The Doxology of the Lord’s Prayer
Today we come to the end of our series, “Teach us how to pray” from the Lord’s Prayer. This final petition is found only in the King James Version of the Bible. Matthew 6:13.
“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen”
As such, many translations handle this portion of Scripture in different ways. For example, the New American Standard Bible places these words in brackets. The English Standard Version and New International Version omit this part of the verse altogether. For our purposes, however, we will consider these concluding words to the Lord’s Prayer as a part of the biblical text.
These concluding words are quite an appropriate ending to the Lord’s Prayer, and in keeping with other passages of the Bible, which end in a similar way. This ending is commonly referred to as the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer. The word doxology comes from the Greek doxa, which means glory or praise. So it is fitting that the Lord’s Prayer ends with an expression of praise and glory to God.
When we look at the biblical parallels, we notice a doxology form in the context of worshipping and praising God.
Although God with-held from King David the privilege of building the temple, David was able to get the ball rolling for his son, Solomon, to whom this privileged task was given. After the officers and leaders of the families volunteered their labor and consecrated themselves to the task, David offered the following doxology (1 Chron.29:11-13), which closely parallels the Lord's Prayer:
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and
the power and the glory and the victory
and the majesty, for all that is in heavens
and in the earth is yours.
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and
you are exalted as head above all.
But 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.
Then, in Revelation 5:12-14, we learn of John’s vision of scores of every creature in the heavenly choir and on earth worshipping and praising God and Christ the Lamb, singing:
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!”
And the four living creatures said, “Amen!”
And the elders fell down and worshipped.
As you can see, the language of both of these biblical doxologies are very similar to the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer and, like the Lord’s Prayer, emphasise worshipping and praising God.
I want to share with you what the German theologian Jorgen Moltmann had to say about these words:
This hymn of praise to God’s glory is not sung today in a world without God, but rather in a world where people and powers make gods out of themselves.”
People don’t deny there is a God, Moltmann said. They just don’t want to share power, or glory with God! Moltmann went on to say, that many, including Christians, are more apt to say,
• Mine is the kingdom Lord, not yours,
• Mine is the power, not yours
• And the glory belongs to no one but me, Lord!
When we pray this prayer or declare: “Thine IS the Kingdom... Thine IS the Power... Thine IS the Glory”, we’re admitting that we’re not self-sufficient. We are declaring that all Kingdoms belongs to Him, all powers belongs to Him and all glories belongs to Him
• THINE IS THE KINGDOM
There is a tremendous battle taking place in the spiritual realm. This conflict began long ago when Lucifer rebelled against God. There is this conflict of light versus darkness, good versus evil. There is that which represents the interests of God, and there is that which represents another interest, an alien interest, something that is absolutely opposed to the Will, Plan, and Purpose of God - it is Antichrist, opposed to Christ. It refuses to submit itself to the preeminence and sovereignty of God.
This spirit of Antichrist is active today. It is at work in the world, and it is at work in the Church, and it is at work within each one of us individually, trying to draw us out into something - anything - other than Christ. Hence the Lord's need for believers to rise up and demonstrate that in spite of all appearances to the contrary, THE LORD JESUS REIGNS, and He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. If the Lord does not have the preeminence in us as individual disciples, if we remain unsurrendered to Him in our own lives, how can the Church as a whole ever hope to bear His Testimony to the world? This is a critical point.
In spite of nation rising up against nation, kingdom rising up against kingdom, political tumults and global confusion, and the pandemic "THINE IS THE KINGDOM - Your Throne is everlasting, Your Kingdom is established. This Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His throne endures forever. This is a Kingdom made without hands, invisible, but filling the whole earth one disciple at a time.
The circumstances around us may look like other kingdoms are in charge. There is another kingdom operating in this world every day, in every place, at every time. It’s a forever kingdom.
Thine IS the kingdom,... not was, or will be, but is, right now, right here, right in the midst of the Roman Empire, Nazi Germany, the British Empire, Indian politics, or any other human-made empire. “THINE is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,...” in the midst of all evil, pain and suffering. In the midst of this pandemic.
• THINE IS THE POWER
Further, Jesus taught His disciples that when they pray, they should declare that “the power” belongs to God. The definite article defines the infinite scope of His sovereignty. He possesses not a mere portion of some power, but the power. That is to say, He has all power in heaven and on earth. All that God’s supreme will chooses to do, He has the omnipotence to execute it fully. Nothing can hinder the free exercise of His sovereign pleasure.
The only legitimate power in the universe belongs to God and the Lord Jesus Christ - all other power is either illegitimate or temporal. If THE power belongs to Him, then it cannot belong to anyone else. Jesus says, All authority [power] has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18).That is a very broad statement, is it not? Absolute power over all of creation!
Jesus has both the authority and the power. Whether He is teaching, or speaking, or rebuking, or remaining silent, we at once know that we are in the presence of One Who has the authority of God in Him. And, when we see Him heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils, we know that this Man also has the Power of God in Him. Who is like unto Him!
This is the sort of power that can arrest Saul of Tarsus and transform him into Paul the apostle. This same Paul, who has touched upon this mighty power, prays that we would be given wisdom and revelation to know “the exceeding greatness of His Power toward us who believes” (Ephesians1:19a).
This is an age of power. It is an age of jet planes, rockets for outer space, and nuclear warheads. In a world in which men (and devils) wrestle for dominion, fight for position, seek preeminence for themselves, strive to exert their influence over others, and lust for more and more control over one another.
But in this age of power, it has become the age of powerlessness for the church.
I’m reminded of Thomas Aquinas who entered the place where the Pope was counting the money. Thinking he had entered at a time when he should not have, he turned to walk away. But the Pope saw him and said, “Sir Thomas, no longer can the church say, “Silver and gold have I none.’” Without even turning to look back, Thomas Aquinas said, “That is right, your Holiness, but no longer can the church say to the impotent (lame) man, “Rise and walk.’”
This is an age of powerlessness, and yet, Jesus said to his disciples, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you….” (Acts 1:8)
As a church today, we need power which was promised to us through the Holy Spirit, which is the gospel. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes….” So that the Kingdom of God be established on earth and His name be glorified. Because Thine is the Glory.
• THINE IS THE GLORY
The Bible speaks of God’s glory in two ways. His intrinsic glory is the revelation of all that God is. It is the sum total of all His divine perfections and holy attributes. There is nothing that man can do to add to the intrinsic glory of God. He is who He is. Additionally, there is God’s ascribed glory, which is the glory that is given to Him. This is the praise and honor due His name. Such glory is to be ascribed to Him alone.
Here, at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, we find Christ referencing ascribed glory. In direct response to His vast sovereignty and unlimited power, all glory must be rendered to Him. In essence, such a high theology produces a high doxology. It is only fitting that this God, who is so awesome, be adorned in prayer.
All things are for the glory of God! This driving passion was the very heartbeat of the Lord Jesus Christ, the highest aim He sought, the loftiest goal He pursued. All things in life and ministry, He taught, are to be solely for the glory of God.
Nowhere is this God-centered focus more clearly evidenced than in what Christ taught regarding prayer. To this end, all intercession before the throne of God must begin and end with resounding praise to Him. The Alpha and Omega of prayer must be for the glory of God.
Unfortunately, prayer today has often devolved into a self-centered pursuit that is fueled by the fulfilling of one’s indulgences. This “prosperity gospel” has diminished prayer into nothing more than a “name it and claim it” shopping excursion. In this abuse of privileged access, God’s glory is all too forgotten.
But as Jesus Christ taught His disciples, the primary focus of prayer is to hold fast upon the supreme glory of God. As our Lord gave instruction regarding how to pray, He was clear in teaching us to ascribe all glory to God. Everything must yield to the glory of God! In John 15:7-8, Jesus tells his disciples : “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified…”
All of this might run counter to a church which is so worldly that believers become "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud..., lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim.3:1-5). We even have high priests of the new gospel. Robert Schuller, for instance, declares that “The Reformation erred in its insistence that theology be God-centered rather than man-centered” and said that its notion of sin is “insulting to the human being” (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation,p.65). The glory has left the church because the Gospel has left the church or has been dismissed. It is not because God has been "ejected" from the church, but because his name, his kingdom, his power, and his glory, have been replaced with our own agendas, priorities, goals, and self-glorifying interests.
Today you and I are to glorify Him. Jesus said:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
And Paul said:
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
That is the chief business of a Christian. Some will say that soul-winning is the Christian’s chief end. No, that is secondary. To glorify God is our primary business as a professing Christian. As Westminster confessions state, “the chief end of men’s life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”
Let me ask you this morning, are you living for His glory or for your glory? Are you doing your job or work for his glory or for yours?
Jesus was the greatest example and model for us to follow… “even to the point of death, even death on a cross” all for His glory.
All prayer should build and rise to this lofty summit. We should conclude by fervently affirming that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong exclusively to Him forever. Our only response must resoundingly be — amen!