“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Image Source: bbc.co.uk
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.
“The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?”
“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The Gospel is not a way to get to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the Gospel.”
“When (we) come into a garden and see delicious walks, fair arbours, pleasant flowers, within a little while (we) grow weary; but it is not so in heaven…so sweet will God be that the more the saints behold God the more they will be ravished with desire and delight.”
Picture Source: blog.youversion.com; digitalpuritan.net
Father, we know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. So often we do not understand your purposes in the world and yet we are often quick to act/live/and speak as though we do.
We have not given any gifts to you that we should be repaid. We are not your counselor. We are the clay and you are the Potter. We have NO good apart from you…yes, Lord you are our chosen portion and our cup. You hold our lot…indeed, the lines have fallen for us in pleasant places.
You have made known to us the path of Life. You have set the Lord before us and we shall not be shaken! You are our Rock and our Fortress, our Deliverer, our God, our Rock in whom we take refuge. Our shield and the horn of our salvation. We call upon you, Lord, who is worthy to be praised. We bless your Holy Name.
We thank you Lord, that in prayer, you hear us in our distress. We thank you that in your Word we can see you and learn from you. We thank you that in Christ we can have peace, comfort, and rest for our souls. We thank you for the Church and Restoration Church, that you have provided for us a community that rallies around the Gospel and seeks to be the hands and feet of Christ to one another and the community of Tenleytown and DC as a whole.
You have provided for us, EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus the Lord. There is nothing that we lack…oh God, you are so generous to us….we give you praise.
We thank you for the health that we do have.
We thank you for the clothes on our backs and food in our stomachs.
We thank you for homes to live in and beds to sleep in.
We thank you for friends to enjoy life with one another.
We thank you for the Hope of the Gospel.
We thank you that in this world we may have trouble, but Christ has overcome the world.
We thank you that that is as true today as it will be 10,000 years from now
We thank you that Jesus promises us that NO ONE can take our joy from us.
We thank you that our salvation is sealed for the Day of Redemption.
We thank you that Christ will be revealed soon…and all things will be made right.
We thank you for the Promise of salvation to all those that believe.
That we will spend eternity in unhindered fellowship with you.
We pray this morning for those who have not yet hoped in Christ. You know who they are, Father. You know some of them are listening to this prayer, right now. You know that some of those are the family members and friends of those that hear this prayer. For the sake of your Name, will you give us opportunities this week to boldly proclaim the Gospel to them all. By the power of your Spirit, would you draw them to yourself? Do it God, we pray.
We pray for our enemies that hate the Gospel. Hate the Bible, that Hate Christ, that Hate Righteousness. Show them mercy Father, as you showed mercy to us while we were enemies.
Enable Restoration Church, Summit Church Denver, Redemption Hill in Medford, Mass, Gateway Heights in Cleveland, Faith and Life in Kazan, Russia, Redeemer Church of Dubai…enable all of these churches to love one another with the same love that Christ loved us. That others may come to see that love and be won to Christ in order that peace and love would prevail in those communities.
We ask that you would grant financial sustainability for all the projects that Wycliffe Bible translators are working on, we pray wisdom would be given to the leadership of 9 Marks ministries, and that the International Mission Board would be strategic and faithful in thinking how to get the Gospel to the throngs of people who have never heard the Gospel.
For people like E.L., S.L., A.C. , S.G., K.D., and J.J. who HAVE heard the Gospel…oh God, may they live inside that Gospel, and may they be generous with it this week to the poor, the orphan, the widow.
We ask a special portion of your grace to be given to L.M. and her family, as well as W.T. and his family
Bless our brother, Joey as he comes to bring your word this morning. May we leave here this morning changed by the preaching of your word. Give Joey and give us…grace upon grace as we feast upon your word.
As we take up this mornings offering. We ask that every dime that is placed in the basket would be channeled to advance the Glories and Greatness of Christ in Washington, DC and beyond. And we do so in the powerful name of our Great Captain and King, Christ the Lord.
“Christ is saying nothing in the sermon [on the mount] about how we become Christians, but only about the works and fruit that no one can do unless he already is a Christian and in a state of grace.”
“By mercifulness we resemble God who is a God of mercy…He requires good for evil, like the clouds which receive ill vapors from us but return them to us again in sweet showers. There is not a creature lives but tastes of the mercies of God. Every bird, in its kind sings hymns of praise to God for his bounty, but men…in a more particular manner taste the cream and quintessence of God’s mercies.
What temporal mercies you have received! Every time you draw a breath you suck in mercy. Every bit of bread you eat, the hand of mercy carves it. You never drink but in a golden cup of mercy
What spiritual mercies has God enriched some of you with. Pardoning, adopting saving mercy. The picture of God’s mercy can never be drawn to the full.”
Picture Source: biography.com; digitalpuritan.net
Penetrating thoughts from The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs:
There is nothing in the creatures that is suitable for a gracious heart to feed upon for its good and happiness. My brethren, the reason why you have not got contentment in the things of the world Is not because you have not got enough of them – that is not the reason – but the reason is, because they are not things proportion of all the immortal soul of yours that is capable of God himself. Many men think that when they are troubled and have not got contentment is because they have but a little in the world, and that if they had more they should be content.
That is just as if a man or hungry, and to satisfy his craving stomach he should gate and hold open his mouth to take and the wind, and then should think that the reason why he is not satisfied is because he is not got enough of the wind; No, the reason is because the thing is not suitable to a craving stomach. Yet there is really the same madness in the world: the wind which a man takes and by gaping will as soon satisfy a craving stomach ready to start, as all the comforts in the world can satisfy a soul who knows what true happiness means.