Summary: Amen does not mean "come to an end." Amen means, "this is just the beginning."
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"So Shall it Be".
A Sermon On Revelation 5:1-14
Reflect on the fact that we have been talking about prayer, specifically the Lord’s Prayer.
Speak freely – in terms of the learning we have done.
But here is a question:-
Do you think God is listening to you when you pray?
It is a hard one because our experience of prayer sometimes makes us feel that God maybe is not listening.
We have prayed haven’t we … I’m not talking here about frivolous prayers … but prayers of significance and unselfishness.
We have come to the Lord in tears as we have sought His face on behalf of loved ones who have hardened themselves in the paths of sin.
We plead with the Lord about the healing of relationships and for understanding and love from our spouse, our parents, our children and others around us.
We have ongoing pain and debilitating aches which, if removed, would make us more effective workers in the kingdom of God.
We bring before the Lord the most basic of our needs and some sense to the confusion which is happening in our lives.
All these issues … and many more besides … we lay at the feet of God. And it just seems that the prayers are falling on deaf ears. The simple fact of our lives is that all the teaching in the world doesn’t help us one bit when our drive to pray evaporates because we don’t see the answers coming as we had hoped.
Isn’t it true that there are times when we can walk away from our prayers feeling more than a little disillusioned?
That is how we can feel.
And feelings are very powerful.
And if we don’t feel that God is listening then we start falling into the situation of feeling that maybe we shouldn’t bother praying at all.
We might not do it deliberately, but we just don’t give God our time or come to Him in prayer. And we make ourselves really busy with all sorts of excuses not to stop and get on our knees.
So, if you feel like that today, or maybe you have felt like that in the past, or when you feel like this in the future, or when you meet someone who feels like this and you want to walk the journey with them – then let me remind you of one little word.
How is that meant to help us?
Because it is quite reasonable to think that “Amen means – to come to an end”.
You can picture a family meal time. The table is loaded with wonderful food and your mouth is watering and your stomach is rumbling and you just want to eat. Why is it a special meal? Because the grand-parents have come to visit. Now before you eat you need to pray … and since grand-dad is here he gets the privilege.
So he begins to pray … and pray … and pray.
Mum is beginning to worry that the food is going to get cold.
The kids have started having sneak peeks at each other.
The smell of the food is lingering in the air.
And then the “Amen” comes. Finally the prayer is finished and we can eat.
Or let’s picture another situation – this time we are at a church service.
And the sermon has been going for quite some time.
And you have had a hot meal for lunch which has made you a little sleepy.
Now all of the words seem to roll into one.
And then the “Amen” comes. It’s the time to sit up and look lively because the sermon has come to an end.
We could be excused for thinking like that … but that does not give us an understanding of the word. To see what we are really talking about let’s have a look at some passages in Scripture.
Read Genesis 15:1-6
In this passage Abram comes to the Lord with a bit of a concern.
In the past God had promised that Abram would have a son … but that was many years ago and no son had arrived.
So, at the beginning of Genesis 15 Abram brings this issue before the Lord.
In response to that concern God took Abram outside and showed him the stars.
Once we were staying at Mutawintji National Park – out past Broken Hill almost on the boarder of NSW, QLD and SA. There are no lights there and the stars go forever.
That is what would have met Abram … stars as far and as the eye could see. Verse 6 then tells us that “Abram believed the Lord”.
Let me tell you what the words sound like in Hebrew.