When to Say: "AMEN"

I've always told my boys one of my most favorite things is to be found in error by anyone I've ever taught (whether my own children or those God has graciously given me to disciple or counsel). I know that sounds a bit strange, but after I explain why, I'm sure you'll desire this as well.

Any teacher is blessed to see their student(s) not only has actually paid close attention to their lessons, but have also trained themselves to apply what they've learned - through research, much study, meditation and personal reflection. Now, when it comes to being a mother training up her children in "the Way they should go" (Proverbs 22:6), her greatest desire is that her children learn to walk in the truth as they themselves begin to study Scripture on their own; testing everything (Acts 17:10-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, 1 John 4:1), from having been taught that only God is perfectly omniscient and all human beings (including mom) are fallible.

With this understanding, you can see why I am so very delighted when anyone I have ever taught corrects me. Their correction proves to me that they have searched God's word for themselves, have been in much prayer, have tasted and seen (perceived for themselves) that the Lord is good; and now have come to me out of love, in humility and kindness to share with me my misunderstanding of God's word or the things of the Lord. Oh, there truly is no greater joy for a spiritual parent, than to know that their children walk in the truth - that is, abides in Jesus Christ! (3 John 1:4)

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not always (at the time) very overjoyed when corrected. No, instead, I have often been caught up in pride and have become very indignant that this "pupil" of mine dares to question my teaching. But I assure you, although this may be my initial reaction, thanks be to our gracious Lord God Almighty, that it is certainly not my final.

To illustrate this truth to you today, I'd like to share with you the very first time I'd been corrected by one of my "pupils" in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I'd been teaching our children about God since the day I knew they were conceived. I read them God's word, sang songs and spoke God's truth to them about why God had created them and that while I had no idea what was going on in my own body, God knew - because only He knows each person intimately. By the time our oldest son was one, I began to have daily breakfast devotionals with him. I wanted him to be fed not only physically, but knew it was more important that he was fed spiritually. So by the time our first son was between two and two 1/2 years old (don't remember exactly, but it was before our second son was born), he was ready to correct me. And it began with the word, "amen", what it meant and when/why we used it.


This Hebrew word means firm, and hence also faithful (Rev 3:14). In Isa 65:16, the Authorized Version has "the God of truth," which in Hebrew is "the God of Amen." It is frequently used by our Saviour to give emphasis to his words, where it is translated "verily." Sometimes, only, however, in John's Gospel, it is repeated, "Verily, verily." It is used as an epithet of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev 3:14).

It is found singly and sometimes doubly at the end of prayers (Psa 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the fulfilment of them. It is used in token of being bound by an oath (Num 5:22; Deu 27:15-26; Neh 5:13; 8:6; 1Ch 16:36). In the primitive churches it was common for the general audience to say "Amen" at the close of the prayer (1Cr 14:16).

The promises of God are Amen; i.e., they are all true and sure (2Cr 1:20).


Cite This Article:
Easton, M. G. "Amen," Easton's Bible Dictionary. Blue Letter Bible. 1897. 1 Apr 2007. 26 Jan 2009.

As we can see from the definition above, for the word "Amen", when spoken from God means: "it is so, it is truth" and our response to God's proclamation of His truth is also "amen", which when spoken from our mouths, means, "as God has said, let it be so". Therefore when we pray, assuming we are praying in the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth, then we say "amen" because we are proclaiming our faith and trust in what God Himself has already spoken - we are in agreement with Him.

One of the times we would apply "amen" would be when we are giving thanks to the Lord for all His glorious and awesome provisions for us whether it be food, clothing, shelter, spouse, children, etc. For in applying "amen" after we give thanks, we are proclaiming that we agree (we believe Him) when He said that He alone is our Provider of all good things and we ought to only give Him honor and praise, for He alone is due such glory (James 1:17)

Let me share with you the beautiful day in which the Lord our God taught my husband and I when it was appropriate to say "Amen".

Oh, I still remember this day so clearly! It was a Saturday, we slept in a bit and didn't have breakfast, therefore I decided to make us all a hugely fabulous brunch! We had eggs, hashbrowns, bacon and sausage, toast, fruit, pancakes....well, you get the picture. And we were all starving, especially me!

I was just about to dig my fork into all this scrumptious food, when my hand was halted by our sweet little two year old son, who quickly said, "Wait Daddy and Mama! Don't we need to say 'amen'?" I quickly smiled and answered, "Awww, no sweet baby, this is breakfast. We only say 'amen' at dinner." I then again began to put my fork into a piece of delicious food, when my hand once again came to a screeching halt by my son, "Wait! Mama, why do we only say 'amen' at dinner?" I impatiently, with a forced smile answered, "Well darling, I don't know. I wasn't raised in a Christian home, so we never said it. Your Daddy was the only one raised in a Christian home and that's just the way he was taught, so it must be right. Now, leave Mama alone and let me eat my food. I'm hungry and it's getting cold." Our son smiled and said, "Oh, yes ma'am Mama." I joylessly began to pick up my now cold food that had been sitting lifelessly on my fork for what seemed like an eternity, when....you guessed it, my son spoke, "WAIT!" He exclaimed, "I have one more question." By this time, I was a bit miffed with him to say the least and unkindly answered, "Okay Michael, last one."

And here's how it all went down:

Son: "Daddy, Mama. Did God give us this food?"
Parents: "Yes baby, He did."
Son: "Did God give us the food for lunch?
Parents: "Yes son, He did."
Son: "Did God give us the food for our snacks?"
Parents: "Yes Michael, He did!"
Son: "Did God give us our food for dinner?"
Parents: "Yes son. Very good, you've been paying attention. We're so proud of you. God gave us everything. Great! You've got it. Now, are you finished? Can we please eat?"
Son: "Can I ask just one more?"
Parents: "Yes baby, but really, this has got to be the last question."
Son: "Yes ma'am. I was just wondering. If God gave us all the food we eat, then how come we only thank Him one time?"

My Favorite and I looked at our precious baby sitting in his booster seat, we looked at each other, we took one another's hands, and no other words were spoken but this, "Let's say 'amen'."

So when should we, how should we, why should we and for what situations is it proper for us to apply "amen"? Whenever we are in agreement with God and His truth. Which prayerfully, is all the time. Amen?

Awesome, holy and glorious Father God in Heaven, You alone are truth! Thank You for revealing Your absolute truth to us through your written word. In this world, we face so many uncertainties where opinions change, times change, people change - oh Lord, where everything changes, and no one can ever be certain of what might happen next. Merciful Father God, I am even more grateful to know for certain that You LORD, alone are God, You are truth, You love me and You have cleansed me from all my unrighteousness with the blood of Jesus Christ.

Thank You mighty Father for always giving us Your unchanging word, love, salvation and truth. Thank You holy Father for YOU!