Monday, January 23, 2023

For Thine Is the Kingdom

Question 107: What doth the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer teach us?
Answer: The conclusion of the Lord's Prayer, which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen. teacheth us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him; and, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen. (WSC)
If you open your Bible to Matthew 6:13, you may or might not see this conclusion to the prayer in the text depending on what translation you are using. This conclusion is not in some early Greek manuscripts of the Bible, some of the church fathers do not include it when discussing the Lord’s Prayer, and Jerome did not include it in his Latin translation of the Bible. But it is in most of the Greek manuscripts as well as the Didache (an early church manual from around AD 90) and it is an expected end to a prayer. I think either (1) it is original but accidentally got dropped from a few manuscripts, or (2) the prayer was designed with the expectation that a doxology would be used at the end, and this one was adapted from Scripture (1 Chron. 29:11-12, 2 Tim. 4:18) and put to the prayer very early on, and that it was included in biblical manuscripts because due to its widespread use it was thought to be original. In either case, it is fitting and biblical in content.

This conclusion is a doxology, an expression of praise to God. It declares that he reigns, he is all-powerful, and he is glorious, eternally. Therefore he deserves to be reverenced and obeyed, and therefore he is able to help and deliver us.

This conclusion teaches us to rest upon God alone in prayer. He is our confidence. We make our petitions resting upon his power and goodness. It also teaches us to praise him in our prayers. Not only are we to confess our sins and make our requests known to God, but we are also to give him glory. We are to thank him for all his benefits. We are to praise him for all his excellencies. “Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:2)

God is sovereign over all and deserves praise and service from his creation. He is also our Father who cares for us. Therefore we we draw near to him, that we might glorify God and enjoy him, both now and forever. And to commit to the words of our prayer, witnessing to our sincere desire to be heard and our assurance that we will be heard, we say, “Amen.”

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