Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
It may come as a surprise to find that most modern translations (e.g. NIV, NLT, ESV) do not include the last line of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew’s Gospel. Most scholars now think that it wasn’t in the original manuscript. Whether you agree with this or not we certainly ought to concur that the concluding line is true, apt, and biblical. In 1 Chronicles 29 King David prays
10 “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 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.”1 Ch 29:10–11
The concluding line of the Lord’s prayer reminds us powerfully of three things which belong to the Lord, and three reasons to praise him.
HIS IS THE KINGDOM
In a world where things often seem so chaotic and unjust, isn’t this good to know? The King is still ruling, still reigning, still bringing his purposes to pass whether we see and understand it or not. One of the roles of a King in the ancient world was to judge. The King was the supreme judge, the highest authority. And our King, likewise, will judge. He will never make a mistake as he sees and understands all things as they truly are. And yet, he is the King of Love- who offers forgiveness to all who call on the name of Jesus Christ. All who trust in him will be found innocent and welcomed into the eternal Kingdom of God with open arms.
HIS IS THE POWER
Again this is good news! It has been said that power tends to corrupt, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This may be true in relation to sinful men, but God is utterly, eternally good. And so we rejoice that such power belongs to him. It is in safe hands! All power belongs to him. Little wonder then Scripture tells us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). He is almighty and he is sovereign, all power and authority is his.
He also desires to entrust something of his power to his people. We ought to see something of God’s strength working in our weakness. It is the Spirit’s power (the Greek word is dunamis from which we get ‘dynamite’) that enables us to play our part in the fulfilling of the great commission.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8
However hard we work, our efforts are in vain if the very power of God is not working in us and through us. Let’s pray we would see a powerful work of God in our day.
HIS IS THE GLORY
The word for ‘glory’ originally meant ‘weight’. To speak of God is to speak of weighty matters. To speak of glory, is to speak of the weight of God’s worth. So much of our lives (and truth be told, of our prayer lives) are centred on very small “light” things. But in God we have supreme substance. Though this benediction comes at the end of our prayer it is a great reminder as to how we are to approach God- he is, in Christ, ‘our Father’ and so we come with confidence before his throne of grace “so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:16). And yet he is also the Sovereign, Almighty King of glory who reigns over all, so we approach with reverence, humility and awe.
Finally, these words also ought to be a reminder as we close our prayer and enter back into the world that all we do should be for God’s glory. That is to say, that all our words and deeds should point to how glorious, how weighty and how wonderful he is.
‘ “Our Father who is in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.