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Day 29 – Amen

When I was a child, I thought that praying the word “Amen” signaled that I was through with my prayer, with the hope that what I had prayed for might happen. But in Bible days, and no less today, to pray “Amen” means a lot more than saying “The End” and “I Hope So.” To conclude prayer with “Amen” is to express the certainty and confidence that what we have prayed, God will accomplish. This rich Biblical word “Amen” comes from the Hebrew root word aman meaning “to be established”, “to be faithful”, “to be firm”, “to be true”, and “to stand fast”. (see W. E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words) “Amen” is a response that any preacher would hope to punctuate his sermon: “Amen! Preach it!”

Read the Psalms and see that the psalmist will frequently conclude a psalm with “Amen” in order to guarantee that what the psalmist said was faithful and true. For instance, Solomon concludes Psalm 72 with an “Amen” to certify the truth and reliability of what he has prayed: “Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen” (Psalm 72:19). In the Old Testament, when Ezra read God’s Word to the people, “all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen’” (Nehemiah 8:6). Jesus would sometimes say “Amen, I tell you” (Luke 23:43; John 6:47), usually translated, “Truly, I say to you” to assure the truth of what He has said. Thus, it was customary for early Christians to say “Amen” at the end of their prayers (1 Corinthians 14:16; Revelation 7:12). “Amen” meant that “this is worthy of trust; it is reliable, solid, stable, permanent, lasting; I affirm it as true; may God bring it to pass.” (Marvin Wilson, Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith)

We conclude our praying of the Lord’s Prayer knowing that we have prayed according to God’s will, and that we have asked as He instructed us to ask. It is with confidence we pray for God’s kingdom to come, our needs to be provided, our sins to be forgiven and to be delivered from all the wiles of the Evil One. We leave to the infinite love and wisdom of our Father how He will answer our prayers and when. But we pray “Amen”, assured that “the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20). And to that we say “Amen!” So be it!


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