Jump Start #3189
Jump Start # 3189
Revelation 22:21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.”
Our verse today is how the Bible ends. After these eleven words, two sentences, God closes His message for mankind. Everything we need is found in that book. There wasn’t a need for an update. No Bible 2.1 was necessary. Though there has been a lot of changes since John penned those final two sentences, nothing more was needed to get us to Heaven. The European, the African, the American—same message, same book, same will of God. Culture has changed, same book. Governments have come and gone, same book. Wars. Epidemics. Political turmoil. Depressions. Corruption. Good times. Hard times. Bad times. And, still, the same book. It worked then and it still works today. It’s alive and powerful and changes lives through Jesus Christ.
Our focus is upon the last word, Amen. We say that nearly all the time when we end a prayer. It’s “in Jesus’ name, amen.” Amen simply means “so be it,” or, “I agree.” And, here, God ends His holy message with, “Amen.” Sometimes in a sermon, one will hear, “Amen,” being spoken from the audience. Some even call for an amen, by saying, “Do I have an amen for that?”
I want to think about “Amen” at the end of our prayers. Prayer reminds us that we are not alone. We are inviting the greatest help, the greatest power, the greatest friend into our lives by taking things to God. No one understands you better than God does. No one knows your situation better than God does. And, when we pray, we are praising the Lord, thanking the Lord and asking the Lord for His divine help. All of this puts a focus upon the spiritual and it helps get our priorities in the right order.
But what happens after the “amen?” We’ve prayed to God, the prayer ends, and we say, “Amen.” Is that it? Have we done our duty? Is it all up to God now? Is it out of our hands? I often wonder if that’s how some see it. For instance:
· I want my children to grow up to be godly, so I pray about it and say, Amen.
· I want the church to grow, so I pray about it and say, Amen.
· I want to be strong spiritually, so I pray about it and say, Amen.
· I want the sick to get better, so I pray about it and say, Amen.
· I want a family member to know Jesus, so I pray about and say, Amen.
Is that it? Am I now free to go about my business? Am I done with these things? Now, do I just watch the Lord take care of these things?
If that’s our concept, then we have things a bit out of line. Our work, our obligation, our involvement doesn’t end with the AMEN. In fact, in many ways it just begins. By praying, I am partnering with God on these things. It’s not all up to me, nor is it all up to God. But together, working through us, God can bring about what we have prayed about.
So, this is what this looks like:
· I want my children to be godly. I will certainly pray for that daily. But I will also set before them an example of what a righteous and godly person looks like. I will put them in an environment where they can excel spiritually. I will talk to them about the Lord. I will take them to worship. If I pray, and then spend the rest of my time in front of the TV, it will certainly look like I really didn’t mean what I prayed. God will help me, but He won’t do what I ought to do.
· The same goes for the church to grow. I pray for that. But I will encourage, invite, teach and do all that I can by being an example of one who is centrally focused upon the Lord.
· I want the sick to get better. I will pray for that. But I will also call them, take food to them and do what I can to help them.
And, what we see from this is that my work doesn’t stop with AMEN. It just begins. I must and should pray to the Lord but I must do my part. We are working with the Lord. I do not do His work and He does not do my work.
A partnership with the Divine. We become the eyes, the hands and the feet of the Lord. We invite Heaven’s help through prayer, and we do all that we can down here to show that we are truly interested in these things.
Together with God—what a wonderful concept. AMEN.