Posts filed under Prayer

Why do we say "amen" at the end of prayers?

Knowing the meaning of the biblical word, "amen," encourages us to pray more, and to pray more confidently.

Christians use the word, "amen," frequently. We conclude prayers by saying amen. But do we really know what it means?

A Christian catechism is a series of questions and answers used to systematically teach about the faith. Published in 1563, the Heidelberg Catechism is one of the most famous catechisms ever written.

The final question of the Heidelberg Catechism succinctly tells  what is meant by "amen."

Heidelberg Question 129. What does that little word “Amen express”?

Answer: Amen means,

This is to be sure!

It is even more sure that God listens to my prayer, than that I really desire what I pray for.

So today, you can pray, "Our Father, in heaven, be with my children, in Jesus name, amen." And when praying this, we can be more sure than God hears our prayer than that we desire this prayer. Amazing.

If you want to see one of the most encouraging and greatest uses of the word "amen" ever written, consider the benediction to the book of Jude.

24Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Would you pray at least once today? And when you do, say "amen" and mean it!

Posted on September 16, 2014 and filed under Prayer.

How can we learn to pray?

The Lord's Prayer teaches us how to pray. Think through the categories of the Lord's prayer. Then pray through those categories in your own words.

Jesus gave us a model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) so that we can learn how to pray. We call it "The Lord's Prayer." While it's appropriate to recite the Lord's prayer - - it's God's Word after all - - we should not simply think of it as a prayer to chant. Rather, the Lord's prayer gives us prayer categories to work through. Think of the Lord's prayer as handrails to hold onto as we pray.

So what are those categories?

"Our Father" - Christians can address God as "Father"

"In Heaven" - God is above and over all things

"Hallowed be thy name" - We are praying that the name of Jesus would be revered

"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" - there is so much that is messed up in the world. We are praying for Jesus to come back and make it better. We look forward to the new day when God's will to be done on earth as it is now done in heaven.

"Give us today our daily bread"  - We rely completely on God for our sustenance and health. All that we enjoy is a gift from Him. Every crust. Every slice of pizza. Every steak. Every breath.

"And forgive us our debts" - - As we said in the previous post, the gospel  or "good news" is that because of Jesus - - his sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection - - we can be forgiven by God.

"As we forgive our debtors" - - We should recognize that, even as we receive grace from God, we should extend it to others (see Matthew 18:21-35!)

"And lead us not unto temptation, but deliver us from evil" - - We are weak people, prone to failure. We pray that God would protect us from those situations where we might fail.

You can watch Juan Sanchez's explanation of the Lord's Prayer below.

Posted on September 14, 2014 and filed under Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines.