Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What Happens If I Forget To Say Amen?

Does anyone else ever have that fear that if they don't say "Amen" at the end of their prayers, that their prayers somehow don't count?  Like the "Amen" is a cork in the bottle of your prayers that you heave up to heaven and if you don't put the cork on, all the prayers will leak out before it gets up to heaven and God won't hear any of them?

Why in the world does my brain go that way?  What is the underlying fear there?

Well, probably because I pray throughout the day in a very immediate "Hey, God, thank you again for this new job, because at least once an hour I'm reminded how wonderful my life is now because I'm here, and not where I used to be." and then my boss needs something, or my co-worker needs backup on an invoice, and I get distracted.

And while I don't necessarily need to put an "Amen" on a praise, many other times, I'll be talking to God, and asking for prayers for other people, (Mom is going on a two week safari to Africa in two weeks.  If there was anyone who was going to have something go wrong on their Bucket List vacation, it would be her), and then it happens again - work intervenes, new hire paperwork needs to be processed, emails need to be dealt with, expense reports need to be filed, the phone is ringing, I handle all the work stuff, and I belatedly realize I forgot to say "Amen" at the end of the Mom prayer and that obviously means she’s going to fall off the back of the safari truck and get eaten by a cheetah.


So it's probably guilt that me forgetting to say “Amen” basically means I just left God hanging in the middle of a conversation.  I don't do that to my friends (unless it's email conversations and it's unclear who was supposed to respond next).  So why do I think it's okay to do that to God?  It's not, of course.  Or does He understand in the grand scheme of things?

When I was a kid, I used to think that you couldn't put anything on top of your Bible, that it would be disrespectful to God.  Nobody ever told me that, I came up with that little thing all by myself.

So even though it might technically be okay not to add the "Amen" at the end and even though it might technically be okay to end calls with friends without saying "Bye" (though I always remember to say "thanks" if it warrants it.)

What is AmenOh, wow, apparently it means "So be it." or "It is so." 

That almost sounds ruder than just walking away from a conversation.

Please please please God, I'm venting, I'm rejoicing, I'm praising, I'm asking You for help and if I'm doing everything right, at the end of our conversation I say SO BE IT, IT IS SO!

It's NOT so, because it's not up to ME, it's up to God whether He wants to respond to my prayers.  What's the word where I shyly stub my toe in the dirt and say, "You could, you know, if You want to.  But, you know, You're God and all, so like, if You've got other ideas, I get it.  I just hope they're coming sooner than later, but I get it, I get it, Your time, not mine, I get it.  Okay, cool, thanks for listening, I'll just be over here living life and stuff, whenever You're ready, You can get back to me."

Maybe that word is simply “Thanks.”


Chelly Garcia said...

Two years + later.... I'm surprised there are no other comments here. Usually I don't comment but seeing that no one else has on such an awesome insight leaves me feeling compelled to let you know that you are not alone on this. Minus the type of work that draws me out of my continuous prayer reveries you have basically described my daily cycle. Which is what led me to your 'amen' question. Love the whole toe dirt kicking description, my thought exactly. Great article (very funny too)

Someone said...

I actually struggled with this lately..so much so that I felt the need to google it..and I was led here. Your story I can relate to except for me it wasn't work..but I pray my most sincere longest prayers at bedtime..and most the time I found myself falling asleep (It is so comforting talking to him that it knocks my insomnia right out, and I'm out like a light) waking up realizing somehow I felt like I was being rude or disappointing him by not saying amen. The way you put it however, the actual meaning of it..Im not sure I want to say it anymore..I believe I will start leaving the amen out, and just end it with "Thy will be done" Nice article

Anonymous said...

I originally googled forgetting to say amen because I wanted to know if I was the only one that did it( I literally forget if I said amen or not right after I finish) but I found this article instead. It was very intresting and I wanted to thank you Amy(writer) for taking time out of your life to write this; I'm only thirteen and find it very helpful to Google my faith based questions online, so finding real answers like yours is very releaving.☺thanks!