Tonight as I was tucking my two boys in bed, we prayed together. After prayer my oldest son asked me, “Dad, why do we have to say amen at the end of our prayers?”
I paused at the simplicity of the question. Then I said, “Well, we don’t have to say amen at all. You can definitely pray without saying amen. Amen is just kind of a closing to a talk with God.”
I can tell by his look that my answer wasn’t satisfactory. So I went over to him and kneeled next to his bed and continued, “The word ‘amen’ means ‘its true’ or ‘I mean it’ and things like that. It’s actually from the Hebrew word pronounced hah-main. And that word means “so be it.” Its a way to conclude your prayer.
With honest confusion in his eyes he said to me, “So, why would we tell God ‘so beat it’?”
I quickly corrected my enunciation and assured him that it means “so be it” not “so beat it”. And then, as so routinely happens to me, God used the words of my kids to teach me and remind me of a spiritual truth.
I suppose its most easily summed up in a question: do I live my prayers? Do I live in such a way that reflects the participation in bringing about God’s answers to my prayers? I don’t mean to make us dizzy with the question; I only mean to say do our prayers to God align with our lives?
One of the most well-known prayers in history was Jesus’ “high priestly prayer” recorded in the book of Matthew. And the coolest part about that particular prayer is that I am the answer to it. And if you love Him, you are too. Think about it. Jesus’ two predominant requests in that prayer were for the Father’s glory and for the unity of His disciples (his followers, of which I am one). And I shutter every time I think that the life I live is an answer to the high priestly prayer of Jesus. Can you receive that? Can you fathom that? Can you absorb that deep within your soul? When I live a life unified with God’s Kingdom and those who follow Him, I am literally answering Jesus’ prayer. That’s mind-blowing to me.
But what can also happen is that I can live a life that negates my own prayers. I can request God for something and yet show no outward or inward sign that I trust Him for the outcome. I can take the weight of my day onto my shoulders in practice while uttering my desire for the weight to be His in prayer. If my prayer doesn’t get practical, then in essence I am closing each talk with Him with “so beat it.”
I’ll be the first to admit that some of the blogs I’ve posted have been “undercooked” perhaps. And it is highly likely that this one might still be a tad pink in the middle. But I think I will continue to let it roll around and think more about this: What part am I playing in seeing God’s answers to my prayers played out practically in me?