Jean’s Gospel:Introducing the Lord’s Prayer: For thine is the kingdom…
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”
The Lord’s Prayer concludes with this short doxology (from the Greek words doxa meaning “glory,” and logia meaning “words”). This doxology is not included in some of the oldest manuscripts of Matthew, so some modern translations omit it or place it in brackets or a footnote. However, based on the common occurrence of doxologies in both the Old and New Testaments, many commentators believe it unlikely that Jesus would have taught His prayer without concluding it with a doxology.
“The doxology with which, following the older versions, we round off the Lord’s Prayer is not in the best manuscripts. Nevertheless, it is in the best tradition! Doxologies (that is, acts of praise to God for his glory) pop up all through the Bible, and we saw before how in personal devotion praise and prayer grow out of, lead into, and stir up each other.” (J.I. Packer, Praying the Lord’s Prayer)
The tradition for including a doxology at the end of the Lord’s Prayer dates back to the late first century (see, e.g., The Didache: “for Thine is the power and the glory for ever and ever”). Therefore, I include this well-known doxology, which serves as a fitting conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer.
“They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.” (Ps 145:11-12)
Doxologies function as short hymns or prayers of praise. In the case of the Lord’s Prayer, we conclude with “For thine is the kingdom…” in thanksgiving and confidence that our Father will hear and grant our petitions.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:13-14)
God has brought us into His kingdom. It is the office of the King to protect, defend and deliver His citizens from and against all enemies, including the devil, the world and our sinful nature. Therefore, we place our trust and confidence in our friend and King, Jesus Christ, that our petitions will be heard and answered. Our Father has commanded that we petition Him with our needs and has promised to grant our requests.
“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8)
In God we have a Father with the power to grant our requests. Although our adversaries appear powerful in the eyes of the world, God holds the real power. Jesus said “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) Only God had the power to raise Jesus Christ from the dead. And He has the power to fulfill His promise to grant eternal life to His children in Christ. Therefore, we thank and praise our Father for His power with which he saves us.
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim 4:18)
We must give God the glory for blessing us with forgiveness, salvation and life because these all come from the gracious hand of God apart from any works or merit on our part. Our adoption as God’s children and right to address God as Father are due entirely to the glory of Christ revealed on the cross. By giving God the glory at the conclusion of our prayers, we place our faith and trust, not in our self, but in the faithful One: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (2 Cor 10:17)
“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” (Ps 31:5)
When offered at the end of a prayer, the word “amen” means: so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. Concluding our prayer with amen signifies that we are asking our Father for what we need with faith and trust that He will hear us and give us what we need. Prayer is not a wish, nor does it depend on our worthiness or how we are feeling. Our prayers should always flow from the command and promises of God. Regardless of how we are feeling at any moment, our amen reminds us that Christ has given us His name and His Word, and His Word will not return to Him empty. Thus, through our amen we commit our spirit to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” (1 Chron 29:11-13) Amen.
Next week I will I conclude this series on the Lord’s Prayer with a few closing thoughts
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