Gracious heavenly Father, we come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. We praise you for the breadth and length and height and depth of you love shown to us in him. As we have confessed our sins, we now draw near to you through Christ. For as far as the east is from the west, so far is your forgiveness to us because of Jesus. We rejoice that in his death sin was defeated. We rejoice that in his resurrection true live is given.
Holy Spirit cause us to rejoice in our forgiveness and to pursue holiness; cause us to rejoice in being reconciled with our Father in heaven. Give us an unquenchable desire to read the life-giving, soul-shaping Word that we might behold the fullness of God in all that he is and all that he has done. We thank you Lord for all that you’re doing here at Restoration Church; and we ask that you would continue to give us the grace to make disciples that delight in the supremacy of Jesus Christ.
We thank you for Restoration Kids. As they learn about Israel in the wilderness this morning, show them their need for Christ. We praise you for all the members who serve our children. This morning we pray for Haigh and Page and Chris and Tessa and Mike and Liz and Whitney and Isabel and Jodie as they serve the children this morning.
Strengthen us with your grace, Lord. Help us to build each other up in Christ being eager to encourage one another; help us to be quick to forgive each other and extend grace to one another. May we extend mercy to those who are hurting and suffering. Cause us to be a people who enter into each other’s suffering that we might care for each other in the most difficult times. We praise you for the way the Holy Spirit is bearing fruit in our midst, among the people of our church. Give us the grace to continue to love one another sacrificially and treat each other better than ourselves. Help us not to fight for our own personal preferences, but to constantly rejoice in the gospel. Let us put away all bitterness and anger and slander, along with all malice. Cause us to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven us. Use our church to be a visible representation of the gospel displaying your manifold wisdom and glory.
Lord, we thank you that we get to labor among many other healthy churches here in DC. Pour out your grace on The District Church and Redemption Hill and Capitol Hill Baptist and Grace DC and Washington International Church and All Nations DC. Give the pastors of these churches much grace and wisdom and delight in Christ. Use them to faithfully shepherd and equip the saints for the work of ministry.
As we think about the events of the past several weeks, we are reminded of how broken our world is, Lord. We long for Jesus to return. Come Lord Jesus come. We long for the Day of no more hate crimes, no more natural disasters (Ecuador, Japan), no more terrorist attacks, no more death, no more waiting for hope to be fulfilled. Father, we rejoice in hope because of Jesus’ empty tomb; we will be patient in tribulation because Jesus has overcome evil; we will be constant in prayer because Jesus is on the throne of heaven.
Father, we’re mindful this morning that for our good you have appointed public rulers and government authorities. Give the lawmakers and law-enforcers of this land a sense of justice and wisdom. We pray for those in all levels of government – congress, mayors, governors, the president. Have them to be men and women of integrity and honesty in all their dealings; let wisdom enter their hearts, and let knowledge be pleasant to them; make their hearts and ears attentive to godly counsel. Give all world-wide leaders and rulers a spirit of unity, a spirit that longs for best interest of the people as a whole that humanity might flourish.
Holy Lord, we praise you for the hope of the gospel. We pray this gospel message would spread among the Behdini Kurds (Bible Translation) and among Haitian pastors and churches. We pray this gospel message would take root among the Spanish speakers in Columbia Heights. We pray for our brother Alejandro and his family this morning. We praise you that our prayer for a visa has been heard and granted. Give us wisdom to work out all the details of their move to DC. Providentially work that your name might be increasingly hallowed in Columbia Heights.
We pray all of this in the strong, grace-giving name of Jesus. Amen.
Every year the women of Restoration Church set apart some time for a retreat to fellowship and to spur each other on in the Lord. The theme of this year’s retreat is “Women of the Word.”
Life-giving God, we praise you this morning. We praise you that you took death and made it a footstool to eternal life. We praise you that in your sovereign goodness you took the tomb of Jesus and made it a life-giving womb for all those who trust in him. He has risen, he has risen indeed!
Lord Jesus, we praise you. We praise you that your rose from the dead to give us eternal life. We praise you that you rose from the dead to defeat the rule of sin. We praise you that you rose from the dead to set creation free from it’s bondage. We praise you that you rose from the dead to guarantee our future resurrection. We praise you that your rose from the dead to fulfill the Scriptures. We praise you that you rose from the dead to intercede for us at God’s right hand. We praise you that you rose from the dead to conquer Satan. We praise you that you rose from the dead to give us a living hope. We praise you that you rose from the dead to show the splendor of God’s glory.
So we sing. Forever you are glorified. Forever you are lifted high. You are risen, you are alive. We arise this morning and we run to Christ Jesus. You will embrace us in your arms. In the arms of our dear Savior, there ten thousand charms. Yes, Lord we sing. Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome, God’s free bounty glorify; True belief and true repentance, Every grace that brings you nigh. We sing praises for you have overcome our sin. You have overcome death. “’Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Remind us this morning that our sin is no match for your grace. As the sun swallows up a the light of a candle, your grace swallows up our sin. Holy Spirit, cause us to rejoice in all that we have in Jesus. Sever the root of sin deep within out soul that so entangles our heart. Show us the greater joy, the greater satisfaction found in Jesus. We humbly repent for the ways we have sinned against you God. We confess our sin in not loving our neighbor as ourselves. We confess we lack the compassion we expect to receive from others. We slander others to make ourselves look better. We speak lies to lessen our wrong. We confess our sin.
But we don’t stop there. We look to our Savior, who died for us on an old rugged cross; nailed to a tree, suffering under the weight of our sin and rebellion; he we crushed that we might be enjoy you forever. We look to our Risen Lord who brings us joy and life. Holy Spirit, for every one look at our sin, cause us to take 10, 100 looks at Christ Jesus. Help us savor the sweetness of Christ. Holy Spirit, testify to our spirits that we are children of God. Move us to cry out, “Abba, Father” knowing that in Christ you are not just our distant judge, but you are our devoted Father.
We pray for the brokenness of our world this morning. Father, we are overwhelmed by the magnitude and regularity of the heinous acts that are carried out around the globe. We think of Paris. We think of Brussels. We think of the slaughtering of Christians and Yazidis. We think of the violence in Syria, and tensions with N. Korea. We think of the racism and injustices right here in our own land. We think of the victims of sex-slave trafficking, of abortion, of those who have been grievously sinned against and taken advantage of by a boy friend or girlfriend or boss or teacher. Bring an end to this destruction. Heal our world. You, the God of peace, we plead with you to usher in peace.
And as we look at an empty tomb this morning, we know that’s our guarantee such a world will come. All things will be made right; all things will be made new. Birth in us a deep hope in heaven; an unwavering confidence to face whatever the world might bring because we know the best is yet to come. And use us Lord. Use us to be bringers of good news and peace. Use Restoration Church to care for orphans and the widowed. Use us to mentor those in foster care and to seek the good of our community. Use us to bring the good news of Jesus to our neighbors and co-workers and family and friends. Use us to bring hope to those who are ashamed pointing them to Jesus who washes us clean.
Let the radiant beauty of the cross and empty tomb overcome our every sorrow, sustain us in hardships, and spur us on all the more when we are encouraged. Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise…Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! Holy Lord, we praise you this Easter morning. Amen.
Our DC127 team has been encouraged by you guys’ support since my last email/update. Thank you for your prayers, and thank you to all who donated or let us borrow kid-friendly necessities!
Here is an update on what has been going on. We have now seen firsthand the important, yet messy work of entering into the lives of a family in crisis. At this time, we are no longer able to work with the family that was placed with us. We do not know all of the specifics, but there has been a change in custody and the children have been removed from the home.
This situation has been tough, but as a result we believe the children have been reunited with their fathers. We hope and pray this change will be a good thing for the kids in the long-run.We ask that you continue to pray for this family, especially as they go through this transition. We trust in God’s sovereignty and goodness, knowing that he has a plan for these children.
As for Restoration Church’s involvement in Safe Families, we hope to be matched with another family in the near future. I will keep you updated! In the meantime, be on the lookout for a RC podcast about DC127 and Safe Families,which will provide more insight about why and how we are continuing to engage in this ministry.
One of our own is headed to the nations to advance the gospel for the glory of Christ. Listen in to be encouraged, as well as learn how you can support our sister and be in prayer for her.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and power and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Blessed be the Lord, the one true living God, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory! For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. We enter your gates with thanksgiving, and your courts with praise! We give thanks to you; and bless your name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we come boldly before your throne. We come pleading with you to advance your gospel. Use Restoration Church to see, save, sanctify and send. We pray for our sisters A and K as they look to take the gospel overseas. Use them Lord; use them to herald the name of Jesus. We pray for the unreached Behdini Kurds. By your Holy Spirit, save some who speak Behdini and plant an indigenous, multiplying church in Kurdistan. We pray for your gospel to advance among the 3mm Dhangar of India and the 12MM Fulani in Nigeria. All tribes, all tongues, all nations will worship you Lord. Do this, do this in our lifetime we pray.
We praise your justice Lord in the arrest of Saleh Abdesalam. Now save Saleh so he sees your justice in the cross of Christ. We pray that your gospel would advance among ISIS. Save their military chief Abu Suleiman al Naser. Father, in your sovereign glory, turn these men and women from persecuting the church to planting gospel churches. We know you can do this because you did with the Apostle Paul. And you did it with us. We pray for those who hate us. We pray for those killing our brothers and sisters, for those killing Yazidis and others. Bring about justice. Stop the persecution of all faiths.
Grant our church Lord, a sweet mixture of rock-solid conviction and tender compassion. Let the words of our mouths be marked with grace and encouragement. We praise you for D and M.A and the many ways they been serving our church. Grow them in Christ all the more. We praise you for the faithfulness of D and A.B and R.E. and J.S. and A.S. Holy Spirit, grow these brothers and sisters in deeper devotion to and joy in Christ.
Father, bring Restoration more generational diversity. Help us to be eager to gather with those who are not like us – those who are older than us, those who are younger than us; those who are in a different stage of life than us; those who have a different cultural background than us. Your church Lord displays your manifold wisdom. Help us unite around the gospel and celebrate our differences as we showcase your glory. Give us a selfless spirit quick to serve others and listen to them and learn from them.
We pray for our sister Z. Heal her Lord. Right now in the name of Jesus, we pray that you’d give her the ability to talk and walk. We praise you that she clearly loves Christ and is excited to hear his name. We pray for those here who are struggling this morning Lord. Some have physical ailments and illnesses. Others are emotionally burdened. Still others are weary from pressures at work or from the battle with personal sin. Still others are downcast and they don’t know why. Whatever the case Lord, use your word this morning to open hearts to see and savor Jesus Christ. Let us see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, you can do this, so we come to you asking and knowing that you long to see Christ made glorious.
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.
Everlasting Lord, we glorify your name this morning. Your steadfast love knows no end; your mercy has no bounds; your justice is perfect; your grace sufficient. You are all satisfying; in you we find joy, delight, and sheer goodness. We raise the banner of your greatness this morning God. Take our songs and our prayers as sweet incense before your throne.
Remind us this morning, Lord, of the love you have for us: “No love is higher, no love is wider, No love is deeper, no love is truer, No love is higher, no love is wider, No love is like Your love O Lord.” We pray for those who are weary this morning – encourage us with the immensity of your love shown to us in Christ Jesus. We pray for those struggling to find joy in you – Holy Spirit take the word and reveal the glory of God in the face of Jesus. We pray for those willfully and consistently rebelling against you – in your mercy Lord, show us the greater satisfaction found in you. We pray for those walking in faithfulness and joyful obedience – Holy Spirit spur us on all the more that we might taste and see and experience that you are good. We pray for those here this morning who are not trusting in Christ Jesus – in your grace, Lord, open the eyes of their soul that they might know the hope in Jesus.
Father, we come to you this morning, not just as pardoned criminals, we come as your cherished sons and daughters. We, by your grace, use the same cry of Jesus and call out, “Abba, Father.” And we know that you hear us, not because of our goodness, but because of the riches of your grace lavished upon us. Father, help us not only know what it means to be your sons and daughters in our heads, but to be gripped and defined by that reality in all that we think, feel and do. We confess that we are too often defined and driven by what others think of us, rather than resting in who we are before you. Forgive us, Lord. We confess our wayward rebellion when we go looking for comfort and joy in money or sexual immorality or substance abuse. Forgive us, Lord. We confess that we forget how much you love us and how patient you are with us, and because of that we refuse to forgive others, we hold onto bitterness, we condemn in our hearts, we gossip and slander. Forgive us, Lord.
Merciful God, in your soul-satisfying, hope-giving, sin-shattering grace, saturate our souls with all that we have in Christ. We turn to him this morning. We praise you that his life was not just calculated and sinless, but filled with joy and delight and complete satisfaction in every way. We praise you that the death and resurrection of Jesus purchases forgiveness, provides freedom, and ushers in life to the fullest for those trusting in him. Remind us that there is more grace in Jesus than sin in us. No matter what sin has been committed against us, no matter what sins we have committed, remind us there is more grace in Jesus.
Magnificent Lord, we praise you for all that you are doing here at Restoration Church. We praise you for the many ways you are using Restoration Kids to teach the young ones about Christ. We praise you for the 11 Community Groups that meet each week. Use these groups, not just a stale Bible studies, but as a place of gospel community, a place of encouragement, a space where sin is fought and joy is stoked with the flames of the gospel. We praise you for the T2 Forum. Holy Spirit, take what we learn and apply it to our hearts that we might adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
We praise you for granting the visa to bring the Molero family to DC. Grant us wisdom and favor as we work on the logistics of housing and school. We praise you for the opportunity to play a small part in bringing the gospel to the Ks. Use us to encourage the workers on the ground. Use our resources to help get the Bible translated into B and to care for refugees in K. We praise you for the way so many of our members are eagerly sharing the gospel with friends and co-workers and classmates. Spur us on all the more in sharing the good news of Jesus with those who do not yet know him; and, Lord, in your sovereign goodness, bring forth fruit that we might see people come to faith in Jesus. We praise you that we get to work with other gospel churches – Redemption Hill, The District Church, Grace DC. Bless them Lord.
Sovereign Lord, at a time when the political climate of this country is deeply divided, we hope not in an man or woman winning an election, we hope in you, the King of kings, Lord of lords, who reigns in eternity. Help us steward our democratic freedom with a view toward Christ. Grant our current and future President and elected officials wisdom to govern in a way that helps all of humanity flourish. Give us a deep spirit of humility; give us grace to respect those with whom we disagree. Keep us from arrogance and personal attacks. Remind us that those who we disagree with are still created in your image. Lord, bring an end to the wickedness of racism and bigotry. We praise you that you are a God of justice, and we rest knowing that you will accomplish all that you purpose, and we know that your purposes are good and glorious.
Use our time this morning to make much of Christ Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Treasuring Christ Together is a new(er) network of churches that seeks to spread a passion for the supremacy of God through Church Planting. We had the opportunity to talk with our friend, Sean, who’s serving as the executive director. Listen in and you’ll soon see why we’re considering joining this network. (See more at tctnetwork.org).