Monday, May 23, 2011

So be it

I didn't know what "amen" meant, or even really thought much about it, until I was in French class as an undergrad at UT. I don't remember why it came up but the professor mentioned that at the end of a prayer, you say, "Ainsi soit-il". I translated the French to English and figured out that ainsi soit-il means "so be it". (That, by the way, is what amen also means in English.)

I found it interesting that everytime we pray, we end by saying "so be it". We are affirming that this really is what we want.

Prayer is a very powerful tool for Christians. In Luke, chapter 11, Jesus tells us to ask for what we want or need and says we will receive. Now, I don't think we always get exactly what we pray for - the other part of that section from the 11th chapter of Luke states this: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

God isn't going to give us things that are bad for us, just like we don't give our children things that are bad for them, even if they really, really want them.

So, while we pray for all sorts of things (from a cure for a dying family member to a parking space at the mall), are there things that we should be praying for?

I think the Lord's Prayer, as taught by Jesus to his disciples, is a good template for us. Jesus tells us we are to do the following:
1) See God as a heavenly father who cares for us
2) Desire God's will to be done above our own
3) Ask God to take care of our earthly needs (not wants - needs!)
4) Ask God for forgiveness and take care to forgive others
5) Ask God to protect us and give us the wisdom to make good choices
6) Remember that the world and everything in it belongs to God

When we pray like that, I think we can definitely say 'so be it' at the end of our prayers.


“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened." - Luke 11: 9-10