Here is the riddle:
There is a ‘Community’ inhabited by people of all ages and diverse sociocultural backgrounds. Members of the ‘Community’ meet from time to time in small as well as large groupings. As part of their collective activities at such meetings, they prepare petitions, which are sent to the ‘Central Government’ for consideration. The petitions address a variety of matters that range from individual and collective needs and circumstances to wider local, national, and international issues. In addition to the collective petitions, the ‘Community’ also encourages its members to prepare individual petitions in their own time and send same to the ‘Central Government’.
The ‘Central Government’ is well known for its power, authority and influence, which stretches across national and international borders, from the West to the East, and from the North to the South. Such is the generosity of the ‘Central Government’ that it even encourages and invites petitions from every one irrespective of their sociocultural affiliations and status. The ‘Central Government’ even declares in its ‘manifesto’ that it’s willing and ready to listen to, receive and consider every petition.
However, over time, the ‘Central Government’ has noticed, that the petitions that are frequently sent to it from the ‘Community’ tend to bear only very few member’s ‘signatures’ even though many more members have their names listed under each petition. The ‘Central Government’ is very concerned about the disproportionately few ‘signatures’ that are often appended to the petitions, as this could potentially keep the petitions in long queues and thereby delay reply from the ‘Central Government’.
The ‘Central Government’ reveals its concern to a member of the ‘Community’ with a view to instructing the members about the fundamental significance of appending in BOLD their individual ‘signatures’ to each petition.
The following is the interpretation of the riddle:
- The ‘Community’ referred to above is the congregation of Christians [the worldwide church of Christ]
- The petitions are the prayers we offer as a congregation and as individuals.
- The ‘Central Government’ is our loving and faithful God in all His Glory and Majesty, whose dominion and power stretches beyond the Heavens and from one end of the Universe to the other.
- The ‘manifesto’ is the Holy Bible.
- The ‘signature’ is the Amen we say in response to the prayers we send to God.
What is the message inherent in this riddle?
- That our God is considerate and generous, and waiting to hear from us at any time through our prayers and He is never tired of our prayers.
- The emphasis on prayer as a mode of communication with God.
- That when we pray either individually or collectively, we should remember to boldly and resoundingly append our signature, that is, the AMEN at the end of our prayers.
Why do we need to say AMEN loud and clear at the end of our prayers?
- The word AMEN variously means: “so be it”, Let it be so”, “truly”, “verily”, and “let our request be granted”.
- AMEN is a declaration and an affirmation of the faith we have in the prayer that we offer to God, that the prayer has been delivered and it’s been processed by God. Hence, a prayer that is without AMEN is like an impassioned letter or application that bears no the signature of the writer or applicant. Such a document will, in all probabilities, either be returned to the sender unprocessed or thrown away.
- Such is the spiritual significance of AMEN that even Paul the Apostle ended all his thirteen Epistles with AMEN. Similarly, in The Book of Revelation, with twenty two  chapters, there are ten  instances where AMEN is mentioned. Also of significance, is that the last word in the Bible is AMEN. The Holy Bible ends with AMEN.
- In Deuteronomy 27, we are instructed that, “All the people shall say AMEN”, attesting with faith that the pronouncements made are true and definite.
- AMEN reaffirms the covenant between God and His people, that “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loosen on earth will be loosen in Heaven. Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there in their midst [Matthew 18: 18-20].
Another word of equal spiritual significance is HALLELUYAH [also spelt HALLELUJAH or ALLELUIA]. It means, “Praise the Lord” or “bless the Lord”. It is an acclamation of the greatness of God and an acknowledgment, and thanksgiving for all that God has done and continued to do, and will do even in the future for His people. It is a word that is meant to be said with a loud voice and resounding ‘echo’. Like AMEN, the power and healing effect of HALLELUYAH is immeasurable.
Revelation 19: 4 states: “And the twenty four elders and four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, AMEN! ALLELUIA!”
Revelation 19: 6 states: “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, ALLELUIA! For the Lord, God Omnipotent reigns.”
Revelation 19:1 states: “After these things, I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in Heaven, saying, Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honour and power belong to the Lord our God.”
In the light of the foregoing, let us as a congregation or individual Christian believers, remember to shout loud and clear, our AMEN, after the prayers that we offer to God. Similarly, when we hear, witness or experience God’s wonderful deeds, let us praise Him with our shout of resounding HALLELUYAH.