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 Amen? Oh, 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."