Prayer: Divine Healer, grant us the wisdom today so that we can discern Your call. Grant us peace today so that we can bring Your love into our community. Grant us strength today so that we can do the work within our community that You call us to do. This we ask in Your Son’s name. Amen.
Read Acts 9: 10 - 19
God appears to Ananias and tells Ananias to go to the house of Judas on Straight street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. Ananias isn’t sure he wants to go and speak to Saul. Ananias has heard about Saul being given authority from the Chief Priests to arrest all those who call upon God’s name.
God says to Ananias “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel…..” (Acts 9: 13 NIV Zondervan 1983). Wow. Ananias’ jaw must have dropped in shocked amazement over these words he heard from the Lord. Saul… the very man who was arresting people of the Way (early name for Christians) was to become a missionary for God.
What does Ananias do then? Does he sit at home in stubbornness knowing that if he goes to talk to Saul he will be arrested? Does Ananias go half way on the journey to the place where Saul is staying and suddenly turn around and go home without delivering the message from God? Nope, Ananias goes to the house where Saul is staying and explains to Saul how he was sent by God in order to heal Saul’s blindness and fill him with the Holy Spirit. That took a lot of strength for Ananias to go visit Saul!
One of the responsibilities of Session is to seek out those from the congregation who would be called to Ministry -- ministry of Word and Sacrament, ministry of missions, ministry of healing. Session’s responsibility is to discern who has the gifts needed for these ministries and then to help those who are chosen by God to fulfil their calling. Today keep in your prayers those in your congregation who might be seeking a call from God for ministry.
Remind the Session to seek out those in the congregation who might be discerning a call from God for ministry. Like Ananias, we need to go the distance in seeking out those who are chosen by God for ministry…. we can’t just leave the discerning to someone else.
Through prayer and listening to the voice of God all things are possible. But first we have to listen then we have to go and do God’s instructions.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, grant us Your peace in believing. Great God, we lift up to You today ______________ and ____________ that they may recognize Your call to go forward to minister to others. Great God, we lift up to You today our Elders. Give them the strength to discern who in our congregation is called to serve You. Lord hear our prayers this day. Amen.