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.
O God of heaven we humbly place ourselves before you this morning. We take our refuge in you. You are our Lord. We have no good apart from you. It grieves us to see the sorrows of those that run after other idols and multiply. But you Lord, you are our chosen portion and our cup. You hold our lot. Truly, the lines have fallen for us in pleasant places and we…oh we by your grace have a beautiful inheritance.
We bless you Lord, you the one that gives us counsel. We set you before us…and may we set you before us continually. And because we do, Lord we are confident that because you are at our right hand, we will NOT be shaken. Therefore, our heart is glad and our whole being rejoices. For we, your saints…we dwell secure in Christ Jesus. Yes, in Christ you will not abandon our souls to hell. Instead, you have made for us a pathway of peace that leads to life everlasting…you have brought us to you, the presence of the fullness of joy and where pleasures are found forevermore. Blessed is your name, o God!
We beg your forgiveness for the ways in which we don’t set you before us. The ways we have sought out idols this past week. Forgive us for following the idol of personal pleasure where it directly deviates from your path. Forgive us for the adultery that we committed this week. Lusting after men and women that weren’t ours in marriage. Give us eyes to see the destruction lust causes to our souls and the glory it robs from you.
Forgive us for the ways we feared our fellow man more than we feared you. Forgive us for failing to speak up for the cause of Christ when opportunities were clearly presented to us to speak, but instead we shrank. Forgive us for the ways we have failed to pursue others for their good and your glory.
Forgive those of us that drank too much or said too much. Teach us, Lord, to be more discerning with our handling of drink and the handling of our tongues. Cause us to remember that we ought not use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but instead may we all things to build others up in Christ Jesus, and not tear others down by abusing our personal freedom.
We are a collection of deeply flawed men and women…and yet, you have shown us mercy upon mercy, grace upon grace in the person and work of Christ. We are saints in Christ Jesus. We have been declared holy, not because of any holiness of our own performed by the law…but we are holy because of the righteousness that came from heaven and was secured for us on the bloody Cross. Oh God thank you for forgiveness! Thank you that through our faith in Christ we have been Justified through the blood of Christ that has propitiated your wrath. This is our plea. We plead the blood of Christ and rejoice in the forgiveness we have received through it.
And so we thank you for this Great salvation. The song of our souls that orients us towards heaven, our home. And Lord, thank you that you have granted us passports to heaven…our true home. We long to see our Savior and enjoy Him face to face forever.
Until then we know that we have a mission here to display your infinite glory on earth as the church. So, we turn now to plead for you to work through your people.
We pray for our sister Z whose body has been riddled by a stroke. Lord, we rejoice she still rejoices in you through all that she has been through. But Lord, we pray that she would be able to join us here more regularly that we may enjoy her company and she may hear your word preached. And if not here, we pray you’d grant her another Gospel believing church nearby where she can get to more regularly.
We pray T and J in these early days of marriage. May they build habits of grace towards one another as they both pursue a passion for your glory. Lord, do the same for D and L and A and K, and C and A as they prepare for marriage themselves.
Lord, I pray for K, J, and J. May these days in their lives be marked by prayer and fasting where their one plea is to have more of you as their daily portion. May you hear those prayers and meet them in their times of need.
Father, we pray you’d grant Restoration Church to see a harvest through the proclamation of your Gospel throughout Washington, DC. Grant that we would see 5 or 10 people come to faith in Christ as a result of our being generous with our time and intentionality in turning conversations towards things of depth. Please, we pray you’d grant more people to believe for your glory here in DC. May we rejoice with the angels at the baptism of these saints in the coming months.
Lord, likewise, we join the call of our church planting network, Treasuring Christ Together to see 10 or more new believers in all the TCT churches this year. May we come to the close of this year and hear about magnificent ways in which you moved through Jubilee Church in Minneapolis, Grace Church in Memphis, Treasuring Christ church in Raleigh, Desiring God church in Raleigh, Covenant Life church in Tampa, and Kaleo Church in San Diego. Lord we plead you would do this.
Father, we plead that you would also move among the nations. Amongst the unreached peoples in India, the unreached peoples in China, Cambodia, and Pakistan. Lord, send more and more missionaries that are equipped with languages and an unceasing passion for your glory amongst those have not yet heard.
Lord we pray for the people that are mourning in Manchester, and in London, as well as Istanbul, as well as Mogidishu. God please, end the violence that these soldiers of Satan are bringing about. Bring peace and justice amid the world….and do it soon, we pray. May Christ return soon and establish the world we all long for. Until then, God give peace to the hurting and resources and wisdom to governments that may rid the world of such evil.
Finally, Lord. We pray for our brother Joey who will open up the word you have breathed out. Grant him freedom and the fullness of the Spirit and grant us ears to hear your word. Father we thank you your servant J. His tireless efforts to be light in the darkness are an encouragement to so many of us. Use him to create more and more courageous men and women that spend themselves for Christ. Do that now as he comes to preach in just a moment.
God thank you that you hear our prayers. We commend all these things to you and we ask them in the name that is above all names…Christ Jesus the Lord. Amen
Listen as Nathan talks to Katie, a sister from CHBC who has been a part of Campus Outreach and soon takes off for the unreached.
O God, you are our God, our rock and our redeemer. Our souls long and thirst for you. Your steadfast love is better than life; your grace refreshing to our inmost being; your mercy sweet to the taste buds of our soul. We will bless your name as long as we live. Satisfy us, Lord, satisfy us with your steadfast love that we might be glad and rejoice and delight in the sweet supremacy of Jesus Christ, who faced death that we might have abundant life, who defeated the grave we might rejoice in our heavenly hope. Yes, Lord we praise you above all.
Father, this morning we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We know that on a day like Mother’s Day there are so many different emotions that we bring to you. We thank you for the godly mothers among us. We thank you for those of us here who had godly mothers growing up. We thank you for the new mothers here this morning.
Father, what a gift you have given to us in mothers – their compassion and tenderness and wisdom and strength and intelligence. We pray for the moms among us – give them strength where they are weak, wisdom where they are unsure, patience with the many demands placed upon them, faith in your care for them and their families.
And we pray for those of us here who have a hard time on a day like today. We pray for those who have lost their mother, whether that’s recently or many years ago. Give them grace we pray. We pray for those who have a strained relationship with their mom or never knew her at all. We ask this morning Lord that you would meet us in our pain, heal our hearts where they are wounded, soften our hearts where they are hardened, and enable us to forgive and to love even those who have hurt us.
Some here this morning are saddened on a day like today because they long to be a wife that they might be a mom, or they long to have children, and yet are not able to do so. Father of mercies, give us comfort in our sadness, help us all trust in you despite unfulfilled longings, and rejoice knowing that you never stop loving us and always have our eternal best in mind.
Lord, we thank you for the children among us. We pray that you would use Restoration Kids to make disciples of the children here at our church. We thank you for the many members who serve and teach the gospel to our children. Grant salvation to each child here that they might never know life apart from trusting and treasuring Jesus Christ. We praise you for your abundant grace upon the W family of three. Oh how manifold are your mercies. Give J and T grace to raise P in the gospel of our Lord.
Build up our body in love that we might spur each other on in faithfulness of Christ as we journey toward heaven together. Grant us unity in the gospel being eager to sacrificially serve one another. We praise you for J and E and how they serve, we thank you for the Community Group hosts – the As, the Hs, the Ks, the As, the Ts, M, E and J, the Ms, the Ms, the Ps, the Fs – bless these brothers and sisters as they open their home each week. Use these groups to help us grow in maturity, to mutually care for one another physically and spiritually, and as a place for mission to advance the gospel.
For the glory of your name Lord advance your gospel among the Behdini Kurds. Grant peace and wisdom and joy to R and E. We thank you for our gospel partnership with them. Cause your word to be sweet to them and encourage them in their work. Help them to retain their language and to progress even further. Use us to meet their needs and encourage them in their labors. We pray for our sister A ministering to refugees in the Middle East. Grant her rest in the gospel; give her favor with the girls to whom she’s ministering. And use her to bring people to faith in Jesus. We pray for the leadership of the International Mission Board. Give David Platt, Sebastien Traeger, John Brady, Zane Pratt and Rodney Freeman Spirit-filled insight as they seek to steward funds for the global advancement of the gospel. And we pray for the M family. Continue to use them to be an encouragement to us, and us to them. Use their weekly Bible studies to mature those who already believe and the clearly communicate the gospel to those who do not. For the fame of Jesus Christ, build a solid foundation for Iglesea Biblica Sublime Gracia.
Triune God, thank you for the Bible. Holy Spirit, take the word and apply it to the soil of our heart that we might become more like Jesus to the glory of our Father. Give us the grace and discipline to bear fruit in keeping with repentance that we might enjoy our fellowship with you and with each other shining as lights, holding fast to the word of life. Feed our souls this morning; cause our eyes to see the majesty of your glory. We pray all of this in the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.
Thank you for showing us what true humility and servant hearted love look like. Jesus is not only our saviour – but also our example. We can look at his earthly life and learn how our attitudes should be:
- He didn’t have to enter this broken world – and yet he willingly left his heavenly glory and became a human being who looked no different from the next man.
- As the king, he should have been born in a palace – yet he was born in a humble cow shed. The one who was rich became poor for the sake of the eternal wealth of others.
- In life, he humbly served his disciples, associated with the insignificant and made time for little children
- Though wrongly accused and shamefully treated he did not retaliate, but entrusted himself to the One who he knew would vindicate him.
- Though the author of life, he submitted himself to the horror of death for the sake of the eternal life of others.
And he did all this because he perceived future joy. And through these acts of humility our prideful rebellion can forgiven.
Lord we confess that this past week we have, in many ways, not been like him. We have suffered from a spiritual short sightedness – pursuing the immediate rewards that our world says can be ours.
- We have grasped at position and outward recognition
- Our minds have been pre-occupied with accumulating wealth. We have failed to be generous with the money you have graciously provided us.
- We have overlooked people that we deem to be insignificant rather than loving them
- We have not made time to meet with other brothers and sisters for the sake of their and our own spiritual welbeing.
- We have been slow to make sacrifices for the sake of the progress and joy of others.
- We have been more focused on our own rights than the good of others
Lord for all this we are sorry and repent. Please change us.
Help us make our plans and strategize, both in small decisions and large, seeking the welfare of others. In our choices about education, careers, houses, recreation and possessions – may we increasingly steward all that you have given us well.
Our daily habits say so much about who we are and what is important. May those furrowed paths that we travel down day after day lead us toward you rather than away from you. Help us to furrow out new, better paths where necessary. Change is hard – help us Lord.
Lord we pray specifically that as a church we would steward our money with Kingdom of Christ, and the interests of others in view. May we all give cheerfully and generously and regularly.
We also pray that there would be an increasing culture of discipleship in our church. In a city where calendars are full and time seems scarce, help us to make time to meet together and continue with each other for our progress and joy in the faith.
May our humility be evident in the way we relate to earthly authorities. Help us to submit graciously to them, knowing you have provided them for our good. Give wisdom to our Mayor and the members of the city council. In all their decision making we pray that you would give them wisdom that our city would prosper.
We pray for J, T, and P as they return to DC this week. Thank you so much for your kindness to them and the many answered prayers during their trip to Korea to adopt Parker. We ask again for this week – give them a good trip back here and help them in the early days of adjusting to normal life here as a family of 3. Help us as a church to love them well and may the story of your faithfulness to them be an encouragement to many.
Lastly, we pray for our brother N as he comes and brings us your word in a moment. Help him to preach your word clearly and give us attentive minds and move us to not only listen but also be doers of the word.
In Christ’s Name we ask all these things,
Mel sits down to talk with our deaconesses of finance, Laura. Listen in and learn more about her life, how she came to faith, what she enjoys doing, etc. As our church grows and changes, we hope these “Get to Know…” podcasts will serve as a way for your to learn more about fellow church members.
Did Jesus have anything to say about church membership? Yes, he did. Specifically, in Matthew 16 and 18 Jesus speaks about binding and loosing. Or to say it another way, he discusses what we call church membership.
God, we come before you grateful. We praise you for your creation and your placement of us here to sing today of your greatness. We are eager, God, to join in the chorus of saints who have leapt to praise you as you called us to through David’s words in Psalms. We sing today, as he did, to praise you in the heavens as we behold you, to whom nothing can compare. Indeed, let everything that has breath praise the Lord! And we know that all who draw breath do so thanks to you. So we praise you for the beauty of your creation, for the majesty of our universe, for the glories of this earth. And we praise you for creating us—for creating us in your image, for sending us as your image bearers into the world. We have the privilege of being characters in the story you are writing.
It is a beautiful story, one we also give thanks for. We thank you that while we were still sinners, you sent your Son to die for us that we might be saved. Thank you for the cross and its saving power. We praise you for your unconditional love. And it was with that in mind that, just a few moments ago, we came before you to confess corporately. We have recognized our self-righteousness and lack of humility, and we cried out to you. But this was not in despair! For you have sent a mediator, who acts on our behalf in the form of Christ. Through Him, you do not treat us as our sins deserve, but imbue us with His righteousness, who was spotless and blameless. We thank you for this forgiveness, this mercy, this grace. Renew our hearts, O God, with this truth. How great you are, God. May you act in our hearts to show us more of you, and through this, see ever more clearly the magnitude of this beautiful story, for victory is won! The end is secured, and you are the high King who reigns supreme.
We call on you God to sustain us as we move through the week ahead. Enrich us through your truth. We know you are faithful, having called us to fellowship with your Son. And let that truth ring in our mind rather than those things of this world that so often distract us. May this truth lighten our loads and soothe our soul. Calm our hearts and minds this morning. Make our hearts fill with peace, with a peace that surpasses all understanding. May our lives shine as examples to those around us who are weighted down and burdened by the things of this world. You promise an easy yoke and a light burden. But in our hurry we labor and add to our burden as we look only to ourselves. May we turn to your yoke, for you are gentle and provide us rest. You are faithful to us. You chose us, though we were weak, and made us strong. May we be faithful to you.
We appeal to you, God, to bring unity to our church family, to our community groups, and to the families within our church. Mend the divisions amongst us. There are those of us gathered here this morning who are hurting due to harsh words inflicted on us, not by strangers, but by family and friends. So often we quarrel instead of being united. Don’t let us empty the cross of its power. We are forgiven, so let us not hesitate in forgiving. May we be quick to forgive and slow to anger. Can you, even this morning, bring us humbly and graciously to a place where we seek to pacify and not incite? May we mend our rifts and bridge our divides. Let us remember your grace and mercy to us, and offer our own freely to others.
But God, we thank you for this community we live in through which we can bear burdens together, lean on each other, and offer each other grace and love. In worshipping together corporately, we remind each other of your truths, and you knit us together as members of your family. Thank you for bringing each of these people together here today and together as a body. May we sharpen each other, comfort each other, and pour ourselves out for each other. We pray for each member of this body, that today you would help them to grow in your character. And today, we are especially thankful for bringing a new member into the body. We give you thanks today for the adoption of P into the W family and the Restoration family. May you be surrounding their family with protection in this season, and give them safe travels back here when they are able to come.
Today we also pray for the broader community we live in. We pray that you would bring peace and prosperity to Washington, DC. May our local and federal leaders govern well, and may you grant them wisdom as they make decisions for this city and country. We pray that the members of this congregation would continue to influence these leaders for good, and that we would offer winsome truth. We pray that through our lives that those around us would be influenced to seek out the Gospel, to hear afresh the good news that you offer for the redemption of our hearts. May our communities and our cities be transformed by our presence day by day and person by person.
We as well pray for leaders around the globe in other countries. We pray for France as today they cast votes to elect a new leader. May their new president recognize you and may this election bring renewed focus on you. We also pray for the upcoming British elections on June 8, just announced this week, and the German elections in September, may they too bring about your movement in the world, as over the course of less than a year four of the most powerful countries in the world will have elected leaders. We do pray that these elections would bring results that cause your Word to move ever further, but we also recognize that you reign supreme no matter what. May we not put our hope in our earthly leaders, but in you alone.
As we confessed, God, we remember that, while we are more wicked and sinful than we dare imagine, we are more loved and accepted than we ever dare hope. Thanks be to God, who through Christ Jesus, drew us to him. He who loves and accepts us as we are. Who offers us righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Thanks be to you, that our hope is secure. We offer these confessions, these praises and thanks, these petitions and intercessions; we pray all these things in the matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen