O Lord Almighty, we praise you that you are a God who is a very present help in times of trouble. Many of us have had a hard week, and we have felt your presence. Many of us have had a tough few months, and even a tough year and there have been plenty of times where we have sensed your nearness, and we know that your nearness is our good.
We praise you for Might. No weapon formed against you shall stand and nothing and no one can thwart your purposes. Lord we look forward to how you’ll help us see that even more this morning as our brother Joey preaches to us how Jesus IS Mighty God. Make it real to us this morning, we pray.
Lord we also praise you that you are from everlasting to everlasting. We are finite….here today and gone tomorrow. You have no beginning and no end. You do not need sleep and you do not tire. Lord, we praise you for your timelessness. It grounds us in these days that seem to shift with the winds.
God, we praise you that you are a God that forgives. We need your forgiveness. We thank you that in Christ forgiveness is possible and since it is, we confess our sins to you, Lord. We confess that this past week we have been lazy in cultivating time with you and your people. We are more eager to play video games, sleep, watch TV, and surf the internet than we are to turn our attention to you and the good of your people.
Forgive our prayerlessness. Forgive our lack of attention to your word. Forgive our lack of attention to meditating on your word. Forgive our lack of interest in speaking about your wonder to fellow members. Forgive us for any inattention to the covenant we made with you and one another as a church. Forgive us for the way we’ve been more interested in spending money on things we don’t need instead of funding the spread of the Gospel through this church. Forgive us for our anger…the times we did return revile for revile instead of turning the other cheek or walking the extra mile. Lord, forgive us for the fact that we have to ask your forgiveness every week for our sexual immorality. Make us hate all sin, but especially the sins of coldness towards you and warmness towards lusting after people that we are not covenantally bound to.
We plead the blood of Christ ALONE to forgive us for all these sins and the ones we haven’t just confessed. Jesus is our only hope. We do not intend to pay off our sins by our good behavior or by any religious activities. Our only hope is in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ to cleanse us of every sin. And HALLELUJAH, we praise you God that you PROMISE to make us WHITE as snow because of His sacrifice for us. Oh Lord, how good it is to know that in the resurrection we have assurance for pardon. We can boldly approach the throne of grace and not only be forgiven, but welcomed into your loving arms as children. Thank you God for grace.
Lord, we plead that you would expose our great city to this grace during the Christmas season. As people sing Christmas songs and possibly attend church services when they wouldn’t otherwise, would you use these things to draw people to yourself? Fill up the seats of other Gospel believing churches around our city–in the NW, NE, SE, and SW. Especially use our brother Jon Spallino as he labors to plant the Gospel in the Wharf area. Bless the efforts of him and the other members of Mercy Hill church.
Father, we pray for the Gospel-centered play that the team members of Iglesia Biblica Sublime Gracia will put on this Wednesday. Would you fill up the seats with Spanish speakers who need Jesus!? And would the message of the Gospel be CRYSTAL clear to the eyes of those people. Grant that many conversations may be born out of that play that would lead people from the domain of darkness to the Kingdom of your beloved Son.
We also pray for the efforts of our brothers and sisters at Bethlehem Baptist church in Minneopolis, MN. We pray that their 25 x 25 vision that will strengthen their core ministries would prove fruitful. Bless Jason, Kenny, and Cleon, and the other elders there as they lead that church…may they have sweet times in your word this week.
Lord, we pray for our fellow TCT church planters in Tampa. We praise you Lord that they are embarking on being part of a revitalization work with Stonewall Baptist church. Give wisdom to the elders as they seek to pastor the remaining members of Stonewall…help those members work well with the saints of The Heights church as they join with one another in becoming one church.
We also pray for Craig and his wife Elizabeth as they labor to plant Legacy Fellowship in Chicago. Give them favor as they care for the daughter of Craig’s next door neighbor whose mother just died. May that girl come to see the love of Christ in the care that Legacy Fellowship provides her.
Lord be near our sister E as she mourns the loss of her mother. I pray that she would sense your nearness in this time. Bless our brother C as he cares for his new wife in the coming weeks of a hard time.
Bless the efforts of our sister M who is laboring now in the refugee camps of Bangledesh. May she give the light of the Gospel to people who have never heard the Gospel and are in desperate need.
Father, finally, I pray for the men of our church…may we be men. Biblical men. Men who consistently do hard things and lead out in the hard work of making disciples. May our men not be immobilized by shame or guilt or passivity. May the men of our church grow to be leaders in our community. Men who care for the needy, men who honor women, and men who love to serve and not wait to be served. Grant that Restoration Church would be a place where our culture’s fascination with extended adolescence comes to an end as we encourage one another to embrace commitment and affection for Christ and His church.
Do all this, Lord, for the sake of your glory in NW DC and around the world! Bless your name…bless your name. What JOY it is to participate in your mission! Thank you. And, God, thank you for these blessed saints that make up this church. Amen.