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  • Allison Wilcox

Amen!

(Traditional: For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever)

Contemporary: For the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever)

Amen


"All the people shall respond, 'Amen." ~ Deuteronomy 27:15b


“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” ~ Revelation 7:12


What is meant by the word “Amen”? Answer. That I should be assured that such petitions are acceptable to our heavenly Father, and are heard by him; for he himself has commanded us to pray in this manner, and has promised that he will hear us. Amen, Amen; that is, Yes, yes, it shall be so.



This doxology we have in the Lord's Prayer did not exist in Luther's day. In fact, it wasn't in Jesus' versions in Matthew or Luke either, and if you go to a Catholic church you won't hear it there (as I embarrassingly found out when I kept praying at a Catholic funeral once after everyone else had stopped). Likely it came as a conclusion added by early Christian worshipers.


In Luther's catechism, the word "Amen" instead appeared after the seventh petition.


So why do we say "Amen?" Why do we end prayer with this word?


The word "Amen" in Hebrew means "so be it," or "may it be so." It shares a root with the word "eman," which means to confirm, "haemeen," which means to trust, and "emunah," which means faithfulness.


Amen isn't simply a way to put a final period at the end of a prayer.


It is a confirmation not of an end, but of a beginning: a beginning to live out what was spoken.


We say "Amen" not to close out, but to open up. We say "amen" as a faithful response to prayer and to life.


We end the Lord's Prayer with "Amen," asking God for it to be as we have prayed, and promising to live out in trust that these words will impact our lives and move us to faithfulness and trust.


A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.

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