2002-10-02 - Amen
Psalm 41:13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.
We have hit on prayer many times, but I don't recall ever focusing on the word "Amen" in our prayers. There are several elements of prayer, and not all prayers contain all the elements of prayer, but here is a list that certainly exemplifies a well-ordered prayer: Invocation, Adoration, Confession, Petition, Pleading, Profession of self-dedication, Thanksgiving, Blessing, and Amen, or the Conclusion. As said above, not every prayer will contain all these elements, but all these elements are helpful in our prayer lives. Today I would like to focus on the ending of our prayers.
"Amen" is a Hebrew word that means "truth, faithfulness, certainly, or surely." It means that we do believe all the things we have said to God, concerning God's character and concerning ourselves. The word "amen" means that we do believe the words we have said that ascribe honor to God, His attributes of holiness, and His being. "Amen" means that when we have indicated our own unworthiness before God, our needs and sorrows, joys and blessings, we have been true and faithful in what we have said. It is sort of like placing our hands on the Bible and swearing to tell the whole truth in court. However, "amen" is done after the fact and signifies that we have said the whole truth.
The word "amen" shows a desire and wish to obtain the things we have asked for. It shows a longing for our requests and that we will look for them. In a sense, we are saying, "Let it be just as I have said." Amen is also a confirmation of all our professions before God. It is a promise that the promises we have made in our prayer are true. In this sense, it is used as an oath. It is to bind ourselves to what we have just said to the Lord before His presence.
"Amen" also implies the hope that our prayers have been heard and accepted before God. This also means that we hope that we have been accepted before God and that our prayers have gained an audience before the Lord. The word is based in the covenant between God and us, and that the promises of God to us for blessing and not harm will be accomplished. When we say "amen," we are saying that as far as our petitions are agreeable to God's will and glory, they will be done.
So much for this little word that we tack onto our prayers. However, I hope we have seen that it is no small part of prayer. It is a Hebrew word that has great meaning, and when we use it, we ought to know what we are saying.
Prayer is a great privilege that God has given to us. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. Philippians 4:6 tells us that in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should let our requests be made known to God. Ephesians 6:18 reminds us to pray at all times in the Spirit. There are so many verses on prayer and encouragements to prayer in the Bible, that we have no excuse for not making prayer a central aspect of our Christian walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,