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I’ve always finished every prayer with “Amen.”

It’s just what I learned to say. It didn’t mean anything to me. It was just a way of letting God know that I was signing off.

I started digging into it, though.

Why do we always end our prayers with this odd word?

A cursory study reveals that it simply means, “let it be.”

But if you dive deeper, it means so much more.

“Amen” is more than a statement of hope. It is a declaration of commitment.

Every line of the prayer Jesus taught us is both a petition to God and a declaration of our allegiance to Him.

Rather than go back through the whole prayer, I want to challenge you.

Go back through it yourself. Pay close attention to each line. Consider what you’re asking God and consider what you’re promising God.

As historian and theologian Justo Gonzalez put it, “As we close our prayer saying ‘amen,’ we are expressing an unshakable hope based on our knowledge that this Father to whom we address our prayers is the same to whom forever belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory. And we are also saying that we are so certain that it is so that we are committing ourselves to it.” (Teach Us to Pray)

So often we think of prayer as a list of petitions. But Jesus’ prayer pushes us to think of prayer also as a commitment.

So, let’s pray it together again.

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT)

And let me include our doxology.

For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

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