12 January 2011 (Revee/Shavu'ot)|
Day #302, 5934 AM
An Authentic Amen
The Right Way to Establish Prayer
So much of the language we use, both in an ordinary secular as well as religious context, we use fairly indiscriminately not knowing what we are actually saying. Years later I have discovered that words I use which I thought meant one thing actually mean something totally different...sometimes embarassingly so.
"Say "Amen" at your giving of thanks" (1 Cor.14:16, NKJV).
Amongst Christians, "amen" is one of the commonest religious words used (or perhaps "omein" if you are Messianic or Jewish). But few realise that it has multiple meanings.
In the most common usage, it is an affirmation of prayer - when we end a prayer with it, it is with the conviction that Yahweh will hear and answer that prayer. In a way, we are saying: "I mean it, Father - please do it!" But we also use it in response to the prayers of others and when we do, we are doing two things: first, we are adding our agreement; and second, we are iterating the prayer. When a hundred people say "Amen" to a single prayer, it's being sent heavenward a hundred times! One prayer becomes a hundred. And if this is done with real sincerity, faith and conviction, sometimes the results can be dramatic:
That's live communal prayer in action!
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), and they spoke the word of Elohim (God) with boldness" (Acts 4:31, NKJV).
But there is another meaning to the word "Amen" which may better explain the heavenly response obtained in Acts 3:31 and which is likely the key to that response, and it's this: 'Amen' is an acceptance of Yahweh's Word.
In Ezra's day, a great crowd assembled in a public square in Jerusalem after hearing readings from the Torah. Men, women and children stood for hours listening to Yahweh's set-apart Word. As Ezra opened the ancient scroll, he thanked Yahweh for His Word:
These were no ordinary "amen's" and the double-amen meant that they really meant it. They wouldn't have stood for hours on end listening to the readings if they hadn't. They hearts were so totally right and their amen's so completely real, so right and real that they were genuinely ready to receive Yahweh's Word as His voice to them. Even more, they were ready to appropriate that Word and apply it. THAT'S an authentic "AMEN"!
"Then all the people answered, 'Amen, Amen!' while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground" (Neh.8:6, NKJV).