We teach it and say it all the time…so much so that it can become only a trite closing to our daily prayer rituals. “In Jesus’s name…” “For thine is the kingdom and the glory forever and ever…” However we precede it, the word “Amen” is an important component of our blessings and communication with God. But what does it mean? Is it important, and how can we express that to our youngsters?
The lexical definition of amen bears a couple of significances. It means in large regard “truly” or “faithfully.” It can bolster or back up a statement that has been made, or assert the authenticity of what’s being said. The word appears throughout the Bible in various contexts. In the Old Testament, we see Israelites using it in declaration or affirming things. Isaiah refers to God as “God of the Amen” or faithfulness (Isaiah 65:16). It also closes up Psalms or songs to God. In the New Testament, we sometimes see Jesus say it before something important, almost to gather attention or announce the severity of the coming comments. It is almost an invitation and admonition to listen closely. Jesus instructs us to use Amen as a prayer closing…
But how do we use the term now, and why does it matter? In many churches, “amen” might be a common response to a statement or truth, but some look down on such a practice. Why not embrace, endorse, and validate our pastors and spiritual leaders? Nothing wrong with punctuating statements…in another way, many times people throw an “amen” into casual conversation. This is certainly not necessarily wrong either.
But the main thing to remember is considering the significance of every word that we pray. Just as we try to communicate to kids what the words of the Pledge of Allegiance mean, we want to outline the weight of every part of prayer. We have a gift in talking with God. It is HIS gift to us and true sustenance for the soul. From the “Father in heaven” to that final close, the way we pray is special to God. He loves us and cares for us. We can be assured that what we ask for and declare in His name, He will hear. God is near when we whisper His name. All that we say in prayer can be affirmed and asserted truthful. To that we can only say… Amen!