“For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.” [Matthew [6:13]*, NIV]
This ending of The Model Prayer is a doxology: an expression of praise to God. The doxology brings the prayer full circle, beginning and ending with God’s kingdom.
FOOTNOTES AND BRACKETS
Take a moment and read Matthew [6:13] in your Bible. Unless you have a King James Version, you may be in for a surprise: this doxology appears in a footnote (GNT, NIV, RSV) or is placed in brackets (The Voice). The reason is that this ending to the Lord’s Prayer isn’t in the oldest manuscripts. Scholars disagree about exactly when the doxology was added, but most agree it didn’t appear until at least two hundred years after the earliest manuscript we possess of the gospels. Footnotes and brackets aside, most Christians pray this ending.
An assertion of everything Jesus showed us, the doxology brings the Lord’s Prayer full circle.
The kingdom: When Pilate questioned Jesus about his kingdom, Jesus replied that his kingdom did not belong to this world. As Christians, we live in this world, but we do not belong to this world. (John [17:16])
The power: Throughout his ministry, Jesus used his power to heal. When the unnamed woman who suffered bleeding for twelve years touched his cloak, Jesus felt power go out of him (Luke [8:43]-48). As Christians, we know God’s power heals.
The glory: After Crucifixion came Resurrection. After shame, glory. As Christ’s followers, we say with joy, “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son” (John [1:14], GNT).
Forever: We think of forever as being the future, but forever goes back to the Beginning, back to when the Word was with God and the Word was God. (John 1:1). And forever is now. Now is the kingdom. Now is the power. Now is the glory.
Matthew 6:9 begins [Jesus said,] “Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this…” Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to recite the prayer he gave them; he gave it as an example of how to pray. The Model Prayer begins by praising God and promising to do everything we can to bring about God’s kingdom. Then it covers our needs—physical (food), emotional (forgiveness—receiving and giving), and spiritual (to be protected from evil). As you follow the Model Prayer, apply the petitions to your own life today.
- What do I have to praise God for today?
- What can I do today to bring about a bit of God’s kingdom?
- What do I need to get through today?
- How did I sin yesterday?
- What wrongs done to me am I carrying around today?
- What tests do I face today?
- What evil do I need to be protected from today?