Our next Family Worship Sunday is this Sunday, July 03. Join us in praying that God will use these sweet times of corporate worship to exalt Christ, build up our church, and impart the gospel to the littlest ones at Restoration Church.
On these specific Sundays, the older children’s classes, currently K-5th Grade, will stay for the entirety of the main service. This will create an opportunity to train our children to worship corporately, both as members of our immediate families and the family of God.
For the Parents: The standard of conduct and behavior for your child will not be perfect on Family Worship Sundays. Your kids will actually act their age in the service. There will be distractions and chatter but that is good for the rest of the church to see and hear. Your children are an evidence of God’s grace to our congregation. Family Worship will create more opportunities to talk about the gospel with your kids including the importance of corporately gathering, worshiping God through music and the preaching of God’s Word along with reasons for the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Family Worship Sundays will also enable parents to be grateful for those who disciple their children each week in Restoration Kids as they have the privilege and responsibility of training children to worship corporately.
For the Children: The kids of Restoration bring an energy and joy to the rest of the church body that reminds us of life in our church. Children will see the reality and benefit of worshiping with their parents and others in the congregation. They will realize that mom and dad and the rest of the church are just as much in need of Christ as they are. Children will have the chance to watch their parents and those who disciple them in children’s ministry worship God together and in return see the need for corporate worship. Our prayer is that Family Worship Sundays will be another way to open the hearts of the kids God has entrusted to Restoration Church so they can understand the character of God and walk in the goodness of His grace from an early age.
For the Church: Family Worship Sundays will help those who do not have families see the importance of family. It is good for the rest of us to see and hear the children in our church because it calls us to pray for them, disciple them and care for their souls. It is an opportunity to see our greater church family at it’s finest. The service will be unfiltered with the visuals and noises that children provide. It is a chance to be blessed by the unpredictability that is family. It’s another aspect of biblical community marked by togetherness. Worshiping with all ages will help us as a church see even more the importance and responsibility to make disciples who make disciples. As a church, may we think about it not as a distraction but something that endears us to one another and magnifies Christ as His body.
For years we have been praying that God would help us plant a Spanish-speaking church in Columbia Heights. Now that prayer is becoming a reality. Listen as we talk with the Molero family and learn how you can pray for them as they transition from Venezuela to DC.
As children of God, praying through Christ our mediator, we do not have to pray in a formulaic way. But, we can and should learn from prayers recorded or referenced in Scripture.
While we absolutely see in Scripture prayer for temporal needs and desires, the weight of prayer in Scripture is focused on spiritual matters from God’s glory to our perseverance in faith in Him. To that end, you can use the below to help guide your prayers.
Boldness in Evangelism – Pray that we would be bold in sharing the gospel with unbelievers. (Acts 4:29-31; Colossians 4:1-2)
Abounding Love & Discernment – Pray that our love for God and each other would abound so that we would be able to discern what is excellent. (Philippians 1:9-10)
Unity in Diversity – Pray that our church would display gospel unity in our diversity. (Ephesians 4:1-7)
Every Member Ministry – Pray that every member would be meaningfully involved in serving the body and building each other up. (Ephesians 4:12-16)
Sharing Burdens – Pray that we would share each other’s burdens. (1 Corinthians 12:26; Galatians 6:1-2)
Encourage One Another – Pray that we could regularly and specifically encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Give Generously – Pray that we would give generously (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
Faith that Perseveres – Pray that our faith in Christ would persevere to the end. (Luke 22:32; Jude 24-25)
Godly Leadership in the Church – Pray that our church would be continually led and shepherded by godly pastors. (Acts 14:23; 20:28)
Physical Healing – Pray that those who are sick would be healed. (James 5:14)
Salvation of Unbelievers – Pray that we would see people come to faith in Christ through our gospel ministry. (Romans 10:1)
Spread of the Gospel – Pray that we would send people out from our church for the spreading of the gospel locally and globally. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 13:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1)
Understanding of God’s Will – Pray that we would understand God’s will and be filled with spiritual fruit pleasing to God. (Colossians 1:9)
Wisdom – Pray that we would be marked by humility and wisdom. (Philippians 2:3; James 1:5)
God, you are indeed King forever! The matchless King who is our Redeemer. We exalt your great name. Today we turn to you, our Father, and give you praise for your unconditional love. 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.
Today we turn to you still mindful of a great tragedy in our country a week ago. We continue to pray for the families of victims and those wounded in the Orlando shootings last week. May you grant respite to grieving families, and may you comfort those hurting and bring healing. We pray that you would move in the hearts of those affected by this shooting. May you also give us deep wells of sympathy for those around the world struck by tragedy.
We needn’t turn far to see that the world is a broken place. The world is not as it should be! Sin came into the world and ruined our hearts. Many are weak, many are hungry, and many are sick. We are lost, fearful, and condemned. Our bodies are frail, and our home here only temporary. But you give us hope! You give us strength and allow us to find rest. You offer us grace, and the promise of being raised to be a new creation! Through Jesus, we are saved! We praise you for this redemption, and healing our souls.
God, today on Father’s Day, we pray a special prayer for the fatherless. Your design is that everyone should have a family, but sadly this is not so. We know the effects not having a father can have. For those here who don’t, grant them an extraordinary dosage of your grace and strength. 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.
And 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.
Some of us on Father’s Day may also be mourning a father who has died. Give comfort to those who have experienced this loss. May this day be a chance to remember the great times shared.
And as well, there are those who are experiencing a tough time with their fathers. May you soften peoples’ hearts, grant them grace, and allow your love to flow through them to heal relationships. It is hard to forgive when we have been wounded. But grant us the power to offer unconditional forgiveness. Let us not hold grudges, but seek reconciliation. May you grant peace to the broken.And again remind them, and all of us, that you are our Father in heaven.
This weekend marks the beginning of summer for many here, with the last week of school passed. We pray this morning that you would use this summer to grow each of us in our faith. May our summer be marked by spiritual growth and not frivolity. Give each of us safe travels if we’re traveling. And allow us times of rejuvenation. Give rest to those of us who need it. We thank you for the summer.
We pray all these things in the name of your Son Jesus. Amen.
Praise is due to you, O God. You are the God of our salvation. You are the hope of all the ends of the earth. We sing the glory of your name this morning. How awesome are your deeds. How great is your power. How marvelous is your grace. We praise you for Christ Jesus. We praise you for his perfect, joy-filled life. We praise you for his sacrificial death. We praise you for his life-giving resurrection. We praise you that Jesus is reigning and Jesus is returning.
Give us the assurance that in Christ we died, in him we rise, in his life we life, in his victory we triumph, in his ascension we shall be glorified. We confess that Jesus is our Redeemer, the Man of Sorrows was crowned with thorns. We rejoice that Jesus is now Lord of life wreathed with glory at your right hand.
Holy Spirit, fill us with a deep longing to know and enjoy and delight in Christ. Cause our love for him to abound more and more. Grant your grace to us so that Restoration Church might be zealous for good works. Lord, cause us to be eager to disciple other church members and build them up in Christ. Cause us to be quick to enter into the messiness and hardships of each other’s lives that we might compassionately point each other to Jesus. Cause us to walk in unity. Cause us to make personal preferences secondary to gospel purposes. We praise you for the ways this already happens inside the life of our church. This is a work of your grace among us.
We pray for those here this morning who are weary and downcast. Jesus, remind us of your words, “Come to me all who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest…for I am gentle and lowly in heart, you will find rest for your souls.” We pray for those here this morning walking in unrepentant sin. Holy Spirit, draw us to yourself that we might see the shallowness of our sin in light of the sweetness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray for those here this morning who find themselves in uncertain or unfavorable circumstances. Sovereign Lord, remind us of your meticulous care for our lives; that just as you feed the birds of the air and cloth the flowers of the field, how much more do you care for us? We pray for those here this morning who are not trusting in Christ Jesus for salvation. Gracious God, speak the light of life into their hearts that they might see Jesus as a greater pleasure than anything this world has to offer.
We pray for the advancement of the gospel. Use the ministry of Restoration Church to help others understand the good news of Jesus Christ. For the glory of your name, Lord, use each one of us to graciously speak the gospel with those around us. We pray that you would advance the gospel through Restoration City Church in Arlington and Redeemer City Church in Brookland. Use our brothers and sisters at The Well in Silver Spring and at McLean Bible to proclaim the glories of Christ Jesus. Use the saints at our mother church, North Wake, to continue making disciples of all nations.
We pray for the advancement of the gospel among the Kurdish and among Haitians. We pray for a great awakening among Muslims during Ramadan over these next 30 days. As they fast, grant dreams and visions that they might seek out the truth of Jesus. Use us, Lord, use us to graciously speak the truth of Jesus to our Muslim friends and neighbors that they might taste the freedom found in Jesus. For the fame of Christ Jesus, move among the Arabs of Morroco and the Kanuri of Nigeria and the Minangkabau of Indonesia.
We pray for the advancement of the gospel among ISIS and Al Qaeda and the Taliban and among Al-Shabaab. Yes, Lord, we pray for our enemies this morning. We pray for those who hate Christians and persecute our brothers and sisters around the world. Father, in your sovereign glory, turn these men and women from persecuting the church to planting gospel churches. For the glory of your name, richly pour out your saving grace on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Ahmed Direye. Bring Ibrahim al-Asiri to repentance and faith in Jesus. In your sovereign grace, use these men to not harm people, but to bring about their good. However, you choose to work Lord, restrain the evil these groups are able to bring about.
Father, as we pray these things we’re mindful of your saving grace toward us. Keep us from thinking we are somehow superior to others – even our enemies. We were once your enemies, yet in your infinite kindness, you demonstrated your own love for us in sending your eternal Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. Forgive us our sins, God. Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your crucified and risen Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Before giving Moses the 10 commandments, God says, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Ex. 20:2). Why does he say this? Why not just give the commands?
Because all of God’s commands are based upon who He is and what He has done. God does not just command us to blindly obey Him (though he rightly could – He is God). Rather, he reveals His gracious character, graciously works on our behalf, and then asks us to worship-fully follow Him.
All of God’s commands are based on his character.
Lord, we praise you that you are a God who answers prayer, and that you saw fit to work through us for your glory among the Spanish-speaking residents of Columbia Heights. When we first began praying for the opportunity to plant a Spanish-speaking church in Columbia Heights, we were barely off the ground as a church plant ourselves, and so we know that it was your power and not our own that has brought the Moleros to DC. They are an answer to our prayers that we have been praying for many years, and we praise you for granting our request to bring us a man equipped to minister to our Spanish speaking neighbors.
We are reminded of the words of the Psalmist, who said:
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
Lord, we trust that having answered our years of prayer and having provided a man to pastor this church plant that you would use his ministry for Your glory. We pray that you would even now be preparing the hearts of those in Columbia Heights that you have for him to minister to, and we pray that you would provide fruit. We know that neither Alejandro, nor Restoration Church has the power to save. That is yours alone, and we pray that you would use our efforts to further your Kingdom.
We know, Lord, that moving to a new country can be a challenging time and we pray that you would provide for the Molero family as they adjust to life here in Washington, DC. We praise you for the many ways you have already provided for their practical needs, such as a Visa and housing, and we pray that you would continue to provide for them in practical ways, and enable us in Restoration Church to serve them well, particularly in the next few months as they adjust to their new home.
We pray that your peace would be upon them in this time of transition and when they are worried, or homesick, or wondering whether leaving their home and moving to a new country for you was worth it, that you would comfort them and bless them, and draw them into deeper communion with you.
We thank you for your provision for them so far, in bringing them safely here to us, and we pray for your continued help and guidance as we embark with them upon the task ahead of bringing glory to your name among Spanish-speaking men and women in Columbia Heights. We pray that you would keep us focused on your Kingdom, and on the cross of Christ and shepherd us well as our ultimate pastor. We know that we cannot achieve anything apart from you, and we pray that Your will be done in Columbia Heights, in Tenleytown, in Washington DC, and beyond. In Jesus name, amen.