And He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,’…”
Matthew 21:13 NKJV

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Too Busy To......

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Life just keeps getting busier.  It seems every few months Rachel and I have to re-evaluate and prioritize how we’re spending our time.  And all the technology that is supposed to increase efficiency just adds things we can do, making our lives even busier.  I wonder how frenetic the pace of our lives would appear to someone of an earlier generation.  I fear we’ve acclimated gradually without realizing what we’re sacrificing.  And I suspect this isn’t just natural progression, but part of a sinister plot.

Afraid I’ve become a weird conspiracy theorist?  Well don’t get me wrong.  I love technology as much as the next guy, and see its value toward advancing God’s kingdom.  The question is, are we using these tools, or being controlled by them?

The book of Daniel finishes with a description of the End Times, and one line has always stood out to me.  “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”  (Dan 12:4)  This statement is a little cryptic, so I won’t be dogmatic, but I think part of the enemies plan is just to keep us too busy to focus on the truly important things in our lives.

If I’m right, the End Time Church must resist being swept away with the pace of the world, because when we’re too busy, the first thing we sacrifice is usually our intimacy with God.

So have you evaluated how you’re spending your time lately?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What Else Is There To Do?

Bonnie Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Most of us are familiar with the story in Numbers of the twelve spies who were sent into the land of Canaan ahead of the Israelite people.  Two, Caleb and Joshua, came back and reported a wonderful land flowing with milk and honey. They encouraged the people to obey God and take the land.  The other ten spies brought back a report of giants and caused fear to take control of the people.  The Israelites wept and decided the best thing was to go back to Egypt.  Upon hearing this Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in prayer.  What else was there to do, but pray?  The people were determined to disobey God and turn away from Him and His purposes for them.   

Today we can see around us a nation who has turned from God.  Ungodliness is legislated by those who represent us.  Our judges bring forth unjust, immoral judgments.  There are those who, like Caleb and Joshua, are pointing the right way, but their voices are not heeded.  Like Moses and Aaron, we can see disaster and judgment coming.  What should be our response?  Fall on our faces in prayer.  Only God has the answers and the power to accomplish His will. Did the Israelites obey God and enter the land?  They certainly did.  God’s purposes were fulfilled. However, it was not them, but their children who followed the will of God.  Do we want to be the generation who turns this nation around, or will we leave it to our children to do so?  Will we fall on our faces and pray for God’s will to be accomplished in America, in our city?  Will you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Don't Think Prayer is an Option

Rachel Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I don’t think prayer is an option. Paul admonished the Believers in Thessalonica, “pray without ceasing” Th. 5:17. But somehow the business and distractions of this life squeeze out prayer. I’ve been guilty of a prayerless life. Days going by without much more than a few sentences to the One who loves me. A few blips of tongues here and there. Yet I know prayer is cornerstone of every Believer’s life. Prayer is merely talking to God from our hearts, from His own word. Prayer is the Body of Christ joining together to touch heaven.

So let me appeal to our base human instinct: selfishness. “What about me?” If initially we can’t go to God because His worthiness is beyond our limited human grasp, then let’s go to Him because our desire is for pleasure, to have it “well with my soul.”

We are more than willing to getting up early for the gym, or breakfast with a friend, or staying up late to watch Leno or Letterman (do people do that anymore?) because we enjoy it all. We find some kind of value in it. We get a rush from doing what we love. So, how about we plug in to God time with the same passion and desire?

Look, I’m not saying skip the gym or breakfast with friends. I love both of those things. And I’ve had my fair share of late night laughs, but if those things are choking out prayer, why not exchange those temporal pleasure for eternal ones? Work is the same. Some days I head straight to work. I feel so pressed to meet a deadline and skip God time. How many workouts have we sweated through, not enjoying it? How many so-so television shows have we watched just to catch the one or two exciting episodes of the season? How many sporting events have we dozed off watching only to wake up for an exciting, or not-so-exciting finish? How many hours of the working day have we blown surfing the internet? Oh, is that only me? My bad… Oops.

Yet we do all those things because we love them. We are devoted to our routines, our shows, our passions. So why can’t we put the same energy and passion toward prayer? “Ah, it’s boring. I don’t get the point. If God is sovereign, what good will my prayers do?”

Lots! For one thing, how do you know God’s sovereignty isn’t contingent on His Beloved partnering with Him in prayer? How do we know God is just waiting, hanging over the balcony of heaven, dreaming of releasing an answer to our prayers the moment we utter them? He does not have it all planned out without our hearts and words in mind.

If we’re willing to endure the “boring” things of getting in shape, learning an instrument, or craft, or enduring entertainment in it’s drab moments, or the doldrums of work, why can’t we give the same consideration to the greatest activity we’ll ever endure? Prayer. The privilege and honor of engaging the Almighty because He wants to hear from us. Let’s work on upping our game. Run the race to win.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Main Thing About Prayer

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Peter Lord once said, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”.  This is a great life philosophy.  Short and to the point, it implies two fundamental principles.  Know what is important, and don’t get distracted by what isn’t important.  But sometimes identifying what is important is harder than we realize.

Take prayer for example.  We know it’s important, but why?  Because He said so?  Because it’s how we get stuff to happen?  Those reasons may motivate for a while, but my experience is that they don’t  remain long term.  I’ve seen many prayer groups start out strong praying for a move of God, but dwindle over time when the answer didn’t come.  What if the answer comes only after years of praying?  What keeps us going?

It’s easy to “grow weary in well doing” when we focus on results.  So I’ve been trying to refocus on the real reason we pray.

In Genesis 15:1 God told Abraham, “I am your exceedingly great reward”.  And that’s why we pray; to have Him.  If that is my reason, my reward in prayer, it really doesn’t matter if answers are years away.  I can have Him every time.  The main thing; one criteria of a successful prayer time.  Did I connect with Him?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Effective Together!

Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Jesus would often slip aside from the crowds and even the disciples to pray. On one such occasion a disciple of Jesus said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples” (Lk 11.1). Jesus instructed His disciples how to pray with what we call today the Lord’s Prayer. Certainly this prayer has served as a model of prayer for two thousand years. There is however another principle of prayer that Jesus taught the disciples that I believe is equally important, but one the church has not taken hold of as clearly. We find this in Matthew 18, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven” (Mat 18.19).

“If two of you agree on earth.” Prayer of any type is very important. There is however something very significant about praying together in agreement. This can only happen when two or more people make the decision to come together and pray. This is part of God’s plan and purpose for the church- to gather together and pray. As we read in the book of James, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (Jam 5.16). Certainly our individual prayer’s can be very effective, but there is something beyond individual prayer that takes place when believers gather together to pray. As the church gathers together in unity and comes into alignment with God’s will and purposes, great things can happen. The effectiveness of our individual prayers is greatly increased through the principle of agreeing and crying out together to God. Matthew says that as we come together, “anything they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” This is a very significant promise that the Lord has given to His church. The power of agreement greatly increases our effectiveness in prayer. There are things that will only be accomplished as the church gathers together to pray.

There is another dynamic that praying together with other believers brings. We see this as we read on in Matthew 18, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” (Mat 18.20). There is something about the power of agreement that draws the very presence of God. God responds to His people when they gather together in unity and cry out to Him.

As I have taken time to look at the verses above, I have been encouraged that we need to continue to press forward with MyHop and other corporate gatherings where the church comes together in agreement to pray. There is much power in prayer. To think that we can move the heart of the Creator and invoke His response to our prayers is an absolutely humbling thought.

We serve a wonderful God. Consider taking time to gather together with other believers to pray. You will be greatly blessed as you do.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Be Fervent!

Bonnie Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Js 5:16 – The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Fervent! On Fire! If your prayers are not fervent, they will not be effective. Does your heart burn within you when you pray, or is it lukewarm? Jesus says He is not pleased with us being lukewarm (Rev 3:16). Our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). If He lives within us, should our heart not be on fire, too? The prophet Daniel gives us a wonderful example of fervent prayer. In Daniel 9 we see his heart on fire, pleading for God’s mercy for the captive Jews. The result was an angelic visitation and prophetic revelation. Let us learn how to pray as Daniel did, fervently with our hearts on fire. Let the compassion of God and your love for Him fuel the fire of your heart. Pray fervently

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are You Giving Him Your Best?

Kelly Franklin
Freedom Christian Center

When it comes to your relationship with Christ and your time spent with Him personally, I want to raise the question to you, “Are you giving Him your best?” Often, we know what to do, but the problem is getting around to doing what we know. So what is holding you back from spending time building your personal relationship with the most important person in your life, Jesus Christ?

I think this is an important question to consider, “Are you giving Him your best?” I believe with all my heart that God deserves the best from us because He loves us the most. God is all about relationship. His heart has always been about building a relationship with us, his people. Your relationship with Him began when you chose to put your faith in in Jesus Christ, and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. According to John 1: 12--You became a child of God. What an awesome privilege to be in relationship with the creator of the universe; the one who created you in your mother’s womb; the one who knows you the best and has the best for you in mind. Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we have.

So, what is hindering you from giving God your best on a daily basis? What activities are you giving your time and energy too? What are your priorities? Where can you make adjustments? Are you willing to sacrifice your wants to build your relationship with God? What we value in life is where we focus our attention and greatest efforts. I believe that the things we consistently do daily will shape our lives the most.

As a believer in Christ, having a daily time set aside to build your relationship with Christ through reading the Bible, prayer, and praise is vital to reach the destiny that He has called you to. So what is keeping you from giving God your best?

It is my prayer that you not only answer this question but that you choose to grow in your relationship with God, for He deserves our best!

We want to hear from you: Visit MyHOP on Facebook at and tell me What is the number one thing that steals your time from Him? I want to pray with you and stand with you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Driving Home His Point

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock Melbourne

In Matthew 21:12-14 and Mark 11:15-17 Jesus does three things in quick succession. First, He drove out of the temple the money changers and vendors who had set up shop in the court of the gentiles. It was supposed to be set apart for the gentiles (nations). Next, He declared that the purpose of His house was prayer, for all nations. Finally, He sat in the temple healing the sick.

Maybe this order of events is significant. Perhaps if His church returned to the primary purpose of prayer, He would once again sit in the midst of it healing the sick.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Are You Praying Effectively?

Bonnie Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Do you want your prayers answered? Of course you do. After all, that is one reason you pray. Jesus gave us a clue to assuring we receive what we want.
He said, “If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” (Jn 14:7)

Jesus said his words should live in us. The most effective prayer is done by the person who reads God’s word and believes it. That person can then pray back God’s promises to Him. He can say, “God, I am reminding you that you said this, and I am believing you to be true to your word. Do as You said.” Prayer not based on God’s promises has no foundation to stand on. The promises of God reflect His will. As we base our prayers on those promises we can know we pray the will of God.

But ask yourself – do you really want God’s will? Studying and meditating on God’s word gives the Holy Spirit opportunity to change our hearts. As we walk out God’s word in our lives, as it becomes a part of us, our will comes in tune with God’s will. Then as we pray those promises, we will desire those things that touch God’s heart. Faith in God’s word and His promises will grow in our hearts.

God’s word and faith together release the power of God. He said it, we believe it, we pray it, and He does it. What has God promised? Find out. Read His word.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hungry for More?

Kelly Franklin
Freedom Christian Center

I have been thinking about the verse in Matthew 5:6, that says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." I have often felt the need for God’s filling in the midst of my daily activities. I am sure you have experienced this too. Yet, I have not always positioned myself to sit at His table and be filled. Why?

If I am honest with myself, I have not been hungry―really hungry to know God! Yes, I know about him, but I do not have that insatiable hunger for ALL the things of God. If I were truly hungry, I would desperately seek to find the food I am in need of. God’s word is clear, if I choose to hunger and thirst after Him, he will fill me. It is a promise, a reward to me for seeking Him. He is a good Father, a Father who wants to bless his children and meet their needs. He wants to meet your needs! He wants to fill you and fill me. Luke 1:53 says, “He has filled the hungry with good things.” He desires to meet us where we are and fill us up. All we have to do is position ourselves at His table with an appetite and expectancy to receive from Him. It seems so simple, doesn’t it?

So, how hungry are you? Do you want to be filled? God desires to fill you up, full and overflowing. The choice is yours.

Isaiah 55:11 “Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

You Go First

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I’ve always loved Psalm 110:3, “Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power.” Now truthfully, it’s not difficult to get people to volunteer for God when His power is present, and that’s probably how most of us would interpret this verse. But what if we have it backwards?

I think our tendency as a church is to be passive, waiting on a Sovereign God to initiate so we can respond. But what if that verse is really saying when my people volunteer freely it will usher in the day of my power? What if He’s waiting for us to initiate something?

Could it be that God is sitting up there looking around, just waiting to back with His power some people who whole heartedly fast and pray and seek Him? Hanani thought so. That’s the seer in 2 Chronicles 16:9 who said, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

Look at it this way. When His power does come to the church, it wrecks our schedules anyway. Why not act like we expect His power and go ahead and build our schedules around Him now?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Recently Read...

Kelly Franklin
Feedom Christian Center

Recently, I have been reading, EM Bounds writings on prayer. He has much to say to the Body of Christ and the importance of having a vital prayer life as a disciple of Christ. He says that "prayer distinguishes the children of God…it is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christians are prayerful." Why? Because Christian’s put their faith in Christ and choose to govern their lives by Jesus’ teachings. Jesus taught and modeled prayer. He lived the example of prayer for His disciples. He went from one place of prayer to the next and worked miracles in between. His life on earth modeled prayer and relationship with the Father. As Christians, ours must too.

Let’s ask ourselves: “What does my prayer life say about my relationship with God?” What does my prayer life say about my walk with Christ? Would others know that I am a Christian by my prayers?” “Would they be drawn to Christ by my personal devotion? By my expression and confidence of faith? Or by the love that I express toward others because of the influence of time spent in His presence?” These are questions I am contemplating.

Do we pray out of duty or devotion? Or is it based on our need? Do our prayers flow from a deep love for relationship with Christ and a desire to be like him? Or are our prayers self focused and crisis centered? Being a disciple of Christ really begins in the place of prayer, which is relationship with Him. It is a mark and a true test of our devotion. Let prayer be an overflow of your gratitude, love, and desire for more of Him. Then we can confidently declare that we are “in Christ,” true followers of Him…..Christians.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Recently Heard...

Bonnie Stebbins
Church in the Rock - Melbourne

I recently heard a speaker say, “The Christian life is not about knowledge, it is experience.” Yes, I do pray to know more about God. I want to understand his ways, to understand his heart. But even more, I want to experience his love, live in his grace, dwell in his presence. John 15 encourages us to abide in Christ. This means to draw our every breath of life each day from Christ. The life of Christ will flow through us and bring forth his life to those around us. It will also draw us toward God. Charles Spurgeon said, ”Prayer comes spontaneously from those who abide in Jesus. Prayer is the natural outgushing of a soul in communion with Jesus.” If you are abiding in Christ you will experience that drawing into the presence of God. Prayer will not be a burden or obligation, but a joy. Prayer will be your very lifeline to Jesus. You will not only know him, but experience him. You will feel his love, receive his grace, be filled with his power, and hear his words of encouragement. Will you allow the love of Jesus that is in your heart to draw you to him? Will you let prayer gush forth from you and experience Jesus?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feeling Faint?

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I told someone recently that one of the most consistent spiritual attacks I face is simply the temptation to give up. It could be on a promise from God, a ministry, a person, a commitment to some spiritual discipline. How about you? Feeling tired? Frustrated? Nothing you’re trying seems to be working?

When I feel that way, there are three verses that come to mind that motivate me.
  • (Gal 6:9)"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart".
  • (Prov 24:10} "If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small."
  • (Jer 12:5) "If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?"
I know, those last two are basically “quit being a wimp” verses, but it works for me. And there is one other thing that works. You can read about it in Isaiah 40:28-31. Waiting on Him; and prayer is a great way to do that. So I have a rule. We may stumble, we may whine, but there is really only one thing we can’t do, and that’s quit.

(Heb 6:11-12) "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

God is faithful!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Memorial before God

Pastor Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

In Acts 10 we find the incredible story of a Roman Centurion named Cornelius. The writer of Acts gives us some insight into the heart of this man. It says that he was “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually” (Acts 10:2, NASB). Cornelius receives an angelic visitation and the angel speaks to him and says, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4, NASB).

As I was reading this story I was reminded of the angelic visitation that Zacharias had when he was performing his priestly service in the temple. First, it is interesting that while Zacharias was in the temple ministering to God that, “the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside” (Luke 1:10, NASB). Second, the angel speaks to Zacharias and says, “Do not be afraid Zacharias, for your petition has been heard” (Luke 1:13, NASB).

With both Cornelius and Zacharias, the angels said that God had heard their prayers and was responding to them. Our prayers are important to God and He is listening to them. It does not say how long Cornelius or Zacharias prayed before God answered their prayers, but what is important is that He did hear and He did answer their prayers.

When Peter was imprisoned by Herod in Acts 12, he also had an angelic visitation. An angel appeared in his prison cell, freed him of his chains, and led him out of the prison. Immediately after being released from prison Peter, “went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying” (Acts 12:12, NASB). Again we see God responding to the prayers of His people.

James makes a very encouraging statement, he says, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). In another translation it says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16, NLT).

Wow! Our prayers are important, God is listening, and He does respond to them.

Have you been praying? What stories can you tell, like the story of Cornelius, Zacharias, or Peter, where God heard and answered your prayers?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Imitators of Christ

Rachel Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Why pray? I mean, isn’t God sovereign? What can our weak words do? How can we effect the mind and plans of the living God?

That is small thinking. Even wrong thinking. Prayer is the one thing Jesus demonstrated over and over. Prayer is how we get to know the love and heart of the Father. Perhaps, His sovereign will is that we pray, partnering with Him for His kingdom to come onearth as it is in heaven. The outcome of our life and political, economical and social situations may very well be determined by the prayers of the Elect. You and me.

Jesus said, “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” He said to the people, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

House of Prayer. Jesus wants us, His dwelling place, to be a house of prayer. Individually and corporately. Even now, Jesus the God-Man is “…able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Heb 7:25 Jesus lives to make intercession for us. If He’s seeking the Father on our behalf, how can we do less?

Psalm 72 talks about the Righteous King during His Millennial reign. Here’s what verse 15 says, “So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; 
And let them pray for him continually; 
Let them bless him all day long.” We will be engaged in intercession for and to Jesus in the age to come. How critical it is in this life to learn the attributes, attitudes and construct of prayer. Prayer is hard. No doubt. It’s a discipline.

Shelley Hundley talks about coming to the Lord in those hard, dark times in her book, Cry for Justice. “…only during my life time on the earth do I have the opportunity to impact the heart of God in the midst of darkness, accusation and blindness. I have a chance only today to love Him in the midst of my current hardship, for this is when my heart feels nothing and sees nothing, but still I move in love toward the One I cannot see. And His heart is most undone. I feel nothing but He feels everything.” We want prayer to be easy, to be about “me.” But prayer is about Him. And in His great mercy and kindness, He called us to partner with Him in love and to work to bring His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Let’s not have a temporal but eternal attitude of prayer. Kind of like saving money. Most of us want money when we retire from our jobs, but find it hard to not spend and save now. But if we would just set aside so much money per paycheck, and leave it alone, no matter what, over time, we will see the fruit of our labor. Same with diet and exercise. Or any life discipline. Guarding our tongue. Controlling our emotions. It’s easy to do when we are feed, rested, satisfied, happy, when life is going our way. Harder when we are famished, tired, weary, feeling beat up by the world.

Prayer connects us with heaven. With the heart of God. Prayer changes us. Let’s not stand before Him one day and give an account for a prayerless life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What a mighty God we serve!

Bonnie Stebbins
Church on the Rock-Melbourne

“What a mighty God we serve!” Most of us would acknowledge the might of God, but do our prayers reflect this belief? When you approach the throne of God in prayer, what kind of petitions do you bring to Him? Are they stinted petitions, narrow requests, limited desires? God is on the throne. He is the creator, the maker of heaven and earth. All power belongs to Him. His thoughts are above our thoughts. What He imagines is far greater than what our imaginations can conjure up.

So, when you approach the boundless, limitless, endless, all-powerful throne of God in prayer, remember to ask for great, grand, glorious things. For He would do for you “infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” (Eph 3:20 NLT)

What will you ask God today?