Soon we’ll begin a 13-week sermon series through the book of Judges. How do we select which books to preach? And why are we preaching Judges? Listen to find out and learn how you can prepare for these sermons.
All throughout Scriptures we are called to give thanks to God. Even in the midst of turbulent times and difficult circumstances, we have reasons to praise God. Listen as Nathan and Joey do just that – give God thanks for some of what he has done in 2017.
Looking for book recommendations? Listen as Nathan, Joey and Kathryn discuss their favorite reads from this past year.
God, you are an eternal God. A year has just flown by, and you were with each of us every second of the day. You knew our every thought. You related to us at every step. The enormity of your presence in the past year alone is impossible for us to comprehend. And 2017 was only one year out of an eternity for you.
We thank you that you were God Emmanuel, God with us, and we look forward to the day when we are not listening to the harps on the farther shore, but we are playing them, together, rejoicing in your name.
- We will rejoice at your nearness, at your majesty, at your beauty.
- Everything in this world eventually gets old to us in some way, but somehow you will never cease to amaze us. We marvel at your greatness to come.
God, while you have given us a path to not only enjoy you in heaven, but to enjoy you here, our hearts have sought lesser pleasures apart from you, rebelling against you.
We confess this week that we have
- Fought with our family, spouses, inlaws, parents, children and roommates
- We have not sought first to understand, but have instead sought to impose our way, even if subtly
- We confess that while we have received many gifts, we have not been generous with you
- We have grumbled when we have given our taxes, instead of praying that our taxes would be used well to help the poor
- We have only given out of our excesses instead of our margins.
- We have looked condescendingly on the homeless or others who have not measured up
- You have provided us with our every need, and yet we have worried about 2018 and beyond.
- We have worried about future school and career plans, our relationship status, and our children or childlessness
- As we wrestle with these real struggles, we pray that we would not turn to anxiety, but instead come to you with our open hearts.
- Lord, help us confess the following sins to you now: anger, jealousy, prayerlessness, lust, and impatience.
- Lord, would you please show us the peace that comes with trusting you and your commands, and how your way is the best way for us right now, that we might run in your path?
Father, we thank you that you happily forgive us with certainty.
And because you don’t hold our sins against us, we happily come to you to give you thanks.
- We thank you for bringing us through another year.
- We thank you for the sermon series in Philippians this year, and the series on the Five Solas, and how you used your Word every Sunday to change us one degree at a time.
- We thank you for Joey and Nathan, and how they have committed the prime of their lives to preach the Word to us.
- And we thank you for the churches many of us have visited over the holidays, as we traveled.
- It’s amazing how rapidly your churches have spread over the last century, and we praise you that we are not alone this Sunday in preaching your word.
- We pray for local churches that preach your Word nearby.
- Montrose Baptist in Rockville
- Franconia Baptist in Alexandria.
- We thank you for members you have brought to Restoration.
- We thank you for R and C.
- H, C and R.
- J and J
- We thank you for the Campus Outreach conference going on right now, and we pray that the words spoken at the conference would bear fruit, particularly in the lives of the four students from American University who attended.
Lord, You have given us so many reasons to be thankful, but we know you are generous, so we bring even more requests to you.
- We pray for those in our church.
- We pray for those morning the loss of family members or close friends this year. Would you be near to them in this season?
- We pray for those mothers who are caring for sick children during these long winter days. We pray that the mothers in our church would understand that their work caring for their children is no less important than the President’s work in your eyes. And we pray that we as a church would esteem the work of raising up children.
- We also pray for mothers juggling caring for children and work in the economy. Would you please sustain them in the difficult days?
- We pray for relationships in our congregation.
- We pray that we all would grow in appreciating each other. We pray that we would value each other just as you value us.
- We pray that we would be inconvenienced in some way this week to serve someone else in our church.
- In all our relationships here, we pray that in humility we would value others above ourselves.
Lord, we also pray for our world.
- We pray for those struggling with depression, both here today and in our communities.
- We pray for those who are struggling with chronic physical pain.
- We pray for poor churches serving poor communities in our country. We ask for your blessings on churches meeting in McDowell County, West Virginia and in the Navajo Nation in the southwest. We often feel overwhelmed at Restoration with all of our problems, but we pray for churches in these communities where broken families may be the norm.
- You show your care for good governance in scripture, so we pray for Zimbabwe and Iran. We pray that their governance would grow increasingly just in the coming year.
- And we pray for the Ends of the Earth: over 300,000 Kondah Dorah people in India. We pray that you would use the few hundred Christians in this group to reach their neighbors.
Finally, we come back to this church. Would you please:
- Move through us this morning as you bless us with the preaching of your Word?
We ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Listen to learn more about Campus Outreach and the work they are doing on the campus of American University.
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.
We sent our sister to the Middle East to minister among refugees. She spent a year striving to advance the good news of Jesus. Listen to hear a bit more about her time there and what she’s doing now.
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.