Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Pavel Goia
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000281
00:29 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again to Issues and
00:33 Answers. You know this is a program where we take an issue
00:36 that we believe is important to many of because you write
00:39 and talk to us about these things and then we try to
00:43 answer that. Our issue today is unanswered prayer. So if
00:47 you know anyone who's struggling with this, and how
00:50 many of us haven't, why don't you call them right now and
00:53 tell them to tune in. Joining us again today is
00:57 Pastor Pavel Goia and he is from the Jainesville, Wisconsin
01:01 district where he has three churches.
01:03 Pastor Goia, thank you so much for coming back.
01:07 Thank you for having me here.
01:08 You know, I know that our viewers are really learning to
01:12 love you and they are really appreciating what you have been
01:17 sharing because you are a man of real prayer. I should say
01:21 you are a man who has a real, intimate, personal relationship
01:25 with the Lord and God has taught you how to become a man
01:31 of real prayer and that takes a man of real faith. But you
01:35 and I have talked independently when we're off the air and we
01:40 all have those occasions where we have unanswered prayer.
01:44 That's what we want to focus on today. Have you ever felt
01:48 discouraged, have you ever felt impatient, have you ever felt
01:52 anxious when you have an unanswered prayer?
01:56 Absolutely. In fact, my temperament is so fast that for
02:02 me it will be very easy for me to work but very hard to be
02:06 quiet or to be still or to wait. That's a punishment for me.
02:11 So when I ask God for help,
02:12 I want the answer and I want it now.
02:16 How many of us are like that! You know, Pavel, I typically
02:19 start this program with a scripture, and when you said
02:22 that, I realized the scripture that I should have used to
02:26 begin is Psalm 26:10 where God says, Be still and know that
02:31 I am God. But that is not easy, is it?
02:35 No. The more difficult thing for us humans is to wait upon
02:39 the Lord. We feel good when we do things. To wait and not to
02:42 be certain what to do and what direction we go, that's very
02:46 difficult and that's a faith exercise that we need sometimes.
02:50 But, Pavel, I have friends, and I have a friend right now who's
02:53 going through quite a bit and she is saying, God's being
02:57 silent. What have I done to offend God? He's not leading
03:01 me, I don't feel his guidance. There are other people who you
03:05 talk to and they'll say, I've been praying and praying and
03:08 praying and God's just not answering my prayers or
03:10 sometimes they'll say, My prayers don't go any higher
03:13 than the ceiling. What would you say to someone like that?
03:16 In my churches, we had a seminar about unanswered
03:21 prayers. In a few sermons, we went into this subject and I
03:25 use my very first Bible verse from Hebrews chapter 11.
03:29 In verse 35, it says that by faith they have been protected
03:34 from sword, from death, from prison and then in 37, by faith
03:38 they had been killed by sword, went into prison and lost their
03:42 lives. So same faith, two different outcomes.
03:48 That's profound; I really had never
03:51 made that comparison there.
03:53 So prayer and faith are not about how we want the
03:57 answer, when we want the answer, but prayer and faith
04:01 are about trusting God. It's all about trusting our God.
04:06 I love my dad. He passed away, but when he was alive, I loved
04:10 him when he had money to give me and when he didn't give
04:14 me money because he didn't have any. I loved him the same and
04:18 I trusted him the same. We trust God when we see the
04:22 answer and when we don't see the answer, because we trust
04:25 him for what he is.
04:26 You know, personally I have found that if I rush into
04:32 a prayer, and when I say rush, if it's just a 15 minute prayer
04:36 or even a 20 minute prayer, I find that I don't often hear
04:40 from the Lord because I've got all of this that's on my mind
04:45 and my mind won't be still. Sometimes it takes me praying
04:49 an hour or two hours where I'm really prayed up or prayed
04:53 out and pressing into his presence. Then I can be still
04:57 and the Lord has impressed his thought by the power of his
05:01 Holy Spirit on my mind. He doesn't every lay out the whole
05:05 plan for me but he will give me something that I can hold
05:09 on to, some kind of direction. Now there are times that I
05:13 feel that the reason we don't get an answer from God is
05:16 because we don't hold still long enough to listen for
05:19 the answer. But there are other times that we know we're praying
05:22 for something according to his word and his will and we're
05:25 still not getting an answer.
05:27 Have you had that type of an experience?
05:28 Absolutely. For instance, when I was praying to go to a school
05:32 and I sent like a Europe. Nothing would come back.
05:35 I didn't know, does he want me to go to school, or maybe he
05:39 does but it's not the time. How long do I have to wait?
05:43 Where would I go? It was very hard to wait and not get an
05:48 answer. And this is very strange; when finally I gave
05:51 up on the idea of going to school. As long as I was
05:55 fighting and trying and thinking about a school, nothing would
05:59 come. When I gave up on school and I said, I'm going to pray
06:03 pray for a week and I leave it to you, and I'm not even
06:06 thinking about it; that's not my problem anymore, my
06:09 problems are your problems because I'm your son, then
06:12 God solved it and just after I gave up. I'm going to give
06:16 you another example. I wanted to sell a Nissan Altima while
06:20 I was in Romania long ago.
06:21 You wanted to sell what? A car, a Nissan Altima.
06:24 A Nissan Altima. Your accent came through there.
06:29 And I put it for sale, it was a good car, running
06:34 smooth and nice, and nobody wanted to buy the car somehow.
06:37 So I went to the market. It's a car market in the west of
06:41 the country and people came to see the car and my car would
06:46 not start, first time in two years. My car would always
06:49 started right away. The car didn't start. So I got a little
06:52 frustrated. I said, God, why the car doesn't start? Do you
06:56 want me to keep the car or what? So I gave up selling
07:01 the car, went home. Forgot about selling the car. Six
07:05 months later we got the papers to come to America and we needed
07:09 money for the plane ticket. So somebody shows up at the
07:15 door and says, Six months ago you had a car for sale in the
07:20 newspaper. Do you still have that car? My wife wants a
07:25 Nissan Altima. And we sold the car right before coming, so
07:29 we had money for the plane tickets.
07:30 What I'm hearing you say is that when we pray, now we've
07:37 got to remember first that God hears the prayers of those
07:42 who have clean hands and a pure heart. So we need to repent
07:46 and confess our sins and make sure that there's no sin that's
07:50 standing in the way. But if we're in the right position,
07:54 and we have confessed our sins and we are abiding in Christ,
07:57 what I hear you saying is that sometimes when we pray and we
08:03 don't get an answer is that it's not God's perfect timing yet.
08:09 You have a saying; would you repeat it about God never
08:13 being early, how do you say it?
08:15 God is rarely early, but he's never late.
08:18 He's rarely early, but he's never late.
08:21 So sometimes when we think God is not answering our prayers,
08:25 he's up there saying, Be patient because I've got the perfect
08:29 timing to give you the answer for this prayer.
08:31 Then, you know, there's a song, it could be a country-western
08:36 song, forgive me, but I've heard this one and it's something
08:40 about thank God for unanswered prayers. There are
08:45 some times that we're praying for something and we can look
08:47 back and the answer did come, we just didn't recognize it.
08:52 The answer was no. And we look back in the past and we're
08:56 going, Oh Lord, thank you that you didn't answer that prayer.
09:00 We are in God's hands. We are God's children. We should pray
09:05 for the sake of God's presence and when we pray to experience
09:10 his presence everything else will pale in his presence.
09:13 We would forget if we would contemplate his presence.
09:16 I'm thinking more and more about a lady who came. I remember I
09:24 remember I was talking to a different pastor and we were
09:27 there and she came and she was sick and she asked for prayer.
09:31 There were another two persons sick in the church. One had
09:35 cancer, one had rheumatoid arthritis, and from the three
09:39 of them we prayed for all three. Two were healed and one passed
09:43 away. How do you explain. We prayed for the same people, the
09:48 same prayer, the same faith. So sometimes God answers in a
09:53 different way in a different time. God has his plans, his
09:58 time. But we don't prayer for our will to be done. We must
10:04 agree to enjoy and to accept his will.
10:06 Amen, Amen. And, you know, one thing I take a lot of comfort in
10:11 is Romans 8:28 which says that, All things work together for
10:16 good for those who love God and are called according to
10:19 his purpose. Now if you took that scripture as some do, as
10:22 a stand-alone scripture, it doesn't always make sense.
10:24 How can you tell a woman who's just lost her husband and her
10:27 children in a car accident, well God works all things
10:30 together for good? If somebody said that to me in those
10:35 circumstances, I'd want to sock them. But we can't separate
10:40 that from Romans 8:29 which explains Romans 8:28. He's
10:45 working all things together for our good, it says in
10:50 Romans 8:29, because those he foreknew he predestined to be
10:56 conformed to the image of his son. What that tells me is
11:00 everything that our loving heavenly Father does is for
11:05 our eternal benefit. I prayed once so hard for a friend of
11:09 mine. Her sister was dying of cancer. The Lord had raised her
11:14 up once before and when he raised her up, she turned her
11:17 back on God. When the cancer returned, she got closer to God
11:21 than she ever had been. We prayed for her healing, but the
11:25 Lord told me to take my friend outside and explain to her
11:30 that if my friend, who loved her sister so much, had to
11:35 trust God that if he could see that if he raised Laura up
11:39 that she would turn her back on him again. God would prefer
11:43 to let her have a little shorter life here on earth and keep
11:47 her secure for eternity,
11:49 than to raise her up and let her turn her back on him.
11:52 We have such a short vision because compared to this short
11:57 life, when we put eternity in the scale, to live with God
12:02 for eternity, these troubles are not even worthy to be
12:06 considered. And if God can do something good from something
12:11 God has to power to do something good from a mess. He can turn
12:16 a mess into a blessing. So he doesn't want us to go through
12:20 difficulties, but God certainly can turn them into a blessing,
12:25 and can use them for something good if we trust him.
12:27 You know, part of this is that as James said that we should
12:33 rejoice in our trials. Sometimes I believe that as
12:37 James says, he's testing our faith and he sees the potential
12:41 in us is the way I look at it. He's trusting us with this
12:46 trial. Are you interested in rocks at all? Absolutely.
12:50 Okay, so you know when you find an old rock and it can
12:54 just be covered with all of this stuff and you put it in the
12:57 tumbler and it tumbles and it tumbles and it tumbles till
13:00 it polishes up and it gets rid of all that stuff on the outside
13:04 and when you bring it out then it's this beautiful, shiny
13:07 onyx or whatever the stone may be. Sometimes we have to
13:11 stay in that tumbler and let God just get some of the
13:15 dross off of us as he would put gold into the fire, and I
13:20 think that's the reason why he doesn't answer some of our
13:24 prayers in our timing is because he knows we are not
13:27 ready to receive the answer.
13:30 Moreover, I believe he answers all prayers. It's just in our
13:33 definition answer means what we want.
13:35 In God's definition, answer means what he has for us.
13:39 So God answers in his power, in his love, in his time, in
13:44 his way. Sometimes we don't see it right away.
13:47 Sometimes it may be a little different,
13:49 but God answers all honest prayers.
13:51 Pavel, can you look back in the past and think of the most
13:55 difficult time when you felt that God was not answering
13:59 your pray and just share your struggle with us.
14:05 Absolutely. When I was in Collegedale, and I already
14:08 shared a little of this story and also in Andrews, in a
14:11 foreign country, having allergy, being without a
14:16 sponsor, learning Greek and Hebrew from English, and I
14:22 didn't know English well, it was difficult. I used to give
14:27 when I had my business, never to receive
14:31 and I was very proud in that time.
14:33 So wait; I don't want to miss that point. You are saying that
14:37 you gave back to God from your business in Romania, but did not
14:42 receive and you took pride in the fact that you could give
14:45 and not need to receive because you were so blessed.
14:48 Now for me to be at that point to need help, I would rather
14:52 die that to ask for help.
14:54 Oooo, a little pride there, huh?
14:55 Oh yeah, we need to learn lessons. And I remember
15:01 going to the school and saying, I need to find some
15:07 work because I need to somehow pay my bills. I remember going
15:10 to God in prayer and walking to school crying and praying
15:14 and walking home and crying and praying and spending the
15:16 whole night praying and saying, God, this English is impossible;
15:20 they have no rules, they have just exceptions. Teach me
15:23 English. And then I would say, God, I cannot find enough work
15:27 to pay my bills, and to pay school and to pay insurance,
15:28 and to pay tuition and to pay books and, I mean, a lot.
15:33 I was overwhelmed and we hit rock-bottom. We said there is
15:37 no way out. There is nothing we can do. We don't have
15:40 anything up our sleeve. We cannot solve this.
15:42 So we called up before God and we said, God, it's in your
15:46 hands. You provide in your time. And God did a great
15:51 miracle, great miracles, every day, every step without us
15:55 asking anything. We didn't ask anybody for anything.
15:58 God just provided everything.
16:00 I know you have a lot of stories. You know something?
16:05 I know that we've talked about several miracles that God has
16:08 done in your life, and I mean true miracles. There was one
16:11 story, if you missed it before, when he was in Romania, owned
16:14 a business in a Communist regime and the Communists actually
16:18 took at least 55% of the business. You didn't really
16:22 own it yourself. At that time you had someone who was
16:26 saying to you, who oversaw this for the communist regime, who
16:30 was saying to him, If you don't start working on Sabbath, we're
16:34 going to put you in prison, and he refused. So the man,
16:38 actually, this agent of the government actually went to a
16:42 storage are, got some glass that had been stored outside in
16:46 boxes rotted from the weather and he brought it back and
16:50 the most amazing thing was that he put that in front of
16:55 your business on a Sabbath and then told you that it
16:58 actually had rotted while it was there even though he'd
17:04 brought it in that condition. Now tell us the rest of that
17:06 story, what happened, because I want to share that miracle
17:09 again. We had to cut it short before. What happened
17:12 and what did he say to you about that glass?
17:14 There were seven tons of glass and he knew that I could not
17:20 transport it back to the storage house, because it was
17:23 all rotten, the wood box. He said, If you can safely bring
17:28 it back then you don't have to pay for it. But if something
17:33 happens, you will have to pay for it or go to prison.
17:36 Pay for because it had been ruined and since the government
17:39 was your partner you couldn't waste anything.
17:41 Exactly. I was not allowed to waste anything.
17:45 So I hired a truck driver; it was a big truck that had
17:49 the crane behind the cabin and he put the cables around
17:53 the boxes like some shoulders, wood shoulders, that you hang
17:57 the boxes. He raised the boxes up and when he rotated them
18:01 in the air, the bottom of the boxes broke and the glass went
18:05 out, shoo, just slipped out from about seven tons of glass.
18:09 How much would that have been equivalent money-wise?
18:12 Fourteen thousand or more but at that time, for me that was
18:16 a lot. I could not have come up with that money.
18:19 So did you even have time when you saw the bottoms break out
18:22 and this glass start to fall out, did you even have time
18:26 to utter a prayer? No.
18:29 But for the last few months I was in the beginning
18:32 struggling because I didn't want to go to prison and I
18:35 didn't have that money to pay and then I started to
18:37 kind of instead of praying that I get help and freedom, I
18:42 started to kind of pray that God would do whatever
18:47 he sees was better for his name and his glory.
18:49 So I actually gave it to God and I said, Your time, your
18:52 will, whatever is for your glory
18:54 The glass, falling from the box, stopped in the air. You could
19:01 literally go like with your hand like that or like that.
19:05 It was seven tons of glass in the air.
19:07 Seven tons of glass just was suspended in the air, nothing
19:13 holding it up, nothing attached on the top.
19:15 This is an absolute total miracle.
19:17 The president, the secretary, the driver of the truck, myself,
19:21 people around on the street, neighbors, they were all like
19:26 mute. The driver of the truck, his knees were literally shaking
19:31 and he said, What do we do? I said I don't know. I could
19:35 not believe. I said, Who am I? I don't deserve this. God is too
19:38 good. I would imagine God could help me in the court
19:41 but not to stop the glass in the air.
19:43 That's like parting the Red Sea.
19:46 God never changes. He has power to do miracles.
19:48 God never changes. We have the same God.
19:51 So the man who had perpetrated this act on you by moving the
19:56 glass there, he's standing there as well.
19:58 Tell us the rest of the story.
20:00 The driver asked me what to do. I said, I don't know.
20:02 So he lowered the boxes. The glass would be still in the
20:05 air and the boxes would come and get the glass in and then down
20:09 together. The President said, You know what, you don't have
20:13 to pay, you don't have to move them,
20:15 you don't have to do anything.
20:17 This is the man who moved them there in the beginning
20:19 who was trying to put you in prison.
20:21 He said, Leave this place, move away from our business,
20:26 just don't curse me and my family.
20:28 Don't curse me? He knew that you were calling on a power
20:32 that was too great for him. That's amazing
20:35 But the reason I wanted you to share that story is you
20:40 have seen such amazing, I mean Pavel has seen such amazing
20:44 answers to prayer and you and I ask, Can this be true?
20:48 Why would God do a miracle for him when I haven't seen
20:51 him do anything like that for me and I believe personally
20:55 we hear all the time from missionaries from Africa and
20:59 India and Papua, New Guinea, missionaries who are coming
21:03 in, we hear stories of such incredible miracles and some
21:06 of us in the United States might sit and say, Why don't
21:10 we see these kind of miracles? Well part of the reason is
21:14 because we have so many resources and we have so much
21:17 available to us that it doesn't really require a miracle.
21:21 God can use someone else to answer our prayer, but it does
21:25 my faith such, I just gives me a surge of faith to hear this
21:30 story because it tells me when you're really down to
21:33 that point where man can't save... man couldn't save
21:37 anyway that glass from breaking. But God will step in and do
21:41 something that man can't do. And he was honoring your faith.
21:46 yet here's a man you have said that you've had miracle after
21:51 miracle to answered prayer and it's still difficult for you
21:55 when your prayers seen to be "unanswered. " It's something
22:00 that you struggle with as well.
22:01 Absolutely, absolutely. Prayer is not a one-time event;
22:06 prayer is a lifestyle and unless we spend every day in
22:11 time with God, we struggle. Every time when I don't spend
22:14 enough time in the morning then I am wondering why God
22:19 doesn't answer, why doesn't he help? So we must pray in
22:24 order to learn how to pray.
22:25 It's a practice. It's something that... it's just physicians
22:28 say that they are practicing medicine... as Christians we
22:33 need to be practicing prayer. So what would say if you could
22:37 tell those who are listening to our voice right now, if you
22:42 could tell them just one or two things that could change
22:46 their prayer time and connect them more closely with God,
22:51 what would you say as a beginning point?
22:55 I believe that we have wrong priorities. We care but we
23:01 but we don't care enough for prayer. We are afraid to
23:07 really pray because that might change our life and we don't
23:09 really want to change. Whoa, boy! that's a powerful
23:14 statement. So I believe sometimes God allows us to hit
23:18 the rock-bottom to realize what we really want.
23:21 And then we make the God the priority. We wake up in the
23:23 morning and start with God and throughout the day walk
23:27 with God and as we connect with him, we'll learn how to
23:30 trust him, we will grow like babies grow and we will learn
23:33 to experience our wonderful God. We have a wonderful,
23:38 powerful, loving God. Amen. For you when you were
23:42 actually quite young when you learned something it took me
23:45 many years to learn and that was not just to come to God
23:49 with a laundry list of what needed to be done but that
23:53 you're actually coming to prayer to what I call press
23:57 into his presence to get closer to God to know him.
24:01 What are some of the steps that helped you or help you?
24:05 Is it the Bible reading, the contemplating, the meditating,
24:09 what is it that helps you when you're trying to really get
24:12 to know God better? For me it is amazing, they go
24:15 together hand in hand. For me prayer is not just only talk;
24:20 prayer is when we study the Bible, is when we keep quiet
24:24 before God and listen to his voice. Prayer is when God can
24:28 talk to me to my very need in my very words through the
24:32 Bible all of the time reading, not looking for an answer but
24:34 reading my daily study, where ever I am in the Bible.
24:38 God can use it to talk to my need. For me prayer is when
24:42 God keeps quiet and I know he says it's not the time
24:45 right now. So prayer is a continual walk, it's a daily
24:49 with God. So for the person who is
24:52 sitting out there discouraged feeling like their prayers are
24:55 not going above the ceiling or that God is not answering,
24:59 or that God is being silent, what encouragement would
25:03 you give them? This is what I tell them:
25:06 When you go to prayer, stop for a second to pray for you
25:10 and to think about you. You are not going to die if you
25:13 don't pray today for your problems. Try for one day to
25:17 focus on Jesus cross and his love, his character and what
25:21 he has done for you and all those fears and switch the
25:25 focus from themselves and give themselves up for a day,
25:29 and switch the focus on God, they say that that was the
25:33 most blessed day they had.
25:34 So if you're having difficulty you feel like your prayers
25:37 aren't going anywhere, you feel like you're not hearing from
25:42 God, then your advice to our viewers is to go to God and
25:46 don't ask for anything, just go focusing on the cross of
25:50 Jesus Christ, thanking him for everything he's done, focusing
25:54 on what God has done in the past, the power, looking at him
25:58 as creator and just thanking him that he's the one who
26:02 redeems us and sanctifies us, and that is the type of prayer
26:06 that can change our lives.
26:07 Pavel, would you please pray for those who are listening.
26:12 Sure, I will be happy. Heavenly Father,
26:16 we come before you and we consider it a privilege to
26:21 contemplate your love and to talk about how to approach your
26:25 presence, how to pray. Father, we don't even deserve to come
26:29 before you, and yet you allow us to come before you as we
26:34 are to get to know you more and more. We pray that people
26:39 who have been watching this program, they will understand
26:43 who you are. They will understand how to pray and how
26:48 to get their right priorities, to put you right in the center
26:52 and they will understand that it's all about you. We pray
26:56 that they will get to know you, to experience you daily,
27:00 to trust you, to love you, to have peace and joy and let
27:03 you bless them and they will become a blessing for others.
27:07 Father, we pray in Jesus' precious name and we thank
27:12 you so much for answering our prayer. Amen.
27:16 Amen. Pastor Pavel Goia, thank you so much for being
27:21 with us today, for sharing the journey that God has taken
27:25 you on. Thank you very much for inviting me it was my
27:28 privilege. Well it's been our joy.
27:30 And for those of you at home, I hope you've been inspired
27:33 as I have been inspired to understand that there is no
27:37 such thing as unanswered prayer. God is either saying
27:40 yes, no or possibly he's saying wait for my perfect timing.
27:44 Well, now our prayer for you is that the grace of our Lord
27:48 Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the fellowship
27:52 of the Holy Spirit will be with you today and always.