Amen

Our Heavenly Caregiver

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I’ve ended every prayer I’ve ever uttered with “Amen.” You probably have, too. As a child I learned that amen meant “so be it,” but recently I discovered something about amen that has deepened my appreciation of its meaning.

Amen comes from a Hebrew verb, aman, which means “to support” or “to bear in the arms.” In our English Bibles, aman is translated in a variety of ways. Most of the time translators use the verb “believe.” Sometimes it’s translated as an adjective: faithful, sure, steadfast.

What intrigues me most about aman is that it is sometimes translated “father” (KJV) or “nurse”(NIV). It referred to anyone who was faithful or trustworthy, someone that could be leaned upon for support. In Numbers 11:12 Moses asked, “Why do you [God] tell me to carry them [the Israelites] in my arms, as a nurse [aman] carries an infant?” Another example is in 2 Samuel 4:4, which says that Mephibosheth’s nurse [aman] picked him up and fled.

These verbal pictures of aman paint a beautiful image of amen in my mind. When I end my prayers with amen, I am placing them in the capable hands of my heavenly caregiver. Just as a mother or nurse takes full responsibility for all the needs of a child, my heavenly Father takes full responsibility for all my needs. His care is so firm and so faithful that there’s no reason to fret about the concerns I’ve placed in His hands.

The next time you say amen, pause and hold the image of God cradling your prayer in His arms. Carry that picture in your mind throughout the day with full confidence that your heavenly aman is a trustworthy caregiver.

DIG DEEPER:

Hebrews 4:14-16 and 7:23-27 explain why Jesus is such an excellent aman. Take time today to praise Him for His superior care giving skills.

Read Psalm 41:13, 72:19, 89:52, and 106:48. What do each of these psalmists do before they say, “Amen”?  How can you incorporate that pattern into your prayers?

Read Paul’s prayer in Romans 11:33-36.  Why is Paul praising God in this passage? Why is it important to remember these things about God when we pray?

Denise K. Loock

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