Do We Really Mean “Amen”?

Gold Brush Stroke

Often in the reality of life, God answers our prayers with His best, not our choice. Share on X

A Prayer for Healing

“I’m scared.” My sister’s strained voice found me returning from vacation. She described a joyous time turned very wrong.

Pregnant with twins, her body was failing her and the little ones—she very sick and one baby dying in utero.
Bed rest, medicine, and prayer failed to remedy the situation.

I arrived in time to pass on a hug, and Samantha Lynn and Adam Gregory were delivered by emergency C-section July 28, 2003, at 27 weeks gestation—amazingly, both alive and my sister recovering.

For the next few weeks, Sherri and her husband Greg lived a roller coaster existence. The long days and nights in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) weighed heavy on them. The seesaw/dichotomy of news—especially for their little man—never gave them rest.

Prayer warriors stormed the heavens for Samantha and Adam, beseeching God to work His miracles and strengthen their little bodies as well as the parents’. The prayers, each punctuated by a sure Amen, appeared to be answered. 

Nurses moved the sweet girl out of the critical ward and the tiny guy (born just 11 1/2 ounces, 9 3/4 inches long) celebrated with a “pound party.”

Then all went wrong and our hearts grew heavy with grief. Three and a half weeks after Adam’s traumatic birth, we said tearful good-byes to a precious babe held long in our hearts but so briefly in our arms.

in Him is our Amen

On the Other Side of Amen

We prayed for healing, and like all “good” Christians, we also prayed for God’s will to be done. For some reason, God chose not to heal Adam, but to bring him Home instead. And we were left in the aftermath of our Amen.

“Amen.” A Hebrew word meaning verily or truly. At the end of sentences it may be paraphrased as “so let it be” (Strong’s Concordance). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds the definitions of “so it is,” “so be it,” and “may it be fulfilled.”

In other words, Amen is our affirmation of what is being said or prayed. In faith we believe, accept and adopt His promises and truth for our own.

Amen to Adam’s healing? Yes!

But Amen to His death? How can we say “let it be so” to that?

Our prayers for Adam were not answered the way we wanted. We wanted to bring that baby home. To love him and cherish him and watch him grow.

Yet in God’s sovereignty, He chose something different. Not our choice, but somehow His best. 

What do we do with that? How do we process such a hard thing?

By faith we declare Amen to God’s will! Let His plan be. So be His truth. May His promises be fulfilled.

But when circumstances suck the breath right out of us, do we really mean it?  

By faith we declare Amen to God’s will! But when circumstances suck the breath right out of us, do we really mean it? Share on X

“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Reflections: What does it mean to walk in “Amen” in the hard times of life?

I’m excited to continue recording blessings this year. Since beginning over 3 years ago, I’ve counted nearly 4,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! So here we go in 2015: #3975–3995, read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Light cool rain splashing my legs as I swing and write; Joey’s help as my assistant; Successful brainstorming session for my book title!
  • Young fawn looking to hide; Afternoon weeding my garden; Moths flocking to the hummingbird feeder
  • Energetic for my morning wog; Arranged short visit to my mother-in-law’s; Rach and the little red wagon (and kitty)
  • Cherry picking; Grandma time; Finalizing plans for the weekend
  • Watching does and fawns slip through the undergrowth to hide; Disturbing turkey in my morning wog; Incredibly engaging gentleman helping with Rachel’s intake into a day hab program
  • 21 years of being a mom; Celebrating Danny’s bday with him in Des Moines; Tour of the State Capitol, nice supper, & ending with the perfect sunset
  • Unusual but inspiring worship service with the whole gang; Father’s Day pizza in the park; Meeting Danny’s super nice summer host mother


By His Grace,



  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on June 22, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Julie: This is such a tender subject. We pray to God,asking Him for what we want. He answers with what we need. It’s as if we are taught to pray for what we want but then we give God the ‘go ahead’ to do His Will. I remember praying for healing for my uncle but God took him instead. I was ANGRY with God. A coworker explainded to me. God is sovereign. He does what He sees as best. The ‘AMEN’ gives us the experience of giving the problem over to Him, letting Him do what He can with it.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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