Summary: In the close of the model prayer, the Lord Jesus teaches us the what, how and why of living for the King.
INTRODUCTION: Having attended a Catholic grade school, I did not realize that Catholics and Protestants used two different versions of the Lord’s Prayer. I discovered this is an unusual way. After finishing elementary school, I attended a public high school and played on the football team. Before the kick-off of our first game, we all gathered in a group to pray. The coach led us in the Lord’s Prayer. After we finished saying, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”, I was done, but everybody else kept praying, “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever, amen.” I thought, “What was that!” It wasn’t until after I was saved, that I learned that Catholics used the Lord’s prayer as recorded in Luke’s Gospel and that Protestants use it as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel.
I also must confess that I did not really grasp the significance of this phrase, “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever, amen”, until recently. In the past 3-4 years, God has been teaching me the importance of the Kingdom and what it means to live for the King. The summary statement at the close of the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6:13 answers the “What, How and Why” of Kingdom living.
I. “Yours is the Kingdom” answers the “What” of Life’s purpose; I acknowledge God’s pre-eminence
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:13 NKJV
It is healthy for me to be reminded often that God is not interested in building my kingdom, He is interested in His kingdom! The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, learned this the hard way. Remember, Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king. God used Nebuchadnezzar to judge His people. The king began to be a little full of himself.
28All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30The king spoke, saying, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?
31While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.
33That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.”
Daniel 4:28-33 NKJV
What if God operated that way today with every politician, entertainer, businessman, professional athlete, and, dare I even say it, minister who thought the Kingdom was about them?
Finally, Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses.
34And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: