Most of us end our prayers in the typical way using the word, “Amen!” But do we even understand what we are asking, or what that word even means. Is it just a “valediction,” or an “over-and-out God,” that we are tossing up? We really should understand the importance of such a word, and just what it is we are proclaiming as we utter it.
“Amen” is a covenantal word. It means, “Lord, establish it.” “Do as you have said, it will stand.” “Bring it to pass,” “So be it,” or “May it come to pass.” In effect, it asks to Lord God to do as he said he would do. “I will be your God and you shall be my people.” “I’ll get you through the valley of death.” “I will forgive you. I will heal you.” “I will give you what you ask in my name.” When we say, “Amen” we are asking God to fulfill His covenantal promises to His people. We are “reminding” Him of promises given, but we are also affirming to ourselves His ability to fulfill all He has pledged.
There is a great verse for prayer in the New Testament. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.”
“Yes” is affirmation, but it is not of our own account, we understand God is bound by His own covenant, regardless of our position or what we say. The promises, or covenants of God find their affirmation in Him, not in anything else. We “utter,” but really it is more for us than for God. What God has promised, He will bring to pass. He is bound by His own word. He doesn’t do this to merely help us out; He does it to glorify Himself. It is for His glory that He honors His covenant, not because we deserve it or demand it.
When we invoke “amen” at the end of our prayer, a hymn, or a sermon, we are stating it proleptically. A pretty big word that simply means we are claiming a future event as having already occurred. We regard a future event as already having come to pass because of our faith in our Creator. There’s a lot of power behind that little word, isn’t there? Are you praying with such authority? Confidence? Faith?
Every promise of God in the Bible is affirmed, but also brought to pass in God’s sovereign timing. If you contend that God didn’t answer then there are three reasons I can think of why you think that. 1) He hasn’t answered YET, but He will, 2) You didn’t ask according to HIS will, or 3) He DID answer but you just didn’t hear it, or like the way He answered it. All the promises are of the covenant of grace; that is God’s gift to us.
“Amen” is a badge of profession of faith in our God to accomplish what we ask in his name. Wear it boldly and with pride in our God. Be careful not to employ that word lightly.