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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Aug15Sun

    Sermon: “Our Father - Part 1”

    August 15, 2021
                Today I want to look at the ineffectiveness of the Lord’s prayer. At this point your immediate response should be WHAT? The very prayer Jesus taught us to pray just doesn’t seem to work or have power for that matter. Again, the response should be WHAT? Most will have some idea of this prayer as many have grown up reciting the Lord’s prayer but the prayer many grew up reciting has become just ritualized words from an unbelieving and disobedient church. Generation after generation has gone by, yet in recent years this prayer continues to be powerless just as the church continues to be powerless. This prayer is so ineffective it was even banned for our schools. In the United States “the decision of Engel v. Vitale handed down on June 25, 1962, the US Supreme Court ruled that state-sponsored prayer in schools was unconstitutional.” In Canada that came a little later. in September 1988, they won a decision against the Sudbury school board which had the Lord's Prayer removed from all Ontario public schools.” The Lord’s prayer has also been removed in the political arenas. The Toronto Star reported “the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that a Saguenay, Que. town council’s recitation of the Lord’s Prayer prior to its meetings is unconstitutional. Writing on behalf of the court, Justice Clément Gascon pointedly noted, “Sponsorship of one religious tradition by the state in breach of its duty of neutrality amounts to discrimination against all other such traditions.”
                Now obviously I don’t believe the Lord’s Prayer is ineffective. That would be saying God’s word is ineffective or irrelevant in our day as so many do believe. That is simply not true. Isaiah 55:10 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Purpose also means wrath. Just because people don’t accept what the bible says does not mean its purpose was not fulfilled. Ezekiel was told Ezekiel 2:7 “You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” Even though God’s word is not powerless, it does appear that way and because the church also appears powerless, many falsely assume God and His word are powerless. Yes, many people were angry when the Lord’s Prayer was removed from the schools and governments but why were they not angry when the Lord’s Prayer was removed from the church? The probable answer is that they didn’t realize it was removed. Even though we still have the Lord’s Prayer right in front of us, most simply recite it but have little understanding of what it is they are reciting, nor do they understand the power available to us. Yes, this prayer along with most of the bible became wrote and ritualized. Most people who have grown up in the church can say the Lord’s prayer right up there with Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd, yet most Christians fear. The ineffectiveness of the Lord’s Prayer closely relates to the ineffectiveness and powerlessness of the church. Even today churches blame the government for the chaos in our countries but where is the power of the church. Most refuse to look inward and repent for not adhering to God’s words.
                Of course prayer in school would be banned because as spoken and understood, it is powerless as the church is just one of many world religions even though true Christianity is the only way to God. When ritualized combined with disobedience, the Lord’s prayer becomes just powerless words. A disobedient people does not receive the benefit of God’s powerful word, the same word that created the universe. Why would or should we expect other religions or those who are non-religious recite something they don’t believe in. For that matter why would someone who goes to church yet not know the power that Jesus intended the prayer to have even recite it. On a side note, I remember hearing a Gideon (the ones who hand out bibles) say how upset they were that they could no longer put bibles in places they had put them before. Truthfully if they could put a bible in a hotel, then other religions could also put their holy book there also. “Providing the Bible and Book of Mormon in guest rooms has been a company tradition since Marriott entered the lodging business more than 50 years ago,” spokeswoman Connie Kim said in an email. “They are there for guests to read and take if they like.” Canada is not a Christian country and neither is the United States even though they say they are; religious not Christian. The church should really be more focused on why there is no power in the church before they worry about the lack of God’s presence in the schools and governments or even in hotels. The condition of our countries after all these years, even though there is a church on every corner, shows the Lord’s prayer to be ineffective but it is not the Lord’s prayer that is ineffective, it is the churches refusal to obey the words right before us as found in the bible.      
                God makes it very clear that Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” As I said I don’t believe the Lord’s prayer is ineffective, but I do believe the church is ineffective due to the lack of truth and lack of knowledge. This lack of knowledge leaves people reciting verses but having no idea what power is actually available in those verses. As Paul said in Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” The church today in no way has this power nor do most people who call themselves Christians have any idea about this available power. Because of our rebellion God said Isaiah 1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.” Deuteronomy 32:20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” This is the condition of the church today.
              The only way for us to have that power again is to turn from our wicked ways. That means turning from the ways of man and return to God’s ways. 2 Chronicles 7:12 “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. 13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” Sadly, the church has chosen man’s way and has paid a severe price as there is only a remnant left and even the remnant like Judah is in captivity. Millions who think they are safe and secure are going to hear Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” If you are still breathing it is not too late to turn from your wicked ways. Amos 5:14 “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” As we saw in Esther and the return of God’s people to the Promised Land, God was merciful to the remnant and will continue to be merciful to the remnant because of His promise to David.
                Turning from our wicked ways means turning away from ourselves and back to God’s way, truth and life as there is only one way. Through deception, man has come up with all kinds of differing doctrines yet say they are one in Christ. They also erroneously believe that God is blessing each differing denominational distinctive; just ask them. Please understand that is impossible. Due to the fact that God has turned His face from us and the abomination that causes desolation has been set up and truth has been thrown down, this means the Spirit of truth is not guiding in truth. Even though God’s word is before us, God is not listening. This rebellion was not the plan for the church but it was prophesied it would happen. What you hear now are doctrines of demons and God’s words distorted by man to say what pleases them and then they ask what have they done. Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.” Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ 7 “By offering defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?” Daniel told us this rebellion would happen. Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.” This is how the church was supposed to be before this great rebellion. John 15:26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.” John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” Because this guidance is missing. This is why there are so many differing views about the bible.
              The church has been defeated just as we were warned. Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears”. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” As Jesus said Matthew 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” Though none of deserve God’s mercy He is gracious to us.
              If only we could be taught how to pray. If only there was such a prayer that would reveal God’s power to the world. There is such a prayer but we must start with this one from Daniel since he prophesied what would happen to the church. We prayer this because the church also rebelled against God. Jeremiah 44:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.” Daniel saw what would happen in the future. Daniel 7:28 “I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” Daniel 8:26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” 27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” Daniel understood their desolation was due to their rebellion against God. The church would do well to understand the same has happened to the church. Daniel prayed this prayer and must understand that the church is in the same situation he was praying to get out of. When you read this remember this applies to the church because like Jerusalem the church has fallen because of our rebellion. Daniel 9:2 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him. 15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” God tells us in Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” Jesus started His ministry and said Mark 1:15 “The time has come, The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” We will never see the available kingdom Jesus proclaimed nor will we see eternal life if we do not repent. His kingdom did come but the church decided their way was better and now remain in desolation, void of power to defeat our enemies.
                Yes we should pray the Lord’s Prayer but with a different heart and understanding which comes through our repentance. Ezekiel 36:24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!” The Lord’s prayer is about power, yet for most this is a prayer they memorized but do not understand. To not understand the available power of God’s word is a great deception. Many Christians just assume that because they attend a church somewhere that everything is the same as when Jesus walked the earth but the church no longer is the church Jesus started. After Jesus said repent and the kingdom coming near, Mark 1:22 “The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Even the demons knew the difference. We have talked a lot about what the kingdom looks like. Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” That already happened! Matthew 11:4 “Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” The church should still look the same.
                Here is the amazing part. God, the creator and sustainer of all things says to call on Him. Not only does He say to call on Him, He says Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.” No one else can do that for you but do take note that God states, “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.” That is what the church is presently doing and refuses to submit to God but if we did, God said He would pour out so much blessing there would not be room for it. Please understand this is not a call for money as most churches call for. This is a call to give up everything and lay down your life for Jesus Christ. Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Jesus also said Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” This is total commitment to Jesus Christ, which is above everything, even family. Jesus said Matthew 12:48 “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Jesus totally changes the family structure but the good news is that if you submit wholeheartedly as commanded Jesus said Mark 10:29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
              When we totally submit to Jesus, God becomes our Father. We then have new family. Galatians 1:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” 1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
                It really doesn’t matter if you have a great father or a bad one or even an unknown one, no father offers you want God does but you must submit to Him with everything you have. 1 Corinthians 8:6 “for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” We saw in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Our belief in Jesus means we also becomes sons and daughters of God. It all comes down to belief as to whether this prayer remains a ritual or the power of God is revealed through it. God is saying to us ask and receive. Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” God said He would pour open the floodgates of heaven. Jesus said John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 15:6 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” Luke 17:5 “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Matthew 17:20 “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 21:21 “Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” John 16:23 “Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 1 John 3:21 “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” So as you can see, the Lord’s Prayer really is not ineffective, it is those who pray it who do not believe nor have faith in God’s word.
                Here is where faith and belief are the foundation. Most people spend their time wondering if it is even possible whether what Jesus said was possible. They will argue and debate. They will say have you ever seen a mountain thrown into the sea? They will spend their lives filled with unbelief and never see eternal life because they refused to obey and believe God’s words. The key to belief is believing the mountain will be thrown into the sea. If you don’t believe God, the creator of the universe, can do that, you may want to start over at the beginning and question your faith. In the beginning God created… If you do believe, you will then believe for everything that God has for us. Everything Jesus did will be possible in the church just as it was possible with His disciples. Nowhere does it say it is not possible. The reason this prayer is not powerful is not because God is powerless but because the church refuses to believe His words. 
              If we would believe, here is the amazing part! The creator wants to make His home in us, His creation and give us good gifts. He also wants to empower us with the same power He created the universe with. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” God wants to heal us and set us free. So when you pray “Our Father” know that even now that Psalm 86:15 “You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” If we want to see the effectiveness of the Lord’s Prayer once again, the church must return to God. 2 Chronicles 30:6 “People of Israel (church), return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” Joel 2:13 “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
                For generations the church has rejected God’s plan and devised their own schemes. The word has been distorted, deleted and added to so that man’s words have replaced God’s word and God has turned His face from us. Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Tradition, reason and experience and been placed above God’s word therefore the church has rebelled against God and we are in desolation for our rebellion. God has turned His face from us and our enemies have prevailed against us. God our Father wants to bless us but we must follow Him wholeheartedly. We were warned not to be deceived but the church did not listen. Yes every church say that they are following God’s ways but it is just not the case as there is no power. When God dwells among us, power flows. All you have to do is read the Old Testament and see that when they rebelled, they lost battles and then they were removed from the Promised Land. Today we are also losing the battle, yet most are so deceived they have no idea there is even a battle taking place nor do they realize that most who attend church will not see eternal life. It is only out of God’s abundant mercy and promise to David that any of us will make it. Jesus warned us do not be deceived. Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.”
                So today even in our desolation we have hope because of God our Father’s compassion on His children. Psalm 103:1 “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
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                I also wanted to give an update of God’s grace in my life. I have struggled a long time with my weight but on February 9, 2021, God answered my prayer and fulfilled His promise to me. It’s now been 6 months and I have lost over 90 pounds. I continue to lift weights and the other day I was able to double my goal of 1 chin-up and did 2. I love riding my bike and yesterday I road 184 km which put me over 3000 km since May 2021. My cravings are gone and I eat the right amount of calories no problem. I feel great! I also know that God will continue to fulfil all His promises. If you are praying, don’t give up because God hasn’t answer when or how you wanted Him to. Focus on your commitment to God. As Paul said Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” The temptation will be to find a diet or program that will help and forget about your relationship with Jesus Christ. When I share about God answering my prayer, I usually get a blank stare back. Focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Do not be deceived by false teaching and other gospels. Paul also said 1 Timothy 4:7 “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” Stand firm on the word of God and don’t give up! Our Father is in Heaven and His name is holy.