Summary: The Lord’s Prayer is not just something you say to God. When you pray it, it says something about you.
We come at last to the postscript of the Lord’s Prayer. And while these words do not appear in the best manuscripts of the New Testament, they surely belong in the prayer. They are in any case biblical. I hope you noticed that as we read the Old Testament lesson from 1 Chronicles 29. How can you miss hearing in the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer the echoes of David’s prayer there? “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 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 Chron. 29:10b-11). Do you hear the similarities?
So then, let’s look at this last part of the Lord’s Prayer: “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” With your permission, we will take it a word at a time.
Notice the little word “for” at the beginning of this concluding postscript. It is a causative conjunction; that is, it explains why something is so. It is so because certain other things are so. It is so that we can pray with the expectation that God will answer—why? The reason is this: because His “is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
Remember how we said there are six petitions in the Lord’s Prayer? In praying, “Hallowed be Thy name,” what have we asked of God? We have asked Him to infuse us with holy zeal for the honor of His name. In praying, “Thy kingdom come,” what have we done? We have asked Him to plant in our hearts a deep longing for His triumph over every rival. In praying, “Thy will be done,” what have we said? We have declared ourselves to be dedicated to His purposes. And that’s only the first three of the petitions. There are three more.
We ask for provision—“Give us this day our daily bread”—and then for pardon—“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”—and finally for protection—“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
And there you have it: the six petitions we direct towward God. And we do so confidently…why? Because—or, as the prayer says, “For”—“Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” This concluding postscript gives us a holy rationale for being bold in what we ask. We can ask big things because we have a big God.
Just how big is He? The conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer tells us, and it uses four words to make its point. Those four words are “kingdom,” “power,” “glory,” and “forever.” Those words just sound big, don’t they? They sound grand, and that’s because they are grand. Let’s look at each of them in turn.
First, “kingdom.” We’ve encountered this word already in the prayer. Jesus’ pattern for prayer instructs us early on to pray that the Father’s “kingdom come.” And here is this word again. “Thine is the kingdom.” What is its significance? Well, just this: It asserts God’s right to do three things. He has the right to control, to demand, and to determine. He controls every aspect of His creation: the rising of the sun and its setting; the direction of the wind and its force; the rise and fall of kingdoms and those who govern them. And the list could go on and on.
And not only is God in control; He also demands loyalty from His subjects. Of course, not everyone submits to Him at the present moment. Some say, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1; cf. 53:1). But they are fools. The Bible says as much. Others may acknowledge His existence, but they limit His ability. “The LORD does not see,” they say; “the God of Jacob does not perceive” (Ps. 94:7). And they go on doing what God has forbidden. But God asks, “He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?” (v. 9). Of course He does. And we are wise to submit to His demands.
Not only does God control all things, and not only does He demand obedience from His creatures. He also determines the course and the outcome of events. “The lot is cast into the lap,” the Bible says, “but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:33). So, when we say, “Thine is the kingdom,” we affirm that God controls all things, demands whatever He wishes, and determines the outcome of a thing even before it comes to pass. And here’s the thing: He has every right to do all this. What does Scripture say? “All authority in heaven and on earth” is whose? It is His (cf. Matt. 28:18).