Twenty-eight years ago, Miroslav Radovanovic committed to doing nothing without prayer. Since then, his ministry, Crkve Božje (“Church of God”), has held a prayer meeting every Tuesday night.
“We believe God hears our prayers,” Miroslav tells his church. “We expect God will be in front of us when we pray. We experience that this is true. God is faithful. We just need to remain faithful.”
Their prayers are being answered, and they now see changes in their city. Here are some examples of God hearing their pleas and answering in beautiful ways.
Threats of violence are overcome by prayers for peace
Several years ago, the church started giving out shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts to local children. After years of distributing the boxes at their church building and then at a school, they arranged to use a cinema to hold the expected crowd of 500 children and their parents. After a drama presented by the church children, Christmas gifts would be handed out to all the children. Miroslav asked his church to fast and pray for seven days before the event. On Friday, two days before the event, Miroslav received a call from the director of the cinema. Two Orthodox priests — jealous of the success of the distribution of gifts — had complained about the church giving out the shoeboxes. They were threatening to send people to disrupt the event. Miroslav was concerned for the safety of the 500 children.
He prayed and then contacted an old childhood friend, the director of the bank, whose son would be in the drama. He shared his concern about the possibility of problems at the event in case she did not want her son to participate. She was in the middle of a meeting and said she would call him back.
Later she called Miroslav to say, “Do you know who was sitting across from me when you called me? The chief of police in the city. He was asking for credit from the bank.” She told the chief about the event and the threats. The chief responded, “No way. I will be present. Nobody will bother you.”
Miroslav was encouraged, but he still asked the church to pray. He said, “I am trusting God more than the police.” He had the church members walk around the cinema praying all week. He told them to ask for peace.
When the children gathered on Sunday, Miroslav knew the event would be a success. He said, “When we started this, the peace of the Lord was so big in the room.” For 20 minutes, they performed the Christmas play for the young audience, age 14 down to newborns, with no trouble at all. Then the shoeboxes were handed out with no interference. Their prayers were answered with a peaceful, successful event with no disruptions.
Community experiences salvation through prayers
Two years ago, Miroslav’s congregation posted two lists on the wall inside the church, one for the church members’ relatives and the other for their friends. First, members would write specific names of their loved ones, friends, and neighbors on the lists. Then, they would pray for the salvation of each one listed during their Tuesday night prayer time, on Sundays, and at other times.
Since then, 15 people whose names were written on the lists have accepted Jesus, five have been baptized, and five have become members of the church. Some from the lists were ill or addicted to drugs, and God has healed them. God is hearing and answering their prayers.
Persevering in prayer during COVID-19
“It’s been a tough time with COVID. But we are seeing some good things happen. Again, it’s been prayer that has made the difference,” Miroslav said.
In November of 2020, Miroslav decided they needed to pray even more. He wanted to see changes in all of Serbia, not just his city. So he and three other pastors started a daily online prayer time at 8 p.m. They named it “Let’s Support Serbia with Prayer.” Every evening they have 20 to 25 minutes of worship, one pastor shares words of encouragement, and they pray for Serbia.
Eighty to 100 believers watch online every evening. This initiative has brought unity among the churches. Thirty-five pastors are now involved. With the pastors, worship leaders, worship bands, and technical workers, there are over 100 people involved in making this event happen nightly. God has blessed their country through this incredible effort!
“Let’s Support Serbia with Prayer” is seeing results:
- While most of the participants are already Christians, one night, a man happened to see the service online and gave his life to the Lord that evening.
- Last summer, Miroslav decided they needed a building to house a growing congregation in another city. He requested that other congregations pray about the building, which would require about 80,000 euros (more than $97,000) to build. The money just started coming in. People have been giving without the congregation doing any fundraising. Now they are only 12,000 euros (less than $15,000) short of the goal. They attribute this phenomenon to prayers by the congregation.
- The church has been offering an online marriage and family course during the pandemic to strengthen family relationships. One Serbian woman, married to a man from different nationality who lives in another country, heard about the course and thought, “I need help with my marriage.” She not only received that help, but she also became a Christian. As a result, God did abundantly more than the church had prayed for.
- Their city was the first in Serbia to allow everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. People from other towns are going there to get the vaccine, and the process typically only takes 10 minutes. The vaccination effort was an answer to their prayers that God would bless their city.
- Miroslav shared that the city is becoming more prosperous. The prayer gathering attendees began praying for more jobs so the youth in their town would not have to leave their community or country for work. Now new factories are scheduled to open in the city.
Under the circumstances of isolation, restrictions, COVID, poor economies, and other hardships, the church people would not have expected all of these events to happen. Yet, they know that their prayer times are working.
In every one of these successes — as in the ministry’s evangelism, church planting, children’s and youth outreaches, summer camps, feeding programs, and Christmas gift distributions — prayer is the key.
Would you like to be a part of the prayer network that sees God answer prayers in a big way?