My Dad once wanted to buy me a tee-shirt that said “whatever” on the front because at the time my response to anything generally consisted of the word whatever. It was an indifferent view on life. However recently I’ve learned of a different way of looking at the word whatever. Last night I heard a guy share that he says two prayers each day. The morning one is “whatever” and the evening one is “amen”. I love that! How simple and yet profound. Of course our time with the Lord can and should consist of more than two words and it doesn’t just have to be first thing in the morning and last thing at night but really these two simple words are almost the underpinnings of how we ought to consider prayer.

When Jesus was teaching a large crowd how to pray (Matthew 6: 9-13) he petitioned that the Father’s will be done; in a sense, “whatever”. And this was not an apathetic “whatever” but a surrendering “whatever”. What a wonderful way to start the day. I know I often wake up and immediately begin worrying about all that has to be done, things I have to deal with tomorrow or the week after, challenges I’m facing, how I’m going to get through situations and so on. How much easier would it be if I just said “Whatever Lord”, in every aspect of my life today, I chose to surrender my will and my control to you and I trust you. It is not a blasé surrender whereby we would expect God to do everything, we are still participators in life; it is one that chooses to allow God to be in control, one that recognises we can do anything, get through anything and face anything when we relinquish our will to God.

The Hebrew word amén when used by Jesus translates to what we read in our English versions as “truly” or “verily”. It emphasises with unwavering truth the importance of what is going to be said. When used in the epistles it comes at the end of a sentence and translates into “so let it be”. So if we are saying “amen” at the end of our day we acknowledge that what has been has been. Again this is not passive detachment to the good and bad of our day. Instead it recognises what has been, considers where we went wrong – without over analysing, without morbid dwelling on regret and without fear about tomorrow – and once again allows us to submit ourselves to God, believe in his promises and leave it at that – just amen – so let it be.

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