Well actually, that's a lie:) I say "Amen" a lot!
It really isn't as spiritual a word as you would think. Do you even know what it means? Well...let me tell you:) It means "So be it."
When I am having the kids repeat simple instructions to me I like to add it on the end to lighten the mood like this: "Rainy say, 'Mommy...I will...put my trash away...from my snack...after I eat it...because it shows you...that I love you...by cleaning up after myself...AMEN!' " or "Zeke say, 'I will...lift both seats...on mommy's potty...BEFORE I pee...so I don't peepee on it...because that shows you...that I love you...AMEN!' " or "Alethia say, 'Mommy, I will...not throw...Zeekies animals...on the floor...during naptime...because you say not to...and that will show you...that I love you...by obeying...AMEN!' " or "Cai say, 'Mommy...I will not...tackle Zeke (or Alethia or Areyna)...to get my toy back...because that...does not...show them...that I love them...AMEN!' " or "Jude say, "Mommy...I will...not grow up...anymore...because I want to obey you...AMEN!' ".
You get the picture:)
But for some reason, when I say Amen at the end of a prayer or after my morning quiet time it seems so final. So, I began just ending my prayer with "...in your name I pray..." and leaving it open ended. Quite honestly it would drive me crazy in any other area in my life to keep something like this so open ended, but for some reason this just feels right.
I want to include God in every thought and action of mine throughout the day. Not that saying AMEN means that you don't do this...but for me, by not saying "amen" helps me grasp the concept that my Christianity isn't just a religious section of my life, but a LIFESTYLE! It doesn't just happen during certain times in the day (morning quiet time, before meals, before bedtime, etc.). I want to be in constant communion with God. I want to pray without ceasing. My OCD tendencies make me feel as though I need to start every prayer with, "Dear Heavenly Father" but if I can grasp that He is listening to every thought during my day I feel as though I'm staying on the same page and He can hear the small prayers I utter throughout the day for people who come to mind or situations which seem like they are spiraling out of control.
Maybe it's just me, but I like to know that I have the freedom to pray like this.
What have you found to be helpful in your prayer time?