An Invitation to Pray

Would you pray and seek Jesus with me as Restoration Church makes a big move to a new worship location?

Restoration Church was born with a vision to be immersed in the community life of Reston and to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We worshiped at Forest Edge Elementary School through the years, and God blessed Restoration Church with tremendous growth. Through the lead of the Holy Spirit, we are now moving to South Lakes High School starting November 14.

We want to continue witnessing the power of God at work in our church.

These next forty days, let us experience God more, grow in our faith in Christ, and witness the Holy Spirit’s power and presence increase through our transition. Let us be a people of prayer and experience God’s wonder.

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Day 1

GIVE THANKS

Let us give thanks to God for God’s faithfulness and the history of Restoration Church.

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 16:8-11

8 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 11 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Reflection

Let’s think about all the ways that God has been faithful to Restoration Church. When we start counting, it is easy to give thanks. Thanksgiving flows when we think about what God has done in our lives. Praise rises out of our hearts and it becomes easy to express our gratitude to God. Let us thank God for all the ways God has been faithful and mighty in our church.

Prayer

Gracious God, thank you for your faithfulness and love for Restoration Church. You began great work six years ago, and you have brought us this far. Now you are leading us to a new location with a new chapter of ministry and mission. Thank you for all the ways I have been able to witness your mighty works in the life of Restoration Church. Thank you for all the opportunities you have given Restoration Church to be active and present in the Reston community. Thank you for the opportunity to move to South Lakes High School. I join my church in looking to you, seeking your face, so that you would continue to do your wonderful acts in the life of Restoration Church. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 2

RECEIVE THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Let us pray for the power of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture: Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Reflection

Jesus called his disciples to wait on the Holy Spirit so that they might have the power of God to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ in their local area and beyond. The ministry and mission of the church can only be done by God’s power. Therefore, let’s wait on the Holy Spirit to come upon us in power and strength so that we can be faithful to the ministry and mission.

Prayer

Loving God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon Restoration Church so that we can be faithful to the ministry and mission you have called us to. Help us to depend on your power and presence. Help us to see you and witness your mighty power at work in the life of our church. We want to see the testimonies of your goodness and grace be made known to the world around us. We want our stories to be effective in touching lives and transforming lives. We want our stories to introduce people to the amazing love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. So, we wait on you with open hands and open hearts to receive your Holy Spirit. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 3

BE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

Let us pray for the the Holy Spirit to lead us.

Scripture: Exodus 33:15-17

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

Reflection

Moses was tasked with leading the Israelites towards a new land where they can worship God and be the people of God. He did not want just an angel to go with them. He wanted the very presence of God to go with them. If God would go with the people, then everyone they encounter would be able to know that truly God is in the midst of the Israelites. In the same way, let’s pray for God’s presence to be evident among us as we go to our new place of worship.

Prayer

Holy God, you are indeed in our midst. You are moving in the life of Restoration Church. As we move to a new place of worship, I ask for your presence to be more visible and evident among us. I pray that as we move into the South Lakes High School community, that the people we meet will be able to recognize that God is mighty and powerful in our gathering. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 4

UNITY OF THE CHURCH

Let us pray for the unity of our church.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13:11

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Reflection

This Bible passage is the Scripture passage for the name of our church. We are called to strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, and live in peace. This is how the God of love and peace become evident among us. We may have differing thoughts, opinions and feelings. However, we are called to be united in one mind when it comes to the work of God’s love and peace in our lives. We agree that God’s restoration power is at work through Christ in us and through us. Therefore, let us pray that our congregation has a spirit of unity as we move forward in this transition to South Lakes High School.

Prayer

God of peace, I ask that your Spirit would reign mighty in Restoration Church. In the midst of our transition, let it be known that we are moving together in one spirit. Make it so that we can celebrate and rejoice together. Even if we differ on any other grounds, unite Restoration Church in the purpose of witnessing God’s restoration power in our lives and in our community. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 5

TESTIMONIES OF GOD’S SPIRIT

Let us pray for testimonies of God’s presence and power at work in our church.

Scripture: Acts 4:33

33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all

Reflection

Our stories matter. When we tell people the stories of how God has worked mighty in our lives, we can witness people experience the grace of God. Our stories have the power to draw people’s interest to the healing and saving grace of God. We need more stories and testimonies of God’s presence and power at work. During Sunday worship, we have Celebrations time, and during our Life Group gatherings, people share stories of answered prayer. When we regularly tell these stories, they have the power to increase our faith, encourage us during challenges and cause us to pray more confidently that God is indeed able to do what we ask. Let us pray for more testimonies of God’s presence and power at work in our church.

Prayer

God of miracles, bring forth your power and presence in greater measure in the life of Restoration Church. Among all the people, let there be many stories and testimonies of your goodness. Let there be more celebrations of your miraculous work. Let there be more praise and thanksgiving for the ways you have blessed us with answered prayer. Through it, increase our faith and make us strong in our capacity to tell people about your wondrous grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 6

OVERCOMING POWER OF JESUS CHRIST

Let us pray for the victory of Christ to be visible and evident in our lives.

Scripture: John 16:33

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Reflection

Jesus never promised us that we will be without trouble. In fact, he guaranteed that this world is full of troubles. Trouble is a reality we face in this world. Yet, Jesus did promise that we can take heart, or have courage because he has overcome the world. As we move to South Lakes High School, we are bound to face challenges. It is a fact of life that any transition brings challenges. Yet, we are a people of faith. We can find our peace when we know that Jesus has overcome the world that is full of troubles. We can finally rest our hearts. Today, during Sunday service, let us lift up a special prayer that the power of Christ that has overcome the world is made visible and evident to us.

Prayer

God of victory, I ask that you would reveal to me in great measure, Christ’s victory over this world. Help me see that if Christ has overcome the world full of troubles, I can find rest in my spirit. I can rest my worries. I can be at peace in my heart. As Restoration Church moves to South Lakes High School, let our congregation be at peace and full of joy. With any challenges that might come our way, let us be a people of faith, trusting that Jesus is more than able to help us and cause us to live in victory. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 7

HEALER

Let us pray for people to experience Jesus as healer.

Scripture: Luke 4:40

40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.

Scripture: Luke 5:15

15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.

Reflection

One of the definitions of “save” in Greek is “heal.” When we say that Jesus came to seek and save the lost, we also understand that Jesus came to seek and heal those who are lost. Aside from dying on the cross and resurrecting from the grave, Jesus did three ministries: healing, preaching, and teaching. Of these three, Jesus healed the most. In fact, his work on the cross is the greatest healing of all. Let us pray that people experience Jesus as a healer.

Prayer

Healing God, let your healing hand of mercy and grace be over us. What are the ailments we have in our bodies, our minds, and our souls? What kinds of strains or rifts do we have in our relationships with people? Be healer over all these. Stretch out your mighty hand and bring forth your healing. Restore us, make us whole, and let the testimonies of healing in our church become an inspiration and source of more healing for the community around us. O Gracious God, O Healer God, our world is hurting with so much pain in many different forms. Bring healing, O Lord. Let not brokenness define us, but let wholeness and healing be our story. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 8

PREACHER

Let us pray for people to know Jesus as preacher of Good News.

Scripture: Matthew 9:35-36

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Reflection

We live in a world where we are easily bombarded with bad news. We hear about disasters happening in various parts of the world. Sometimes we receive a bad medical report. We experience loss, grief, and dying. Relationships become strained. Work-life seems to put more on our plate than ever before. In the midst of all these pressures, the last thing we might want to hear is that what we do is not enough. When we say that someone is getting “preachy,” we do not consider that to imply “good news.” In fact, we say that when someone speaks in a patronizing, condescending, or judgmental manner. Jesus came into such a world in the 1st century. As hard as the people were working and living each day, the message of religion did not help, and instead was overbearing. Jesus came to give good news in a world full of bad news. Let us pray that our church will proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and bring hope to a world full of bad news.

Prayer

Preaching God, we thank you that you do not preach condemning and condescending messages. Redeem and redefine the word “preach” to be synonymous with “Good news.” Through Christ, you preach the good news of your kingdom. Your reign is here, and it is open for all people. Help us to know that we never have to measure ourselves before you. Proclaim and preach to our souls that we are unconditionally yours. Declare to us that we are loved and accepted by you because of all that Christ has done. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 9

TEACHER

Let us pray for people to follow Jesus as teacher.

Scripture: Mark 1:21-22

21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

Reflection

Jesus came and taught with an authority that religious leaders and people in the community had never seen before. This is because Jesus is the Word that became flesh. He explained what the laws and teachings of the Old Testament were about. In fact, after his resurrection, Jesus explained how the entire Old Testament (the Law, Prophets, and Psalms) was about Jesus (Luke 24:27, 44-45). He opened up the minds of his disciples to understand the Scriptures. We need Jesus to teach us! Let us pray that people recognize Jesus as the true Teacher, the one whom we should follow. Let us pray that God reveals the truth to us through Jesus.

Prayer

God of truth, thank you for sending Jesus Christ to reveal clearly what the Scriptures are saying. Help us to see Jesus as the true teacher, the one who teaches us the meaning of life, the purpose of life, and what it means for us to follow Jesus. Help us not to only know the information found in Scriptures, but to know the heart of God. Help us to know Jesus. Teach us the ways of faith. Mold and shape our lives to be like Christ. Let how we believe and live become an example of what it means to have Jesus as our teacher to the world around us. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 10

SHEPHERD

Let us pray for people to trust Jesus as shepherd.

Scripture: John 10:11-15

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Reflection

Jesus echoes the famous Psalm 23 in this teaching. He reveals that he is the good shepherd who can be trusted. Shepherds take care of their sheep. Shepherds in Western cultures herd sheep by using sheepdogs to chase the sheep and keep them in line. Did you know shepherds in Israel stand in front of their flock, call out to them, and the sheep follow the shepherd by the sound of the shepherd’s voice? How do the sheep know the voice of the shepherd? Shepherds speak to the sheep through all of the care they put into the sheep. As they wash, feed, and care for the sheep they become familiar with the voice of the one who is taking care of them. How do we know that God cares for us? God gave Jesus, who laid down his life for us. Let’s pray that people come to know Jesus as one who truly cares for them, and in doing so, follow him.

Prayer

Our Good Shepherd Jesus, thank you for the love and care you give to us. Help Restoration Church to know you as the Good Shepherd who cares so much that you laid down your life for us. Help us to make that known to the world around us. Help us to tell people, “God loves you,” and let the depths of that truth stir up hearts to trust in you. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 11

LORD

Let us pray for people to worship Jesus as Lord.

Scripture: John 20:26-28

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Reflection

To see Jesus as Lord is to worship him. Thomas doubted the resurrection of Jesus. However, the moment he encountered the risen Jesus, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus is the Lord, which is the word used by Romans as a title for the emperor. It is a title given to one with utmost authority and power. While the Romans used authority to rule over and dominate, Jesus used his authority and power to serve people by laying down his life.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I praise you for who you are. You are the Lord of heaven and earth. You reign mighty and awesome. Yet, you gave up all authority and status. You became human and you lived your life serving to the utmost by giving your life for our salvation. God exalted you to the highest place. You deserve all praise and glory. You deserve all of my praise. You healed me and saved me. Enable Restoration Church to see you as Lord, worship you, and lift your name. I pray this in your name, Amen.

Day 12

SAVIOR

Let us pray for people to receive Jesus as Savior.

Scripture: John 4:39-42

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Reflection

Jesus came to bring salvation to this world. Salvation gives us the idea that we need to be rescued. Yes, we need to be rescued from the power of sin and death, which we are helpless to overcome on our own. Jesus saves us by an outpour of his love and grace in our lives. He did that for the Samaritan woman. Her life did not line up with the religious and cultural expectations of her village and people group. When she met Jesus, her life was completely transformed. She went to the very village that shunned her, and she spoke openly about Jesus and invited people to meet Jesus. They listened and they met Jesus. When they heard his words, they believed. They said, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” May that be the story of Restoration. May God embolden us to introduce people to Jesus. May God reveal Jesus Christ to people, and have them encounter Jesus as their Savior.

Prayer

Savior God, I thank you for the salvation that I have in Jesus Christ. Make your salvation known! Let Restoration Church have a powerful awakening to your gift of salvation and empower us to proclaim this salvation to the world around us. Help us be a conduit and catalyst through which your good news is made known and people come to know Jesus as Savior. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 13

NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

Let us pray for the victory of Christ to be visible and evident in our lives.

Scripture: Philippians 2:6-11

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Reflection

The Scripture reading is perhaps one of the oldest hymns we have. It is built on a confession of who Jesus is. When Jesus humbled himself, even to the death on a cross, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name. We can declare the name of Jesus over any other name. It can be the name of a sickness. It can be the name of a challenge or situation you might be facing. For anything that has a name, Jesus is above that name. So, as we pray, let us speak the name of Jesus over the name of any challenge or problem we have.

Prayer

Name above all names, worthy of all praise, my heart will sing, “How great is our God.” Great God in the heavens above the earth! I praise you and lift you up because of Jesus Christ. It is the name you made above all other names because Jesus gave himself to suffer on a cross. So, I declare and speak the name of Jesus over every circumstance. I declare and speak the name of Jesus over every relationship. I declare and speak the name of Jesus over every problem and situation. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 14

WORSHIP

Let us pray for our Sunday worship to be a gathering in which the Spirit of God is ever present, people worship Christ, Christ is preached and taught, the people of God are strengthened in faith, new people come to faith in Christ, and Christ is exalted and revealed in the way we serve our community.

Scripture: John 4:24

24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Reflection

The word “worship,” in the English language, is connected to “worthy” or “honorable.” It is worthy-ship that we are doing when we worship. We recognize the worth of the very person or object during worship. In other words, when we worship God, we recognize the great worth that God has in our lives. How is this revealed to us? In the story of the Roman soldier that stood by the cross as Jesus died, we find that after Jesus died, he said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.” We are also drawn to a famous hymn, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene. And wonder how he could love me, a sinner condemned unclean. How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be. How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!”

Prayer

Almighty God, you are worthy of all praise for the wondrous works that you have done in Christ. You have shown that you are worthy of all praise. Who is there like you, that you create us, redeem us, save us, and heal us? Who is there like you, that you look beyond our human frailty and see the divine worth you placed in us from birth? Who is there like you, that in our humanity you see your divine image given to us? Who is there like you that there is beauty in our human limitation as it causes us to need each other as a people of God, and to depend on you, our creator, redeemer, and sustainer! Let your glorious name be made known. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 15

LIFE GROUPS

Let us pray for our life groups to grow strong in discipleship, community and commitment to one another’s spiritual growth.

Scripture: Acts 2:46-47

46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Reflection

From the beginning of the church, followers of Jesus met daily to worship, learn from the apostles, and share meals. Their actions stood apart so distinctly from the culture and life of the 1st century, that they drew people to the Christian community. Luke, the author of Acts, writes that every day God was adding people to the church. Life groups are important building blocks of learning, growing and connection in the church. They are also a primary vehicle through which the church reaches new people with the love of God. It is a way that people can be introduced to the teachings of the church and the people of the church. When done right, life groups can effectively introduce Christ in a multi-faceted way to new people. Let us pray that God will use life groups in our church in a powerful way to strengthen followers of Jesus and reach new people.

Prayer

God of community, unity, strength, and connection. Bless our life groups so that all who participate might deepen in faith, increase in spiritual practices, learn more of your truth, and be a powerful means for new people to become connected to your church and to you. Let our church have vital life groups that build your ministry. Raise up leaders to serve as life group leaders. Inspire and empower people to participate. Let everyone who joins a life group become transformed by your grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 16

KIDS LIFE

Let us pray for our Kids Life ministry (K-Grade 5): for our staff, volunteers and students to experience God’s love and grace.

Scripture: Luke 18:16-17

16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Reflection

Often, children are an afterthought when it comes to church life. This isn’t new. It was the case even in Jesus’ time. Yet, Jesus made it clear, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” We are to do whatever we can to allow children to go to Jesus. We are to learn from observing the faith of children so that we might increase in how we trust Jesus. Let us pray that our Kids Life ministry would be powerful and effective at helping children experience God’s extravagant and unconditional love. Let us pray that from a young age, our children have an unshakeable foundation that they are beloved children of God.

Prayer

Gracious and loving God, reveal to us the wonder of children and their faith before you. Help us to learn from them that we can have an unwavering trust in you. Help us to empower children to grow as Christ-followers. Reveal our infinite worth through the love you have for children. Enable our children to know that from a young age they can be world changers for the good news of Jesus Christ. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 17

STUDENT MINISTRIES

Let us pray for our student ministries: to be a vibrant ministry in which young people encounter God in a life-transforming way.

Scripture: Matthew 4:18-20

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

Reflection

Did you know that the disciples Jesus recruited to his ministry were teenagers? I remember when I first learned that, I was amazed. We often think that teenagers are reckless, lack wisdom, have uncontrollable hormones and have unpredictable emotional explosions or implosions. We often think that teenagers lack the capacity or ability to make a difference in this world. Yet, Jesus saw it differently. It would take a bunch of teenagers who were so compelled by Jesus, that they did not count the cost (as often adults do!), and they lived their lives in a way that set the world aflame with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all indebted to 1st century teenagers! Let us pray that we empower our student ministries to allow teenagers to encounter the powerful, life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ and become world changers for the Christian faith.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for believing in what young people can do through you. You called them, they followed, and they changed the world. We believe that today’s teenagers can also change the world. We pray for the student ministries at Restoration Church to be a ministry where untold numbers of students from South Lakes High School and all of the middle schools in the area can encounter Jesus Christ, and experience the power of the Holy Spirit. Raise up a young generation that stands strong for your justice, righteousness, mercy, and grace. Raise up a generation that is full of confidence, faith, and trust in you. Empower our church to be the vessel through which countless teenagers are blessed and sent out into the world with your life and love. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 18

CARE

Let us pray for those who help provide congregational care and pray for those who are sick, shut-in, grieving and experiencing loss.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Reflection

In the 1st century, the care that was shown in the church stood in stark contrast to the surrounding culture. The way Christians loved each other and took care of the widows, orphans, sick, imprisoned, and grieving was so different that people noticed. It pushed people away from the dominant Roman culture and drew people into the church. This was because the love shared by the church was not manufactured. It was an overflow of the extravagant love they experienced from God through Christ. It was a genuine expression and reception of love. As a byproduct, people became interested in the church and eventually became Christ-followers. As we have been loved by God, we are called to show God’s love to others. In particular, we have people who are sick, shut-in or grieving. May our congregation be known for the love we show to one another. May the world know that we are Christ-followers by the extravagant love that we demonstrate to one another.

Prayer

Loving God, let Restoration Church be known for the love we share. Let that love spring forth from the amazing and infinite love we have in Christ. Let it be known that your love is infinite, inexhaustible, and incomparable. Help us to show that in our care for one another, especially those who are suffering in our midst. Let us care for those who are sick, shut-in, grieving, or experiencing any kind of loss. Let that expression of love also bear witness to people and draw them to your incredible love. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 19

SERVE

Let us pray for those who organize our missional commitments and for our church to be strong in our support of community needs.

Scripture: Philippians 2:3-4

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Reflection

Paul, the writer of this letter to the Christ-followers in the city of Philippi, was encouraging them to do things out of humility and looking to the interests of others. We are called to serve. Jesus gave us the example of serving by washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus offered himself as the ultimate serving by the giving of his life. Out of the overflow of receiving that great service from Jesus, we are moved to serve the world around us. There are countless ways to serve in the life of our church. One way is to serve the ministries that improve, enrich, and advance what we do for our church, such as worship, life groups, next-generation ministry, etc. Another way to serve is getting involved with our community partners in different work and projects, as well as mission trips with our mission partners. When we serve, it is to advance the love of Christ. So, let us dwell on the love of Christ so that when we serve, it springs forth from that immense love of Christ.

Prayer

Serving God, you came and served us first. You created us and blessed us on your knees. You came into this world as an infant. You were crucified and nailed to the cross to serve us your life. You served us by sending us the Holy Spirit. Inspire us to serve. Move us to serve. Compel us to serve. When it comes to serving, help us be sacrificial in our giving, talking, and doing. Help us serve in a way that enables the community around us to see that you served us your utmost through your Son, Jesus. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 20

THE MISSION

To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Reflection

The church has a mission. This mission has been with us since Jesus gave it to his disciples. The interesting thing is that not all eleven disciples had their faith down perfectly. Matthew says, “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Among those whom Jesus sent out to “make disciples” were doubters. Yes, doubters are sent out to make disciples. That’s because we are not making disciples of ourselves. We are making disciples of Jesus. We are followers of Jesus, making more followers of Jesus. So whether we feel like we are on top of the world with our faith or full of doubt, we can still tell people to look to Jesus. Whether in a season of doubt or living in a season full of Spirit-led activity, we still have a calling: make disciples of Jesus Christ. This calling is not simply to make a larger church. It is so that the world might be transformed. Churches must grow stronger and larger to make a stronger and larger impact of Christ’s love and grace in a world that is starved of grace. Let us pray for our church to be a gathering of people who are believers and doubters, and everything in between. Let us pray that even so, we will be on our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ so that we might transform the world with God’s great and mighty love.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for calling me to discipleship and to help make more of your disciples. Whether my faith is in a season of full trust or the straits of doubt, help me see you in the midst. Help me tell people about the wonder of being accepted, called, and sent out whether full or empty, strong or weak, and having plenty or little. Make my life a reflection of your faithfulness and discipleship in my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 21

WITNESSES

Let us pray for our church to be witnesses of Jesus as Savior.

Scripture: Isaiah 43:10-12

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.

Reflection

The church is not called to argue our faith or doctrines. We are called to tell the story of our experience of Jesus, our Saving God. The power of testimony reveals what has happened in the life of a believer. The stories we are to tell are that of salvation, healing, and restoration. We must tell the stories that reveal that there is none like our God. When Jesus commissioned his disciples to start the church, he did not give them a theological lesson or teach them how to argue their faith well. Although that is an important tool to have, what is most important is that the church bears witness to the saving grace of Jesus in the lives of the people. Let us pray that Restoration Church is full of witnesses of the marvelous works of God in Christ!

Prayer

Saving God, keep saving us, keep restoring us, keep healing us. Fill our congregation full of stories of your saving actions in our lives so that we can be witnesses of Jesus Christ. Help us to tell the story of your saving work. Help us see how our stories might intersect the stories of people in our community. Let our collective stories reveal the rich mosaic of saving grace in all our lives. Let us marvel at the infinite ways in which you save. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 22

CONVERSATIONS

Let us pray for all the conversations that will take place to invite people to Restoration Church.

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Reflection

We must always have a reason for the hope we have in Christ. Hope is a good word. Hope is a strong word. It is especially important right now as many people have lost direction and focus in life. Many things that used to be important have lost value and priority. As Restoration Church folks invite people to join our church, let us pray that those conversations are empowered by messages and stories of hope. Let it stir up a sense of something divine and something more than what life appears to be in this liminal season. May the Lord bless every conversation to be fruitful. May every conversation lead to a great harvest of faith.

Prayer

God of conversations, connections, and community. Be ever-present in the midst of the conversations we have with people. Give courage to the people of Restoration Church to enter into conversations of our faith in Christ. Let those conversations be anointed and full of your power and grace. Let the words we speak be gentle and loving. Let the ears of those who hear be receptive to an invitation to join the movement of your Spirit at work in Restoration Church. Help us to speak words of life and grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 23

FAMILY & FRIENDS

Let us pray for our families and friends to who we can extend invitations to join our worship service.

Scripture: Acts 11:14

14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’

Reflection

New Testament conversions were often for the entire household. This was not only the immediate family members of the initial convert. It was the entire household. A household meant extended family and any others who live in the home. For the wealthy, this meant household servants and families of the servants. A household could be more than 100 people! We live in a different culture now where we do not have entire households amounting to such numbers. One way to consider the meaning of household is to consider who we have in our lives that are close to us. They can be extended family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Who are the people you regularly interact with socially? They may be on your list of those you enter into conversation and extend invitations to join the movement of God at Restoration Church.

Prayer

God of family, relationships, and community. Extend your grace upon our conversations. Let your salvation, your invitation to grace, be known to whole families, households, and social groups. Let the wonder of Christ be experienced. Let the power of your Holy Spirit be released upon our acts of invitation. Let your love and grace abound in all our relationships. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 24

SOUTH LAKES HIGH SCHOOL

Let us pray for the South Lakes High School community to hear about Restoration Church and join us.

Scripture: Acts 16:9-10

9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Reflection

The power of God is at work in advance of our arrival to new places. In our case, God has been working to prepare us to worship at South Lakes High School. It is not only so that we can rent space and have a location to worship. It is so that the activity of God in our congregation can be felt across the South Lakes High School campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. There is a yearning, hunger, and thirst from the South Lakes High School community for the love and grace of God. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ at this new location. May our congregation hear this calling, just as Paul heard a calling from a man in Macedonia, “Come over and help us.” May we hear South Lakes High School call out, “Come over to South Lakes High School and help us.”

Prayer

Gracious and loving God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon South Lakes High School. Let there be a rumble, stirring, and reverberation of your Holy Spirit through South Lakes High School. Let it be felt by the students, the faculty, and the staff. Let it be felt by parents and families of those who belong to South Lakes High School. What are the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical needs of the school? Lord, you know them all. Anoint our church to be the vessel through which your restoration power is made known. Let entire communities be transformed by the power of your grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 25

20190 & 20191 ZIP CODES

Let us pray for the tens of thousands of people who will receive postcards in the mail and be informed about our move to South Lakes High School.

Scripture: Acts 11:20-21

20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

Reflection

Entire communities were being affected by the good news of Jesus Christ. Men from Cyprus and Cyrene went to the city of Antioch and began to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. Let that be the story of Restoration Church as we move to a new neighborhood. Let that be our Antioch experience. Let entire zip codes feel the ripple effect of God’s redeeming grace that we experience at Restoration Church. Let it be known, not for the glory of Restoration Church, but the fame and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, move mightily in the hearts, minds, and eyes of those who open their mailboxes and receive a postcard about Restoration Church. Let curiosity bubble up from within them. Let the tug and pull of your love and grace be upon them. Let these not be images and text on a card, but let it be life-giving words of invitation. Bring many people to encounter the living God. Bring many people to stay and become Restoration Church. Let it happen so that the impact of healing, restoration, and salvation in our region would be greater. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 26

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Let us pray for our community partners joining our worship service on November 14, that they too might find their faith among us.

Scripture: Acts 16:14-15

14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Reflection

Lydia was a business leader in the city of Philippi. Paul became connected to her. She not only became a vital connection in the life and needs of the city but also a leader in the church. We need our community partners to become part of the Restoration Church congregation. Our desire to see great change and meet the immense needs of our communities can be more effectively met. Let us pray for our community partners who show up on November 14, to be compelled and moved to participate and make Restoration Church their home.

Prayer

God of our community. You have blessed Restoration Church to be immersed in the life of the greater community of Reston and beyond. Let those partnerships be more than transactional about supporting causes. Bring these partnerships together for worshipping and building your congregation. Let our community partners see our life, joy and faith and be drawn to join our community. Increase our connection with our community partners. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 27

SEEKERS

People are hungry and seeking community, faith and hope during this season. May Restoration Church be a means to experience it all.

Scripture: Acts 17:11-12

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Reflection

Paul came upon a city called Berea. There he encountered people who were eager to learn and know more about the good news of Jesus Christ. Their eagerness was revealed by how they studied and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Jesus said that if we seek, we will find. If we ask, we will receive. If we knock, the door will be opened. May God work in the hearts of seekers to actively seek out Restoration Church. As they eagerly seek, ask, and knock, may the abundant life of grace and truth be revealed to them. May God use Restoration Church to meet people in their spiritual hunger. May God fill people with faith and hope. May Restoration Church be a community faith in which seekers can find a church home.

Prayer

Gracious God, let those who seek you find you. Let those who ask, receive the Holy Spirit. Let those who knock on the door of heaven have eternal life poured out upon them. Work in your mighty ways, O God, so that people might discover your incomparable grace and in your inexhaustible love. Let it be experienced at Restoration Church. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.