Lord God, this morning we thank you for your evident mercy and goodness to us in giving us the church.
And we thank you, in particular, for Restoration Church. Lord, we bring this body before you today.
Father, we speak often of unity, and we do ask you to bring a deep bond to our fellowship. Let it be evident that the believers here possess a supernatural love one for another. But God, remind us that unity and love do not come because of anything we do to foster them. Rather they come as we each focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Cause each of us to seek you Lord with increasing fervency. Surprise us with ever more intense desire to spend time in your word. Lord, plant in us an unquenchable passion to know you ever more deeply. Because we understand that what brings unity to your church is not fundamentally community groups and discipleship, or hospitality and sacrificial love. Instead we know that those are simply outward manifestations of a unity that comes only from a shared love for you.
And yet Lord we do desire those good outward signs of true unity. We pray that as we grow in spiritual maturity, both individually and corporately, that we will be a people of remarkable hospitality. Father, cause us to serve each other in ways that are inconvenient, move us to make our homes places that our brothers and sisters feel welcome and wanted. And God, as we grow in our knowledge of you, lead us to share that knowledge with each other through discipleship. And while we pray that you will motivate each of us to seek to disciple others, help us never be arrogant. Cause us to recognize that each of us have more to learn than we have to teach, and that true wisdom comes only through your Word.
But as much as we desire unity and spiritual growth within this church, Lord convict us of our sin in hesitating to share your saving love with the lost around us. Help us to see the people of NW DC the way you see them Lord, to love our neighbors the way you love them, and to pursue their reconciliation to you the way you pursued reconciliation with us.
And as we, through your strength, endeavor to share the good news of Christ with this city, we hold up the M family in particular. We praise you for this family who would willingly leave all that they know, their family and friends, their church and their country, all to share the gospel with the people of our city. Inspire us with their example, and strengthen and encourage them even today. Let them glimpse in hard moments, the glory and majesty of eternity. Remind them that the work they pursue is worth more than all this world has to offer. Help them, and us with them, to hope in heaven as we seek your glory in a broken world. Establish your work in Columbia Heights through them. Bring many to yourself through our partnership together for the gospel.
In your name we ask these things, Amen.