Great is your Name and greatly are you to be Praised. You formed the waters, you measure the wind, you set the earth on its foundation, you pushed the mountains up in the air, and you sank the valleys into their place. You care for beasts of the field, and babies that cry…to each of them you give food to eat. You have named the stars and you have numbered the ants…how many are your works?
And yet, who are we, that you are mindful of us? We have sinned this past week more times than we either know or can recall…we can consider those Beatitudes and think about all the ways we failed to live in light of them before your Holiness:
So often we were not poor in spirit, but we were proud. We did not mourn our sin, often we didn’t even care to evaluate them. We weren’t meek, but instead, we returned evil for evil while still taking the name of Christ. We hungered more after food and material goods this week than righteousness, which likely explains our dissatisfaction, though you told us where to go for our satisfaction. We were not merciful, but we cared little or nothing for those who were in pain and need. Our hearts weren’t pure as we lusted after idols…How many times this week were we peacebreakers instead of peacemakers by our slander, our gossip, our covetousness, and our lies? I shudder to consider the times we cowered in fear of man instead of fear of you when we did not stand for Christ and His righteousness because we did not want to be persecuted? If you kept a record of our sins, oh Lord, none of us could stand…but OH, with you there is forgiveness…not so that we would continue in our sin, but that we would cease from sinning out of a delight in your righteousness…thank you for the provision of Jesus Christ, our great High King for His mercies that are new each day.
Teach us to walk in light of the grace that has been shown to us: Humble us by your Grace in order that we might make much of Christ and do many good deeds in order that others may give Glory to You, Father. How thankful we are for the Hope of the Resurrection…yes, for the Hope of the Day where there will be no sin…bring that day quickly, Lord, when Christ returns and righteousness will only remain.
Until then, Lord we plead with you to bring peace to not only Ferguson, MO, but in all the places throughout the world where the ugliness of racism darkens the hearts and minds of people. Introduce people into the lives of those that are so full of hate that, by one degree of glory to another, they do not see the color of skin anymore, but the worth of humanity. For those that are in uniform that are full of evil and hatred, I pray they either step down from their positions or, better yet, you would use the circumstances of our day to change their hearts forever. To those innocent policemen/women who are trying to be peacemakers, Lord, would you grant them perseverance and safety in these days? We thank you for their service and ask that they would be your arm of justice as Romans teaches us.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come…it is so tiring to watch the news night after night. From children’s cancer, to seemingly unending wars of hatred, to freak accidents and corruption…we beg peace. Cause our society to see that the ever increasing darkness is a result of relaxing your Law….help them to see that it does not contribute to the joy of humanity to allow us to do whatever we will.
May we…may the churches across this country and across this world be Salt and Light. May we be the kind of communities that speak of the change that will come upon Christ’s return. May we not reflect the darkness, but walk in the light as Christ is in the light. Give us the boldness and the love that is needed to do that. Remind Redemption Hill church in Medford, Mass., Sojourn in St. Louis, MO, and Oaks Church in Raleigh, that Christ is the Light and in Him is NO darkness at all…so there ought to be no darkness in THEM!
Remind us, here at Restoration Church, sinners though we are…sinners we ought not be. Give us a resolve this week that would cause us to be the Ministers of Reconciliation that the Ambassadors of the Kingdom should be. We need your help in this Father…we recognize how weak we are in this, so where we are weak…make us strong. Make J.G., G.P., J.S., N.O., N.M., and L.M. weak…that they may be strong.
How thankful we are for the Gospel of Jesus Christ…we cannot imagine life without the life of Christ…may He be our Great Reward…may HE be our Hope…may He be our Light and our Salvation!
“It is better to go bruised to heaven than sound to hell. Therefore let us not take ourselves off too soon, nor pull off the plaster before the cure be wrought, but keep ourselves under this work till sin be the sourest, and Christ the sweetest of all things.”
Image Source: Britannica.com
O Triune God, God of our salvation, we give you praise this morning. Heavenly Father, Blessed Son, eternal Spirit, we adore you and cherish you and treasure you. O Father you love us and sent Jesus to redeem us. Glorious Jesus, love us and assumed our nature and shed your blood to wash away our sins. O Holy Spirit, you love us and revealed the glories of Jesus to us and have given us eternal life. We praise you mighty and glorious God for love so unmerited, so unspeakable, so wondrous, so mighty to save and reconcile us back to yourself.
Who can fathom this immeasurable love? We marvel that we, the finite, can know you, the Infinite. Now we know but a small portion of what we shall know when we see you face to face. Here we see in part, there in, in heaven, we’ll see perfection; here a glimpse there ultimate glory. We long for the new heavens and new earth; we desire to see you as you are; we yearn for the restoration of all things.
We wait according to your promises. Help us to be found without spot or blemish and at peace. Help us to live in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. Give Restoration Church unity of mind, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Give us the strength and meekness to not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary bless those who condemn and despise us for righteousness sake. Holy Spirit, fill us, indwell us; give us the grace to regard Christ the Lord as holy always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope that is within us; help us do this with gentleness and respect.
Gracious God, grant us the mercy to be poor in spirit and to mourn our own sin. We confess that we have sinned more times than we can count. We sin in what we do and what we leave undone; in what we say and in the words we mumble in our hearts. Forgive us our sin against you Lord God. We plead the blood of Christ alone. Forgive us our greed and gossiping. Forgive us our slander and spiteful words. Forgive us our laziness and lust. Forgive us our self-centeredness and pride. We have sinned against you, most Holy God. We confess our sinful desire to be approved by our peers more than we long to share Christ with them. We confess our sinful tendency to only speak about Jesus when we’re comfortable – and for some of us that means never at all. We confess our idolatry, loving our job title and status and influence more than we cherish Christ Jesus. We confess these things knowing there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We look toward a bloody cross, empty tomb and occupied throne to know that in Christ we are forgive and free; redeemed and reconciled back to you.
We praise you for the new life you have brought to the Thornton family. Oh, how we praise you for H and L and baby J. H. Jr. Grant them rest these early days. Give H and L the grace to raise their son in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. Father, we pray for all the children who are a part of Restoration Kids. Help these little ones see the glory of Christ and live all their days trusting in him for salvation and satisfaction and joy. We praise you for the labors of all those who work in RestorationKids discipling these little ones. We ask, in the name of Jesus, you would bring more families to our church that we might commend your works to another generation. Yes, Lord, build your church.
And we pray for your gospel to go forth not just in our church. But in and through Wisconsin Avenue Baptist and 4th Presbyterian and Grace DC Meridian Hill and Redeemer Arlington and The Well. Hallow your name Lord God Almighty. From the large houses in NW DC to the small homes in Phaeton, Haiti. Bring refuges to faith in Duhok, Iraq and save the poor in Edinburgh, Scotland. Raise up believers in Kazan, Russia and in the Light of Hope Center in Bangladesh. Magnify your name Lord Jesus. And we pray for those facing persecution. For those being beat and scorned. For those losing life and possessions. Give them a steady faith unwavering in their gospel hope. Remind them of the great promises and reward held out for them in heaven. And we pray for ourselves. When we face the small amount so ridicule or reviling, help us call to mind the words of Peter, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the firey trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange where happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” Come Lord Jesus come, we pray. Amen.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
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Blessed and Sovereign God, we come to you now; we come to your throne to receive the grace and mercy we need; we come leaning wholly upon Jesus Christ; we come being filled by your Holy Spirit. O glorious triune God, we praise your holy name; glorious and mighty, you’re awesome in beauty, greatly to be praised. We praise you for your grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, bringing salvation for all those who turn from their sin and trust in Christ alone.
Cause your grace to train us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, even as we wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a people for his own possession; a people zealous for good works. We praise you that Christ Jesus saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness – for we can do nothing to earn your favor – but according to your own mercy poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ that we might be justified by grace and become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Glorious and mighty God, we come to you admitting no one stands in need of divine grace more than we do; and yet none abuses more than we have done and still do. We know the glory of the gospel, yet we still find you boring. We know you are more satisfying than sexual immorality, but we still partake of the forbidden fruit. We know that you are a God of truth, yet we still lie. We know that you are a God in control and provide all things, yet we still worry and doubt your goodness to us. We know that in Christ, we are your sons and daughters, yet we still chose to live like orphans. We know that you are a God who seeks peace, yet we still stir up rivalry and hold grudges. We know that you are a God who gives, yet we so often act in greed.
How heartless and dull we are. Forgive us our sin, we pray. Yes, Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, because of work on the cross, forgive us our sins. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Draw our hearts out in thankfulness to you, for your amazing grace lavished upon us.
Father, we pray for those here this morning struggling with shame and guilt. Holy Spirit, work in the hearts of these men and women; point them toward the guilt-defeating, shame-shattering, soul-satisfying, all-sufficient Savior. For those struggling with the shame of sexual or physical abuse, move them so that they seek help. For those struggling with impure thoughts and for those battling same-sex desires and for those gripped with a dirty conscience, wash them and sanctify them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit. Cause Restoration Church to be a safe place to work through our sin and shame and guilt in all its various forms. Lord God, may you be our rock and refuge.
Eternal God, we pray that we are one of many churches in this city making and maturing disciples. We pray for Dave Owens at Embassy Church and our brothers and sisters at The District Church, and for the body of believers at Christ Our Shepherd. Use these churches to be salt and light in our city, that you might be glorified when people see their good deeds. We pray for Pillar DC and Redeemer City Church and Waterfront Church as they labor in these early days; give them grace to bear much fruit in making disciples of King Jesus.
Father, in the name of Christ, we pray for the advancement of the gospel around the globe. Bring many people to faith through the ministry of Mez McConnell as he labors in the projects of Scotland. Continue to grant much wisdom and grace to R and E as they prepare to take the gospel to the Middle East. We pray for the International Mission Board as they oversee 5,000+ missionaries around the world. For the glory of your name, equip men and women from this very congregation to go overseas with the gospel. Lord God Almighty, use our little church to help advance the gospel both locally and globally.
And we are mindful that in many ways we can do this because of brave men and women who have fought for the many freedoms we enjoy in this country. We praise you and thank you for all those who have or are serving in the armed forces; for those who have served, some even giving their life, to protect and promote peace. And we realize there are people all around the world serving to this end, to advance the peace and flourishing of human life. We praise you for this and ask that all countries individually and collectively would promote that which mirrors your character – peace and justice and compassion and mercy.
We pray all of this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
[Based on Psalm 96]
Majesty, Your glory is shining
Brighter than the moon and the stars
Marveling, we honor and fear You
Above all gods
Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome In beauty
Joyful songs we raise
Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome in beauty
Greatly to be praised
Majesty, You fashioned the heavens
Your decrees can never be changed
Over all the plans of the nations
Your judgments reign
Majesty, we’ll sing with creation
When You come again in the clouds
Every knee will bow down and worship
The one true God
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)
The Lord our God is holy and mighty; awesome in power, abundant in steadfast love. We praise you, our great triune God this morning. God the Father, we praise you for your sovereignty over all things. Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, we praise you this morning for you redeemed us from the depths of slavery to sin and give us deep, abiding joy. Holy Spirit, we praise you this morning for you seal us and secure us, guaranteeing the inheritance set before us. Infinitely glorious God, we gather here because you are worthy to be praised. Before all of a creation, you existed and need nothing outside of yourself. We praise you; you are truly indescribable. Turn our eyes to you this morning that we might behold you, our wonderful, supremely beautiful God.
As we sit here in this place, we are mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world being persecuted for their faith. We praise you for our brother Habila in Nigeria, who chose to be shot rather than deny Christ. Thank you for sparing his life that his testimony might serve to encourage others. We pray for our brothers and sisters in the Middle east facing attacks on their person and their possessions. As many of them flee their homes, remind them that Christ holds them fast. Use their zeal for the gospel to see others come to faith in Jesus. We pray especially for the Yezidi people; that you Lord God would comfort and encourage the Yezidi people amidst their heartbreaking genocide; that you would reveal yourself to them with dreams and visions; that you would burden missionaries to serve among the remaining Yezidis; that you would use our brothers and sisters already among these people to tell them about Jesus.
Father, we pray to you. We pray that your kingdom would come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We pray that would happen all around the world and right here in this place. We praise you for all that you’ve done in and through our church. For the glory of your name, would you continue to protect and promote the unity of our church body. That we would selflessly serve one another; that we would build each other up and encourage one another in the gospel; that we would be quick to forgive each other and forbear with each other. I praise you for our church Lord God. In the name of Jesus, I ask that you would use our ministry to see people come to faith in Jesus. Give each member opportunities to clearly explain the gospel to those around them. Use our gathered service to proclaim your word boldly and humbly. Father, for the fame of Jesus, give us the grace and mercy required to plant a Spanish speaking church in Columbia Heights. Yes, Lord, raise up a biblically faithful, Christ-exalting church in that part of our city that your name might be magnified.
I also pray for our Community Groups. Use them as a place where edifying discussions take place, where sin is regularly confessed, where the gospel is actively applied. Father, fill these groups members with the same love that you have for your Son, Jesus. In Christ Jesus, increase our love for one another that we might strive side by side for the faith of the gospel.
Father, as this nation faces an election day this Tuesday, we ask for wisdom and justice to abound. We pray for our president and all elected officials that as they are confronted with weighty and significant decisions, that you would give them wisdom and surround them with those who provide godly counsel. We are mindful that there is no authority except that which is from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God; so we pray for government officials and leaders that they might image forth your just character; we also admit that our ultimate hope is not in government, but in the One who truly governs the world, Jesus Christ. Grant leaders around the world a sense of justice and peace that they might rule not with heavy hands and suppression, but by honoring you for you have appointed them to their place.
We praise you this morning Lord. Grow us in godliness, help us fight the sin in our lives; we confess the darkness in our lives we so often try to hide; we confess that we cannot hide from you; we confess our sin – our gossip, our sexual immorality, our greed, our drunkenness and drug use, our selfishness, our lack of trust in you. We know that there is nothing we can do to earn your favor, but are wholly reliant upon your grace to bring us back to yourself. Thank you for Christ Jesus who lived, died and rose again that we might be reconciled back to you. By the power of your Spirit, transform us from one degree of glory to another. And use the ministry of Restoration Church to see the gospel spread; to see those who do not treasure you now, come to delight in the person and work of Jesus through repentance and faith. Yes, Lord help us see and savor the Lord Jesus Christ in whose name I pray. Amen.