Where were you on October 28, 1965?

It was a monumental day. Literally. On that day, the final 10-ton piece—the keystone—was lowered into place at the very top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. That last piece marked the completion of the 630-foot-tall monument, standing near the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, as the iconic symbol of “The Gateway to the West.”

A fun insider fact that some people don’t know is that, before placing the keystone at the top of the Arch, a time capsule, containing over 700,000 signatures, was welded inside it. Nearly three-quarters of a million St. Louisans, including schoolchildren, affixed their signatures inside that last piece as if to add to the Arch’s bold statement a benediction of their own … their “Amen.”

A keystone is the central stone placed at the top of a curved arch. This wedge-shaped piece, sometimes decoratively carved, is the focal point—the apex—of the arch. Ancient Roman arches have been known to stand intact for centuries—often well beyond other structures of the same age. How? The keystone is the key. It is the most important stone—placed last—that lends stability to the entire structure as it locks all the other stones of the arch into place, even without mortar. Without the keystone, the arch would collapse. That’s why this word “keystone” is also used figuratively to mean the most important part of anything, or the one thing upon which everything else depends.

It’s the last word. Like the signature and seal of affirmation at the end of a document, without which the document could be considered null and void.

And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:6 KJV)

The last word added at the end of every prayer is the “Amen.” It is the heart’s full consent—its seal—to the prayer’s petition and purpose.

The “Amen” is the KEYSTONE of our prayer—the final affirmation that locks every plea in place and points the prayer heavenward.

Why is the Church’s AMEN so important when a message is delivered? It confirms God’s WORD to His people and seals His message in our hearts. With our AMEN we say, “God said it! I receive it! So be it!!”

God designs, directs, and builds the structure of our lives according to His perfect Will, whether it be a long epoch or a short story—a triumph or tragedy—a towering success or minor victory. He is the Author, the Designer, the Master Architect, but WE turn, and return, His work in us into a PRAYER—a monument of praise back to HIM … with our AMEN“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. AMEN.” (Jude 25 KJV)

PRAYER:  Dear LORD, to Your Will … I say, AMEN! To Your Way … AMEN! To Your Word … AMEN!! To You, all authority, blessing, and power for ever and ever! In Your name, Jesus … AMEN and AMEN!!


Barbara Hilderbrand and husband, Derrald, live in Wausau, Wisconsin. They’ve served in various ministerial roles within the UPCI over the past fifty years – pastoring in Illinois, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Global Missions’ Europe/ME region. Barb also served in Ladies Ministries in Alaska and Wisconsin. They now eagerly await their next assignment and/or the NEXT stamp on their passports. She also posts devotions and articles regularly on her website: BarbHilderbrand.com.