When I say Amen

Prayer is simply talking with God. 

There are no formulas, no secret codes, no tip-toeing around because you’re afraid of God’s lightening bolts.

We’ve talked about the subject before (click here) but recently a thought struck me, which will not leave me alone. 

Go to biblegateway.com and type in prayer. 61 New Testament references pop up!

When I scrolled through the list, here’s what I learned: 

  • Jesus prayed A TON and taught on prayer A TON during His earthly ministry.
  • The early church prayed A TON together and anyone who ended up on their prayer list got prayed for daily.
  • Miraculous things happen when Christians pray.

Obviously, most Christians can’t spend all of their time in their prayer closets. (For all of my non-churchey friends, a prayer closet is not an actual closet, but wherever a Christian talks privately with God.)

And even though the early church gathered a lot in prayer, all of them had everyday lives, too.

This is where my persistent thought comes in. 

I know that praying is simply talking to God and I know that the Bible shows us the how, when, and why of prayer; which is why Christians need to always be in a spirit of prayer.

So why do I say “Amen” every time I pray? I’m supposed to be praying continually…

If I’m talking with God all day long, why not just start the morning with, “Good morning, Father!” and then chat with him all day, ending with “Amen” after our nightly bedtime chat?

It is possible that I am really overthinking this whole thing. 

I just know that being in a spirit or attitude of constant conversation with God means that my every thought, my every action comes out of a healthy relationship.

However, I realized the other day that I tend to treat God as my sidekick when really my life belongs to Him. He’s not along for a ride with me–it’s actually vice versa! 

When I say “Amen” at night–which means “so be it”–I want it to reflect how my every thought and action that day contributed to our growing relationship.





Three Questions to Consider When Seeking Advice

 I love to give other people advice, and I love to receive advice from other people.

Often times, though, there is a gap between giving and receiving advice and actually implementing it. This inconsistency is part of the human condition, but it can be conquered with persistence.

Most of the New Testament is an instruction book. I realize that I have been talking a lot about the Bible.

Let me explain.

My thinking has radically changed about the Bible. I am learning that my life will all be for naught without Christ and the transforming power of His living word, the Bible.

But what does this have to do with giving and receiving advice?

The Old Testament laws were often hard to keep, but the New Testament instructions are possible if you’re walking in grace.

Grace is God’s DNA coursing through your veins.

Grace pushes you closer and closer to Christ, so that you begin to look more like Him.

Follow Christ, walk in grace, and be transformed by the power of God’s word.

That’s the New Testament in a nutshell.

I am telling you all of this because the best advice to follow is godly in nature.

The Bible is where you filter all advice that comes your way. It helps you find the biblical principles to back up the changes that need to be made in your life.

There are two Scriptures that best illustrate this point. The first is found in Ezekiel 33: 31-33:

“So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not do them. And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to this passage. I have been given advice, ignored it, and then saw the prophecy come to pass. Conversely, I have also heeded sound advice and reaped the benefits.

The second Scripture, Acts 17:11, is probably more familiar to you.

“[The Bereans] were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

The Bereans understood that it was ultimately their responsibility to teach themselves good doctrine. It’s always easier to spot a phony when you are educated and informed.

All of this said there are three basic questions to ask when seeking advice:

  1. Who is giving this advice? Are they trustworthy? Responsible? In a place to be giving out advice?  
  2. What Scripture(s) back up this advice?
  3. If Questions 1 and 2 can be answered, what’s my plan of action?

If you walk away with nothing else from this post, keep this in mind:

Advice, much like exercise equipment, only works when it’s put in use.