The acknowledgement of Amen

What does ‘Amen’ even mean?

Sometimes I think we forget the wonder of prayer in the every-day-ness of how we use it.

How many times, before you start praying, are you struck with how incredible it is that we can come before the creator of the Universe and talk to Him!? It’s mad! Surely we should just fall on our faces out of the sheer over-whelming-ness of how awesome God is.

Yet, most times before I start praying I don’t even think about who God is. I begin muttering away, usually on route to somewhere else half thinking about my to-do list. I know God is amazing, but I don’t often recognise it in my prayer life. I say a causal Amen and move on.

Amen can be a funny one. Have you ever had that slightly awkward thing when praying in a group and you think someone’s finished but you’re not sure? So, you wait for ages to hear Amen – but it never comes. Or, you think someone’s finished so you whisper ‘amen?’ to see whether anyone else would like to start praying. Amen has become part of ‘prayer etiquette’ rather than a confirmation of how incredible God is.

We say Amen, at the end of a prayer to state that we believe God is in control. Amen means, ‘so be it’, it’s essentially our way of acknowledging that God has the authority and the wisdom to direct our lives down the path that He intends. Yet, I use Amen as a throw away indicator that I’ve finished talking to God and it’s now time to crack on with something else.

When I think about how incredible it is that we can speak to God so easily I feel like Amen doesn’t suffice! I want to reinvent Amen and end my prayers with something along the lines of: “Thank you God that you care for and love me so much that you will listen to my requests, my worries, my assumptions and opinions on life and bother to do anything with them at all! You are incredible God!”

Although I guess ‘Amen’ is less of a mouthful!