Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"The Fruit of Prayer" - Conclusion


We conclude our considerations on prayer with a consideration of the conclusion of most of our prayers.

The word "amen" means "firm" or "faithful" in its most direct connotation. It primarily expresses the notion or implication of "So be it." "Amen" was transliterated in Scripture from the original Hebrew to Greek, and then to Latin, English and many other languages to the degree it is considered almost a universal word. "Amen" is nearly identical to the Hebrew word "amam" (faithful), and is accordingly used at the end of prayer to express assurance in God's faithful answers.

In this light, "amen" takes on a different meaning than we usually consider. While we may conclude our prayers with the word, the effect should actually result in the beginning or ongoing of God's dynamic involvement in whatever issue we address. According to His wisdom and purposes, our Heavenly Father has chosen to accomplish much of His work in the world through the agency of human prayer. He acts by inspiring and enabling His trusting children to ask for Divine activity in accordance with His will and our need. "Amen" expresses our confidence in the faithfulness of God to answer our prayers, and to do for us what we ourselves cannot do.

Saying "Amen" as we conclude our prayers therefore implies also the conclusion of our human efforts, and the inception or continuation of God's efforts. We recognize that His working may involve our participation in the sense that He works in and through us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Accordingly, we present ourselves to the Lord as we pray to be His means of answer, if He sees fit. We nevertheless affirm "the works of the Lord" and "the operation of His hands" as we pray and as we say our Amen (Psalm 28:5). Furthermore, we acknowledge that our praying itself results from His moving upon us and within us by His Spirit. Yes, the fruit of prayer springs forth from the Root of He to whom we pray, and to whom we look for "life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). Amen.

"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
(Revelation 22:20)

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