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Amen

My little brother was brilliant at racing through the table grace at dinner time: “Comelordjesusbeourguestandletourdailybreadbeblessedamen.” He could recite it in well under two seconds.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are not muttering routine words. This is not a magic formula or a simple identity badge. At dinner, we are inviting Christ to sit at the table with us. At bedtime, “Now I lay me down to sleep” entrusts me to the caring arms of God. And the Lord’s Prayer plants me deeply in the center of this remarkable faith that Christ Jesus has brought to us the dawning of God’s reign, the first light of the new creation, and the assurance that the full light of day awaits. It asks for God’s will and work be done in me and in the world around us. It asks God to grant what is needful and keep us from what is harmful. It breathes the Spirit of the one who healed and forgave and welcomed outcasts and sinners. It breathes the Spirit of the one who laid down his life and was raised. It shines with the light of God’s perfect grace. It is right for us to say this prayer with trust and awe and gratitude. It is right for us to say, at the end, “Amen. Let it be so.”

The Prayer for Week 6, Passion Week:

To you, O God, all voices rise,
and you hear the cries of the whole human community.
Send forth your Spirit into every heart
that we may walk the path of life. Amen

[Conclusion:] “Amen.”

What does this mean?

Amen means Yes, it shall be so. We say Amen because we are certain that such petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven and are heard by him. For he himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us.

The Small Catechism by Martin Luther in Contemporary English, Augsburg Publishing, ©1960,1968
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