Thursday, 26 September 2013

Thursday - Go and send men

Prayer:   Great God,  sustain and uphold those who do ministry in Your name.   Give strength and love to those congregations who are seeking a new minister.   In gratitude we thank You for those ministers who are Interim Moderators and help congregations into a new journey in Your love.  Uphold them in their work and times of prayer.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read  Acts 10: 1 – 8

Go and send men.    In Caesarea there was a Centurion from the Italian Regiment called Cornelius.  He and his family were devout and God-fearing.  He gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.   Here is a Gentile who has heard the Word of God and has believed.  The Book of Acts of the Apostles does not say how  Cornelius first came to believe,  but he obviously heard the Word of God and was changed.

As Cornelius was in prayer,  God spoke to him in a vision.   An angel of the Lord came to Cornelius and said God had heard his prayers and saw his gifts to the poor.  Cornelius was to send for a man named Simon who is called Peter.   

Did Cornelius scoff at this vision?  Nope,  not at all.  Right away he called two of his servants and one of his soldiers who was a devote man and sent them to Joppa. 

Without question,  Cornelius did what God had asked him to do.     And how did Cornelius hear the voice of God?  Through his prayers and his gifts to the poor.  

Do we take time and make time to listen to the voice of God today?   Listening takes practice.  It is easy to say prayers and then spend a couple of seconds in silence.  But the listening that is needed is silent listening for minutes instead of seconds.    During those minutes,  we need to keep our minds clear of random thoughts and activities.  This is difficult but through constant practice and work,  listening will happen.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father,  hear our prayers today as we lift up to You in prayer all Sessions and Ministers as they make decisions for Your Church.  Be with them and strength them in every good word and work.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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