God, today, I am especially thankful for Restoration church, and the body of people you have called together here in your name. These people have become our family’s closest family, as Christian brothers and sisters. I pray for this church, God; may you use her mightily! I pray for the leaders of this body. God, may you provide encouragement, comfort, wisdom, and knowledge to Nathan, Joey, Chris, Nic, and Kyle. May you allow them to lead this church well. May their families be enriched by their leadership, and not feel drawn from. May their wives feel strengthened, and may their children be diligent in their faith. May you use them mightily, to advance your kingdom, to win people to Christ, to comfort and protect their flock, and to teach with conviction.
Father, also be with all the other members of the church who work to make this body the familial place it is. Thank you for the work of the deacons, the community group leaders, and the many volunteers on Sundays. Thank you for the love our children are shown, especially. May each church worker feel encouraged in their giving, refreshed, and not drained.
God, we are also thankful for the community of churches Restoration is a part of. Thank you for the churches who share our mission here in Washington, DC. And thank you especially for the community of Southern Baptist churches across the country we work alongside to make disciples. This week we were reminded at the Southern Baptist Convention that we, as earthly bearers of your message, are broken, sinful people. But despite this, you work through us! Your word goes forth, as it did this week in the repudiation of racism, in the support of collaboration, and in the rejection of moral depravity. May you use churches across the convention for your name. May you strengthen the convention just so it can more effectively bear witness to you. May your Son’s humility be made known by our own. Where our path strays, set us right. Guide your church, locally, nationally, and globally. May your word be made known. And may seeking you be the first and foremost mission of any church body. In fact, may you wither those bodies who turn from you. But bring grace to all who seek you.
God, today on Father’s Day, we celebrate the fact that you have called us to you, our Father, and adopted us as your sons and daughters. You have poured out your love on us and blessed us richly. We thank you for the fathers here on Earth who give us a glimpse of what this soul-filling love can be. Thank you for all the dads here, and may they love their children unconditionally. May they show wisdom and discretion in raising their children, and grace when needed. Thank you for all of our fathers, wherever they may be, and may you make this day special for each. Give us the right words and actions to show the love we have for our fathers today and every day.
Father God, we also pray a special prayer for the fatherless. Your design is that everyone should have family, but sadly this is not so. Some of us may be mourning a father who has died. Give comfort to those who have experienced this loss. Others may be struggling to relate to, or even forgive, fathers who have wounded us. Provide your arms of love and a shoulder to lean on where there is not one. Remind us all that you are the perfect Father. The one we can turn to no matter what, no matter what we’ve done or where we’ve been. No matter how wretched we may feel. You offer us unconditional love, and acceptance no matter what. Thank you for this love, and the assurance and comfort it brings.
God, we look forward to the day when we will dwell together with you, with each of our Christian brothers and sisters, with the whole community of believers. We look forward to the joy of being in a community free of sin. We look forward to sitting comfortably in the streets, enjoying this community. We look forward to working productively, to seeing your creation restored from the fractures sin has given it. But we look forward first and foremost to being in your presence. You are our perfect Father. Your presence will be a salve of joy on our parched hearts. We struggle to even grasp what this will mean, but we look forward to worshiping, and bringing you glory through praise that will last forever.
We rejoice in your promises God. We rejoice that you are our Father. We rejoice you sent your Son to redeem us and your Spirit to fill us. May we rest in these truths. May we remind ourselves of them incessantly. May we obey you as your children. May we seek your kingdom here on earth, remembering that the world as it is is not all we have. May you strengthen us to be the fathers and mothers you call us to be. May you bring peace to our world even in the midst of our sin.May we join together in bringing you praise now and always. May our meditations be pleasing to you. May you make your presence known and felt here today. We love you, Father God. Amen.