Shelbyville Daily Union

June 16, 2011

Ask the Pastor

Chase Smith, pastor Fellowship Baptist Church, Shelbyville

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Why do we say “AMEN” at the end of a prayer?


When you see someone, whether it be for the first time or a long time friend, you have a greeting (Hello), and a closing (good bye). It would be strange to start a conversation with out such a greeting and end one by just walking away. If you don’t believe me, try it, although you will be considered rude and will go against what is socially acceptable for the day. Just like talking to a friend, praying is talking to God, and in doing so it feels right to begin with “Dear” and end in prayer “Amen”.

Saying “amen” at the end of each prayer is much more than concluding a prayer. The root meaning for amen in Hebrew and Greek (the bible’s original languages) is “truly” or “let it be.” When people are saying “amen” in the bible they are agreeing with what was said in the prayer and are asking God to let what was prayed about happen.

The reason that we say “amen” now days is because we are modeling the apostles of Christ in the New Testament. Each epistle, or letter, that he apostles wrote in the New Testament ends with the author saying “amen.” If we are to use the word amen in its proper way, we need to remember what Christ said about prayer and how our hearts need to be in prayer. He tells us in Matthew chapter 6 to pray in God’s will (“let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). If we pray according to God’s will then we can be confident in telling God at the end of the prayer “let it be” because he could grant our requests.

If you want more information on prayer, go to Matthew chapter 6 where Christ explains how to pray using what became to be known as the Lord’s Prayer. Break down each verse and mimic his style of prayer; in doing that, you can feel very confident in saying “Amen” at the end of your prayer.

Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit