Today’s Scripture – September 23, 2016

Matthew 6:33b “For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.”

Even though these words don’t appear in the earliest manuscripts that we have, they are entirely in keeping with the tenor of the whole prayer.  Also, as a traditional ending to many Jewish prayers for long ages, these words were very likely on the lips of Jesus as He closed out most, if not all, of His prayer times.

These words draw the focus away from the pray-er and back to God, the one that we are praying to, acting almost like a bookend to the recognition of who God is at the beginning of the prayer.  And it recognizes three different facets of His character and His rule.

  • Yours is the kingdom. The kingdom of God or, as Matthew prefers, the kingdom of heaven, is God’s kingdom.  It is composed of all people everywhere who recognize and submit to His rule in our lives.  As such, it is a borderless kingdom, including people all around the world, everyone who has come into relationship with Him through repentance and in the finished work of Jesus, and who live in fellowship with Him through obedience to His commands.  A key reason that Jesus came to earth was to bring the reality of God’s kingdom to the people of the world, and to make a way for us to participate in it.
  • Yours is the power. In this model prayer, Jesus recommends several petitions.  Implicit in those recommendations is the understanding that God can do whatever we are asking of Him.  Nothing is too hard for God.  He called the entire universe into existence with the word of His mouth.  So when we are instructed to ask Him for help in making His kingdom a reality, for provision of daily bread, for forgiveness of sin, and for deliverance from temptation and the power of the enemy, we can do so with the clear knowledge that He absolutely does have the power to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine (cf. Ephesians 3:20).
  • Yours is the glory forever. God’s glory is a combination of His imminence and His transcendence.  His imminence describes His presence with us, in the lives and hearts of all of His people.  That presence empowers us to live powerful, effective, even miraculous lives, just as Jesus did.  In Jesus all of God’s glory was clearly seen (John 1:14).
    God’s transcendence recognizes the fact that even though God is actively present in His creation, He is at the same time separate from it, existing outside of time and space, and ruling over all of creation without being a part of it or restricted by its natural laws.

Amen is the final petition, meaning, “May it be so.”  It serves as a period (in some cases as an exclamation point!) that shows our faith that we have asked correctly, and that God has heard and will answer.

Father, help me to pray these words, and to worship You every time I come to You in prayer.  Such short, simple words, but they will help me to keep my world right-side up, with You always at the very top.  Amen.

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