If you step inside Queen of the Holy Rosary parish in Kansas around 7pm on the second Thursday of the month, you might find close to 30 young professionals praising God. If you happened to walk into St. Agnes parish in Kansas a month ago on a Thursday night you would have found the same. These young professionals are at Restore, the monthly prayer gathering of Saint Paul’s Outreach.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word restore as:
- to give back (someone or something that was lost or taken) : to return (someone or something)
- to put or bring (something) back into existence or use
- to return (something) to an earlier or original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc.
If you were to join us you would find the definition of restore coming to reality in a two-fold way, especially in our praise. After a reflection on discipleship, communion, or mission in daily life, we worship with songs giving praise to God.
In praise not only do we restore (or give back) to God the glory and honor that can be lost to other things in our lives, but also in praise, the Holy Spirit restores (or gives back) to us our dignity as sons and daughters of God that can be taken from us throughout the day. In praise not only do we restore (or put back) our bodies and voices to use in service and love of God, but also, in praise we allow the Holy Spirit to restore (bring back) into existence the life of God in us. Finally, in praise, we both restore (or return by repairing) and are restored (returned by repairing) in our relationship with God by acknowledging that God is God and we are not.
We all desire to be restored (even young professionals). The paradox is that we are restored not when we give more to ourselves but rather when we give more of ourselves to Jesus. There is no better place to be restored than standing before God in praise.