1. WHY SAY "AMEN" AT THE END OF PRAYER ? 2. THE LORD'S PRAYER (PART 2)
From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
Why say “Amen” at the end of prayer?
“... I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" 1 Corinthians 14:15
God demands every believer to do 2 things without ceasing i.e. to rejoice evermore and to pray without ceasing (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).
The believer is to pray all the time without ceasing throughout the day. He starts with a morning prayer and when he retires in the night, ends it with a prayer as well. In between, he prays when he eats, works and in whatever activities he engages in - at work, home, school etc.
The only thing that can keep us from praying is the worldly temptation and distractions around us. Satan uses all his tricks, ways and means to keep us from going down on our knees in prayers. Jesus warns believers to “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Do not succumb to the wiles of the devils. The Apostle Paul exhorts the believers to “… be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11.
A believer prays privately at work, home, school or in other places on his own. He may pray silently or audibly. He may also pray corporately or publicly in church worship services, prayer meetings or in other gatherings. In the corporate or public gathering, each believer may take turns to pray or one person can pray on behalf of the whole group. The individual ends his prayer by saying “in Jesus’ name, Amen”. Those around him, with full knowledge and understanding on what he prays, agree and jointly say “Amen”. It brings a prayer to a formal and fervent conclusion.
What is “Amen”? Amen means that “this is our true and firm request, so be it”. In other words, we agree to the prayer made and may God hear and receive this prayer. Thus, if we do not understand the content of the prayer, because of language barrier, unless there is an interpretation, we should not say “Amen” to the prayer said.
Paul told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 14:15, "… I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" that whether we pray or sing, we should pray and sing in a language which we understand. Otherwise, how do we know what we are praying or singing? Similarly, if we do not understand what the other person is praying for, how can we say “Amen” to the prayer? We should not say “Amen” then.
May God help us. Amen.
Elder Choe TS
The Lord’s Prayer (Part 2)
The Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray the form of words in the “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:6-9. In a previous article, we dwelt upon saying the Lord’s Prayer as a congregation. It is a good practice to pray the Lord’s Prayer in our worship services. The words of the Lord’s Prayer are meaningful and it aids us in our devotion and meditation. It speaks of our relationship with God our Father, and our worship and adoration for Him. The following article which appears in “Biblical Pattern of Worship” will help us understand the Lord’s Prayer, and how our minds are to be guided to think about God’s wondrous works as we say the Lord’s Prayer.
Understanding the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer begins with praise to God’s name. When we address a prayer to “Our Father,” it signifies a believer’s personal relationship with God. The Lord Jesus addresses God in prayer as the “Heavenly Father”1 in the scripture, and it occurs twice with the possessive “my” as in the phrase “my heavenly father.” When a person is addressing his Heavenly Father in prayer, it emphasizes two things, firstly, that God’s name is to be revered and loved, as children would their father. Secondly, it is holy and sanctified, for it is in the realm of the Divine.
The next phrase “Thy kingdom come” is an obvious reference to the coming millennial kingdom on earth. The passages in Daniel 7:14, 27 and Luke 1:32 all points to an earthly kingdom where the Lord Jesus Christ will reign on earth. Why is the phrase “Thy will be done” followed by the words “as it is in heaven?” In Psalm 103:19, 20 the throne of God is surrounded by Angels who “do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” The Angels obey God and do His bidding with perfect obedience. An earthly kingdom reflecting this order and peace is to be anticipated (cf. Revelation 5:10) in the Millennium. The understanding is that God’s perfect will is to be accomplished on earth in the prophetic future, a reign characterized by peace and order, much in the same way as the Angels that obey and do His bidding now in heaven.
The prayer bids God “give us this day our daily bread.” The believer is reminded that God is his provider, just as manna was provided by God for His people in the wilderness. In remembering God’s grace, we also exercise forbearance and we are forgiving to others. We cry, “forgive us our debts,” for we know that a heart offended and begrudged is a hidden sin. Forgiving others is a requisite before
paying homage to God for He does not tolerate hidden sins. The word “debts” means transgression. Psalm 66:18 teaches that if we regard iniquity, God will not hear us. The Lord’s Prayer thus addresses the theology of God’s providence in our daily affairs, and our understanding of our attitude as pardoned sinners. As much as we know that God is gracious to us, we are to forebear and forgive others.
The Lord Jesus prays, “lead us not into temptation.” God does not lead us to be tempted 2 by evil, rather God protects us from evil. There are two important thoughts to be considered here. Firstly, God leads the believer is all aspects (Psalm 139:24, Psalm 5:8), thus he is assured that God will bring us along secure pathways. Secondly, the believer is to flee temptations 3 of all kinds, rather than be exposed to the hazard of being ensnared. Put together, this is a plea to God to keep us walking in the good way, and a plea to God to keep us from straying into the paths of evil. The Bible promises us that God always make a way for us. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we are taught that when we are tempted, God will “also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The Lord’s Prayer reminds the believer of God’s keeping and protection in our spiritual journey.
The Lord’s Prayer closes with a doxology, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” The worshipper is reminded of God’s almighty power and sovereignty. For God, the kingdom, power and glory all belongs to Him, and He alone is worthy of our worship. The Lord’s Prayer is a good way for the congregation to express their worshipful response to God in prayer, praying in the way the Lord Jesus has taught His disciples. How divine and wise is this prayer! Indeed, the Lord’s Prayer summarizes the supplicant’s worship of God for His plan of salvation and His future reign. At the same time, it is an expression for God to supply of all our physical and spiritual needs, provision and protection as we sojourn on this earth.
1 A total of 6 times are recorded, 4 times with the pronoun “your”, in Matthew 6:14, 26, 32, Luke 11:13; and twice with the personal pronoun “my” by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 15:13 and Matthew 18:35. The phrase “father which is in heaven” appears 16 times, all in Matthew. Matthew 23:9 tells us to call no man your father in the earth.
2 James 1:13, 14 teaches that God does not tempt, rather we are tempted when we are enticed and drawn away by our lust.
3 The bible lists several kinds of temptations we ought to flee from. 1 Corinthians 10:14 the temptation of idolatry; 1 Timothy 6:11 covetousness; 2 Timothy 2:22 youthful lusts. The believer is commanded to flee these temptations.
Dn Lim Seh Beng