“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord” (Acts 9:10, ESV).
A lot more people are probably familiar with the Apostle Paul than they are with Ananias. If anything, when they hear the name Ananias, they immediately think of Sapphira and both of them falling down dead after lying to the church and to the Holy Spirit. I’m guessing that Ananias was a fairly common name, because this ain’t him.
This Ananias is the one that God chose to go and find Saul, also known as Paul, and be the one God used to heal Paul’s blindness. If you know the story, you know he had objections. This was the man who was doing everything he could to stop the early church, up to arresting them and having them killed. Now he was going to be one of the new leaders in the church?
Ananias could have said no. He could have been disobedient and gone about his normal life. He might have had a very ordinary and comfortable existence. But he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
I think of two other places where people said something very similar. I think of Samuel, a young boy living with the high priest Eli, hearing God’s call for the first time. I think about Isaiah, God’s prophet, called to testify to God’s people and to call them to repentance.
It’s a short prayer. It’s also a dangerous prayer. It means I give up my own plans and desires to do whatever God asks and go wherever God asks. It means total and complete surrender up to and possibly including laying down my life for the sake of the gospel.
It’s also the most freeing prayer. It means that I am making myself available to see God at work in and through me. It means that I get a front row seat at what God will do to move mountains with my simple mustard seed faith.
May that be our prayer.
Here I am, Lord. Send me.