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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Amen!"

     In 1 Corinthians 14, where Paul addresses a few aspects about a Christian Service, he points out the importance of worship, including prayer, being in a language that’s understandable. It’s here that he alerts us to a significant liturgical tenet: “if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up” (v.16-17).

     Being able to say “Amen” to a public prayer or thanksgiving is vital to the Spirit-inspired, Jesus-taught Apostle. “Amen” comes from the Hebrew and into the Greek NT. It is a declaration of confidence, “Truth! Faithful!”

    In a big sense, when you say “amen” to a corporate prayer, you are affirming a common, communal consent to that prayer: “This prayer is true!” And because we are praying with Jesus {that is, in union with Jesus} we are asserting that this prayer is a Jesus-Prayer: “…it is through [Christ] that we utter our Amen to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 1.20). Therefore, sung prayers (hymns) and spoken prayers rightly feel empty until we can attach our hearty “Amen!”

Mike

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