A few weeks ago I was reading in a Christian magazine called "Forward in Christ", a brief article about the word "Amen". Ask someone what it means and you get the general definition of "agreement". Ask a Christian and it is often translated something like "So shall it be". Or if you were Jean Luk Picard from Star Trek the Next Generation "Make it so!". It might even be translated "la la la la, la la la la", perhaps silly, but when put at the end of the statement "We are found in you! And this makes all the difference. This changes everything - Making our whole existence - Worth something so we sing"... AMEN!!!
I have always loved this word and what it means, but as I was reading through the article, the highlighted quote by Pastor John Braun said this: "Amen is our word of confident faith in all the promises God makes". And I stepped back and just sat with that for a while, considering deeply the connection between the words Confidence, Faith, Promises, and God.
At about 4am the next morning, I was stirred to waking by the relentlessness of this wrestling match of words in my soul. You see, some of the songs I have written have been born out of sleep and in the waking hours of the night. I guess there is something creative that stirs in me at this hour of the early morning, and as I woke up, words were on the tip of my tongue I walked out to the kitchen and began to write:
"Amen! So Shall it Be! LIVE like it's TRUE. The word Amen is more than an agreement with a statement, opinion, or promise. Amen moves our prayer from active hope, to living belief."
This was the idea that the article had stirred in my mind, to my heart, and to the deepest part of my soul. What excites me about that word, used in Christian faith is that it moves our heart and mind from hope to something that gives life. Martin Luther described the process of believing as three parts. KNOWing information, TRUSTing that information to be true and then LIVing like it is true. You need to hear the Gospel and be touched by the means of Grace. By that Grace, we trust the promises of God to be true. BUT... then comes the hardest part for many of us, LIVING like those promises are true.
And that is why I believe this one little word is so powerful. Our prayers are often statements of information, desire, longing, and hope. They are statements. And then, we conclude and have to do something more than hope and that is live out the belief that our God hears us and will answer us, yes or no, or not now - all in his time. ALWAYS knowing that he will answer our prayers for our ultimate good and his ultimate glory.
As I sat with the satisfaction of the thought that AMEN moves our prayer from active hope to living belief, a robin began to sing in the altered darkness with just the faintest hint of light on the eastern horizon. It is amazing to me, that here too is the example of AMEN sung by God's creation itself, greeting the dawn that is - not quite yet, but sure to come! An active hope, sung into living belief that the promise of the new day is coming!
May our every prayer and hope rest in the confident faith in all the promises God makes - Amen?