04:56 this fall and start here in the school of religion. At the end
05:01 of the letter, I still have the letter, they put the Bible
05:06 promise, it was Jeremiah 29:11. So we knew that it would be
05:11 almost close to impossible or almost impossible to get a visa
05:16 to come to America. I remember we went to the embassy, drove
05:21 about seven hours that night, and went there early in the
05:25 morning; it was around 3 A.M., when the line was already going
05:29 around the block and then again around the block and then again
05:34 around the block. I was number 956 in line. I mean that morning
05:38 five people got visas, my family four and another one.
05:42 I remember that morning before leaving...
05:46 Now wait a minute. I almost missed that point. Out of 956
05:50 people there were five who got a visa and it was you and three
05:55 members of your family, that made up four, and only one
05:58 other person. I don't know how many got a visa
06:01 after me but so far before me. And it was very nice that
06:08 morning, every day we would read from a devotional book, a Bible
06:13 verse and then a short paragraph with a story or an explanation.
06:17 And since the day that we got the letter to the day we sent to
06:21 the embassy was, I don't remember, more or less two
06:25 months, that morning the devotional was based on
06:28 Jeremiah 29:11 again. And my wife said, I bet you get the
06:33 visa. And she said, I don't want to move and start life all over
06:37 again and I don't know English. We should not move. We have all
06:40 we need here. Well we got to the embassy, and this is the
06:45 nice part. I got inside and people were pleading with them,
06:50 please let me go and visit my children, or please let me go
06:54 and visit America. And they would say No, next one in line.
07:00 I got to the window and the consul, I don't know how you
07:05 call him, he says, Why do you go to America? And I said, I want
07:10 to go to school. Why do you need school. Well I want to be a good
07:14 pastor. Well you can go here to school. I have been already
07:18 here to school. And he says, How do I know that you don't go
07:22 there to get a good life. Well I had a powerful business. I had
07:26 a good life and I gave it up to be a pastor. And he says, How
07:30 do I know that you come back. I said, You don't know. But can
07:33 you prove. I cannot prove. But can you promise. I cannot
07:37 promise. Then I don't give you a visa. Then I don't need it.
07:40 I'm sure he wasn't used to hearing that.
07:45 And he said, don't you beg me? And I said, No, if God wants me
07:49 to go, I will get a visa. If God doesn't want me to go, I really
07:52 don't want to be there. He stopped for a while and he said
07:57 So you go to school to be a good pastor and you don't know if you
08:01 come back. Listen if you promise me that you come back, I give
08:04 you visa. I said, I cannot promise you. Then I don't give
08:07 you visa. Then I don't need visa. So I turned around.
08:11 He said, No, no, no, wait, don't leave, come back. He says,
08:13 aren't you sorry that you don't go? I said, Well I just
08:16 explained to you. I want to go where God wants me to, I want
08:20 to do what God wants me to do. And he says, Promise me that
08:24 you come back. I said, Listen, if God wants me to go, at that
08:28 time there was war in Yugoslavia, if God wants me to
08:31 go to Yugoslavia, I go there. If God wants me to stay in Romania,
08:34 I stay here. If God has a work for me in America, I stay there.
08:38 How could I promise you before I know God's plan. I said, just
08:40 God knows his plan for me and he didn't show me all the plan.
08:44 He just showed me what to do today. And he said, I give you
08:48 visa for you. Go alone. I'm not going to go without my family.
08:51 So he finally said, Listen, I'm going to do something that I
08:55 don't usually do. I give you visas for all your family.
08:58 Go and serve God as you say. So I got outside. I told my wife
09:02 we got visas. And she says, No way. I don't want to leave.
09:06 Now what happened, I'm going to tell you how God usually
09:11 sometimes confuses us. You know that sounds a little strange but
09:16 it's not strange. When God called Moses to serve him, Moses
09:22 actually had to go in the wilderness first. When God
09:25 called Joseph to serve him, Joseph had to go to prison
09:27 first. So God says you will be the head of your family and in
09:33 fact he becomes a slave and then goes to prison. We got here and
09:38 my friend Loren had a cardiac arrest and he was dead for seven
09:42 minutes. They brought him back with electric shocks, but he
09:47 lost his memory, his home, his boat, his business, everything.
09:52 So he who promised that he would be the sponsor could not provide
09:57 anymore. So here we are in America. We don't know English.
10:01 We don't have a sponsor and we get a letter from the apartment
10:06 that if we don't pay we have to move out. So I started to cry
10:11 and pray. God did I ever ask you to bring me here. I said, Why
10:15 would you do that. So my wife and I started to really pray
10:20 and say, God we place our lives and our future in your hands.
10:25 If you can use us now you got to do it because we don't know what
10:29 to do. I went to church and Pastor Ed Wright, Dr. Ed Wright,
10:36 he was preaching, and the scripture reading was from
10:39 Jeremiah 29:11. My wife took my hand and she just squeezed my
10:44 hand. She said, This is for us. He spoke about Moses, when God
10:48 called Moses and Moses said I don't know the language and God
10:51 said, Who made the tongue? And Moses said, I have nothing
10:54 except this stick. And God said if I send you I will take care
11:00 of you. So my wife said, God will provide for us. I remember
11:05 we left home that Thursday. Pastor Ed Wright visited us
11:10 and also that week Dr. Blanco, the dean of the religion
11:14 department at that time, he found me praying and claiming
11:18 in the garden of prayer in front of the school. He said, Young
11:22 man why are you crying, and I said, I am not crying. He said,
11:28 Oh you are crying but you are to proud to accept it. So I tried
11:34 not to complain. So I said, well we can go through some
11:36 challenges. And I told the same to Pastor Ed Wright. I said we
11:40 go through some challenges. It took me about one hour to
11:42 explain to him because I refused to explain. I didn't want to
11:45 complain and I didn't know much English so I talked more with
11:49 my hands than my mouth. But I told him, Hey, my sponsor had an
11:54 accident and we just try to find out how to work and how to
11:59 survive. Well, God provided to the point that we finished
12:05 school debt free and with a lot of miracles, a lot, many
12:11 miracles. So that's the story of how we got here through God's
12:15 will and power and help.
12:17 You know, I'm thinking, in Jeremiah 29 and verse 11 the
12:22 Lord says, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper
12:25 you, to give you a hope and a future. But let me read, and I
12:29 know you're aware of this, but I want to read verses 12 and 13.
12:33 He says in Jeremiah 29 and verse 12: Then you will call upon me.
12:38 When? Here God says I know the plans I have for you, then you
12:43 will call upon me. That seems like a reverse order to me
12:47 somehow. And as I was studying this I realized when we know
12:50 that God has a plan for our life and it's better than the one
12:54 we're living, then we call upon him. That's what you were doing.
12:58 Whatever your plan is. He says, Then you will come and pray to
13:02 me. I will hear you. Then you will seek me and you will find
13:07 me when you seek me with all of your heart. That's what you and
13:12 your wife with this promise from the time you were five years old
13:16 when you heard that pastor in church say that God had a plan
13:20 for your life, when your father told you it was even for little
13:24 children, you knew God had a plan for your life and there was
13:28 a call on your life to be a pastor. So God really did teach
13:34 you from early childhood on how to seek his will. Now with this
13:39 beautiful story, Pavel, let me ask you this question. I look
13:45 and I am talking with so many people. There are so many
13:49 problems with the way most people pray. Can we discuss some
13:54 of that? When you see how many people pray what are some of the
13:59 things that we have backwards in the way we're praying?
14:02 There are several points that we usually emphasize in prayer
14:09 and usually the Bible prayers have a different common point.
14:16 We could go through them one by one. The first on is we usually
14:23 go to God and in a lazy way we ask God to do our job; the job
14:29 that God specifically gave us to do. This is an important
14:34 point for me because I used to, for instance, say please
14:38 help the poor, be with the sick and help the gospel go forward.
14:44 God gave us the poor, asked us to visit the sick and to preach
14:49 the gospel. Why would I ask him to do it instead of asking him
14:53 to give me the power and strength to do the job he gave
14:57 me? Amen, to equip and not only to
14:59 give us but to pray. Jesus said pray for the harvesters to go
15:02 into the fields. So we need to pray for our self to be equipped
15:06 by God and that he will equip others and send them into the
15:09 fields. That's good. For instance, I went on a
15:13 mission trip to Romania and I was giving the prayer seminar
15:18 in the west of the country, in two places, two cities where I
15:23 gave in the west of the country the prayer seminar. After I
15:28 specified this first point, we should not ask God to do what
15:33 he has asked us to do. The pastor comes and says so you
15:38 mean that we need to go out and help. I said, absolutely.
15:42 We are channels of blessings. We need to let those blessings
15:47 go to others too. And he said well let's go in the community
15:51 and bless people. So he got the youth, a team of about 20 or
15:56 more youth and they went into that neighborhood, those
16:00 apartments and they started to visit people, pray with them
16:04 and share some food, some boxes of food. They got in an
16:09 apartment where a lady, and it was January, it was cold, a lady
16:14 that was in an apartment without heat, without a couch, without a
16:20 mattress, without blankets and three small kids. They were
16:25 sleeping together to warm each other, freezing and no food.
16:29 He came back and he said we could give them food but we
16:34 don't have the money to give them a couch and blankets and
16:39 a stove and wood and everything. Now $100 goes a long way in
16:43 Romania. I had with me some money and God inspired me to
16:48 get my hand into my pocket and instead of buying some souvenirs
16:52 for my friends here now to help that lady. So I gave them the
16:56 money. I said, Let's go and buy a stove, buy some wood. They
17:01 split the wood and then I said let's get a bed and a mattress
17:06 and some blankets and then the food. That lady was crying,
17:10 hugging them endlessly. I mean she would not stop hugging and
17:14 crying and thank you, thank you, thank you, and this is what is
17:19 the miracle. Next day the lady called all eight apartments from
17:23 that building in her room and said, These young men are going
17:28 come again to teach me how to pray. I want you to come to see
17:32 somebody who helped me. So all eight families came into her
17:36 small living room and when the young men from our church went
17:40 there they started to give them Bible studies actually. I don't
17:43 know, I didn't follow up the study how many got baptized.
17:45 God gave us a work. It reminds me of what John said
17:52 in 1 John. He said, Let us not just love in tongue but in
17:57 action. It's going out and meeting the needs of the people
18:01 letting them see the Jesus in you. Because Jesus healed the
18:05 sick, he ministered to the poor. When we go out and share and
18:10 people see the love of God being reflected through us, that's
18:14 what draws men to Jesus isn't it? Absolutely. So that's a
18:18 wonderful first point. What's another point about prayer?
18:23 Another point, we usually when we pray, we complain a lot.
18:28 This is my problem, please God help me and we just keep
18:32 focusing on the problems and the more we focus on the
18:36 problems the more problems we have. The more we focus on the
18:39 problems the more desperate and discouraged and depressed we get
18:43 and we have a wonderful God. We have an amazing God. If we
18:48 would know just a drop of how God is, we would present our
18:53 problems and then focus on promises and repeat those
18:58 promises back to God. And get to know who God is and praise
19:03 him for his love, because God knows how to help us, God can
19:07 help us and he wants to help us. So we should just praise for
19:11 what he is about to do, for what he promises he will do, for the
19:15 fact that we trust his love and his power and spend time
19:18 praising him. You know, this is something that
19:21 I teach, Pavel, and I don't know if you've seen Exalting His Word
19:25 but Isaiah 55 verse 11 the Lord says actually, My word will not
19:30 return to me void but will accomplish every, every purpose
19:34 for which I sent it. And he says in Jeremiah 1:12, I am watching
19:38 over my word to perform it. So I believe so much that as we
19:43 get into the word, let the Lord speak to us, because he tells
19:47 us 2 Corinthians 1:20, All of his promises are ours, yes and
19:51 amen in Christ Jesus. So when we come back and say Lord you said
19:54 this promise was mine and I trust you. I believe what you
19:58 have said. So Lord, here's the problem but here's the promise.
20:01 So I'm just praying this promise to you and I thank you for it.
20:05 It's amazing. It builds your faith because you're trusting,
20:10 leaning not on your own understanding but on what the
20:13 Word says and as you trust in God and that faith, he honors
20:18 that faith. You know it says Hebrews 11:6, Without faith it
20:23 is impossible to please God. So Amen.
20:27 God honors our faith and we honor him by trusting his love
20:31 and wisdom. For instance, and I'm going to give a nice story
20:36 here. I love that story, it's an amazing story. I wanted to buy
20:40 a motorcycle. I was in high school. So my father said, I'm
20:44 going to put half of the money if you work and you come with
20:48 the other half. He taught me how to cut glass. I had a glass
20:52 cutter than my father bought for me and I started a small
20:56 business. But in Romania I was not allowed to own a business.
21:01 It belonged mostly to the state being communist. So I would go
21:05 to the work, however, after the expenses, the state would
21:09 take more than half of the profit. They got a lot of money
21:14 from my business. But they wanted me to go Saturday to work
21:18 and they said if you'll work not just during the week and Sunday
21:22 but you'll go Saturday, we'll get a lot more profit.
21:24 Now for some of our viewers they may not understand; why were you
21:28 not working on Saturday?
21:30 Well, because I believe that Saturday is the date, I call it
21:36 date, I don't call it day. For me when I date my wife, I was
21:42 dating my wife, that was my best time. Saturday is when God is
21:48 dating me. When I got this time he sets time aside to meet with
21:53 me and I'm not going to miss that meeting. It's my time when
21:59 I meet with God and spend time with him.
22:01 So you were honoring the fourth commandment of the ten
22:05 commandments; Remember the Sabbath, which was the day that
22:08 God blessed and sanctified the seventh day and set it apart
22:13 for worship with him. So for this purpose you weren't working
22:18 on Saturdays but not the Romanian government who owns
22:21 more than half of your business or takes more than half of your
22:24 business, they are coming to you and even though your business
22:27 they're earning a lot of money on you they're saying hey you're
22:30 you're not working on Saturday. That's one of our high traffic
22:33 business days and they're trying to force you to do that.
22:36 What happened? So I used to go to the storage
22:39 house to get more glass boxes. One Saturday and back up for
22:47 a second, that Friday the president of all business in
22:50 that county came to me. He was a communist party member and he
22:54 said if you don't come this Saturday to work, I'm going to
22:58 put you in prison. That Saturday he went to the storage house
23:02 and he got three boxes of glass that were in the rain for more
23:07 that two years and the glass was all destroyed. It was like all
23:11 the sheets were like welded together that you could not use
23:14 them and cracked. The wood frame was totally rotten. He placed it
23:21 in front of my store and he said since you are not here I placed
23:26 it there but you are not here to work and to cover it, so look
23:31 how its ruined. So he pretended that I ruined the glass that was
23:36 already ruined from before. The law said that if you miss more
23:41 than 10,000 value in your account, you go to prison and
23:46 that glass was worth 14,000 and I did not have 14,000 to pay.
23:51 So he knew that I am just a kid and I will not be able to pay
23:55 the money so I will go to prison and instead of going to prison
23:59 I will just work Saturdays. And he came to me and he said, I got
24:02 you now. You choose between freedom or work Saturdays.
24:06 Well I went home and spent a lot of time praying and asking
24:11 God to actually help me and give me the freedom. The more I
24:16 prayed the more worried I was. Go to prison or pay the money.
24:21 How do I get that type of money? I was still young. I talked to
24:26 my father and my father said listen, the subject is not you
24:31 going to prison. The mark is last day life for God.
24:34 The subject is how is God going to be honored through this
24:39 story? Focus on God, don't focus on yourself.
24:43 What a wise father you had. Yes, yes, wonderful.
24:46 He said don't put your problem in the center. This problem is
24:50 nothing in the great conflict. Put God's glory in the center.
24:54 Try to focus on his promises. Try to trust what he is about
25:01 to do for you. So I didn't get much of what he said, but okay.
25:07 So I prayed different. I said, God, I know you know, I know you
25:13 care, I know you can. So I just trust you and I praise you.
25:18 And I started to read the Bible promises from Psalms and from
25:23 Isaiah. And sure enough, the more I would read Bible promises
25:27 the more joy I would have and before I was like almost
25:30 depressed. What am I going to do? I will go to prison. Now I
25:33 had joy like things were already solved.
25:37 Exactly. Romans 4:17 is what it reminds me of and I always
25:41 connect that with the promises. Romans 4:17 says, God is the God
25:47 who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as
25:50 though they already were. So that faith was building up in
25:52 you. You had joy because you knew God was going to fulfill
25:55 his word. And I had no clue how. I assumed
25:58 in my mind that we will to court and I will win but I had
26:02 no clue what God was about to do. So Monday I went to work.
26:06 When I went to work I begged him, I said please don't ruin
26:10 my future. Let's find a way. I will work harder during the
26:13 week. And he says, No! You come Saturdays. And then he said
26:19 listen I allow you to transport them back to the storage and if
26:25 you manage to do that you are free. He knew that the boxes are
26:29 rotten and they would break and I would have to pay. So I got
26:35 the crane and a driver. When he put the cables around the boxes
26:40 and he started to lift up the boxes and then to rotate to put
26:44 them in the truck. When they were in the air, three boxes of
26:48 glass, seven tons of glass, seven tons, the bottom of the
26:53 boxes broke and the glass slid out, swoosh, just went out.
26:57 I didn't have time to say anything, not even please God
27:01 help me. The glass stopped in the air, hanging that you could
27:07 literally do that under or above The president of the businesses
27:14 was there, the secretary was there, the driver, myself and
27:17 many other people. We were shocked. So he lowers the glass
27:21 back in the boxes and he said you are free to go; just don't
27:26 curse me. Glory to God! You know some
27:29 people who are listening to this may think that is a miracle.
27:33 Indeed it was a miracle. Pavel, our time is already gone and I
27:36 know you could tell stories all day. But thank you so much for
27:39 being here today and you're going to be back.
27:41 Thank you for inviting me.
27:42 Amen, Amen. For those of you at home I hope this is doing to you
27:47 what it is doing to me and that's inspiring me and building
27:50 my faith. May the Lord multiply his mercy, love and grace to you