Majestic God, we come to you this morning as your people, rejoicing in who you are and what you have done. From the depths of our soul, we echo the words of your holy word: “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? The Lord, the Lord, our God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Heavenly Father, in the journey of growing in grace, and heading toward heaven, thank you for being always faithful, forever-kind, and resolutely committed to our joy and freedom. Amen.
We will remember the deeds of our Lord. Yes, we will remember your wonders of old. This morning, we remember the wonder of the incarnation. Jesus, fully God, humbles himself to take on the fullness of humanity. Jesus, Savior, Messiah. Holy Spirit, open the eyes of our hearts that we might behold the glory of our Lord – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Amen.
This morning many of us are weary and broken. We have lost loved ones this week. We have fought with our spouse this week. We are exhausted from parenting. We feel alone and downcast. Our jobs demand more than we can give. We are hurt and feel like no one wants to listen. At times we want to give up. Refresh us. This morning we rest in your promises. Remind us, Lord, that the burden and pressure isn’t on us to manipulate you and claim your promises; but we are to realize how wondrously and comprehensively your promises claim us. Holy Spirit, fill us afresh today and remind us of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. All your promises are yes, in our Lord Jesus. Amen.
We pray for our church body, Lord. That we’d marvel at your glorious grace; that the one thing that would most saturate our souls would be the glory of King Jesus. We pray K, J, and T would wonder at the beauty of our Lord, and then speak of this to others. We thank you for the labors of our deacons and deaconess. Bless M, D, M, and L. We praise you for the consistent, faithful, tireless efforts of K. Give her joy as she oversees Restoration Kids, completes administration tasks, and disciples women. We rejoice for the wisdom of K, N, and C. Amen.
Lord for the glory of your name, raise up more elders and deacons and leaders inside this church. We pray for racially diverse leadership. Give us the desire and humility to learn from those who are culturally and ethnically different than us that we might model your Kingdom – that our ways are not your way, and your ways are better – full of wonder and joy. Amen.
Lord for the glory of your name, use Restoration Church as a place that models justice and compassion and righteousness. Amen. A place where radically different people love and serve each other. Amen. A place where racial differences are not just tolerated, but celebrated. Amen. A place where men are tough and tender and unapologetically godly. Amen. A place where women are strong, courageous and ferociously godly. Amen. Lord, fill us with your Spirit, that we might be a church that models conviction and kindness. Amen. A church filled with men who selflessly serve. Amen. A church where women are cherished and honored. Amen. A church that cannot be easily defined by human norms because we are so full of grace and truth. Amen. A church that protects the weak, comforts the hurting, calls back the wayward, encourages the faithful. Amen.
We praise you for the many ways all of this is happening. And we praise you that we are not the only church in DC that models your glorious grace. We praise you for Pillar Church, Veritas Church, Cherrydale Baptist, McClean Bible, Grace DC, Church of the Advent. Bless these brothers and sisters. Amen.
Heavenly Father, as we pray these things, we’re also mindful of our own hearts. We yearn for your glory, and then live to promote our own glory. We long for see people to come to faith in Jesus, yet cower in fear to share the gospel. We yearn for racial reconciliation, but battle prejudice. We want to know you intimately, but jump into the busyness of our day without giving you a passing thought. We desire purity, but give into the snares of sin – lust, greed, anger, gossip, vanity, pride, immorality, coveting, deceit, envy. We say you are enough and then hope in a job promotion or relationship or spouse or new material possession. We confess our sin. And we hope in Christ Jesus alone. Amen.
We rest in his unchanging faithfulness and lavish grace. With confident boldness, we proclaim Jesus life is our life; his sin-paying, shame-obliterating, wrath-absorbing crucifixion is our death; his Satan-defeating, heaven-bringing resurrection is our life. As your blood-bought family, as your sons and daughters, united together in Jesus by the Holy Spirit, we pray and we hope and we rejoice. Amen.