On May, 14 at Sunday service “Philadelphia” church in Izhevsk had an opportunity to pray for the senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov, congratulated him on his birthday and thanked for his sincere ministry, openness and love. A special occasion for joy and prayers was also award of Honorary Doctoral degree to the senior pastor for contribution in the development of theological education and missionary work, assistance in preparation of academic and teaching staff.

Pavel Zhelnovakov addressed the church with the questions that arise when you study the words of John the Baptist: “Prepare the way to the Lord” (Luke, 3:4-6). What should the church do to prepare Lord’s way to the hearts of other people? What would the Lord like to see in the church? Answering this question the pastor suggested that we should pay attention to the prayer that was inevitable part of life of the first church, when God «added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42). Turning to biblical examples we see for ourselves that prayer played a significant role in the lives of characters from the Old and New Testaments. For example, prophet Daniel prayed even when it was forbidden to pray to any name except to the name of the king, but God saved him from the people who wished him death (Daniel 6:10,22). Moreover, seeing Daniel’s faith, the king himself praised the Lord, acknowledging His majesty and power (Daniel 6:26-27). In the New Testament the distinguishing feature of the first church was a diligent and constant prayer, that God granted with answers, showing His miracles (Acts 12:5-12).

The pastor paid attention that Jesus Himself was the example of constant prayer (Luke 21:37). From the Bible pages we learn that God pays special attention to the praying hearts, who know the significance of communication with God.

Pastor Alexey Obukhov also preached at the service, reminding the church of the importance of God’s word and the sermon. God through apostles calls us to “stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” (1Corinthians 15:58), and our faith can help us here. And faith in its turn needs strengthening, the word of God is our helper here (Romans 10:17). Pastor paid attention that the Bible says that blessed are those who attentively listens to God’s word, looks intently in it and studies it every day. The faith of such people will become firm and unshakeable.

Alisa Zorkina


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