The Conclusion of our Prayers —
Remember when this writer said that many Presbyterian people must have been taking a sabbatical in December? Well, on this day of December 30, we conclude our substitute study on The Lord’s Prayer with the last phrase of this prayer. The last Shorter Catechism question asks, “What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer teach us?” And the answer given is “The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. teaches us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him; and in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.”
We may have a problem here. And it is this—The ending found in most of our versions usually has a footnote attached to it which indicates that it is not found in the earliest manuscripts. In fact, many Bible scholars think that some scribe who was copying a Greek manuscript simply decided that the Lord’s Prayer cut off too abruptly, so he added this phrase.
If you are one of those Christians who believe that the closest manuscript to the original is the most reliable reading, then this would be a phrase which you would not have to say, because Christ did not say it. Why didn’t our Confessional Fathers see that? Because, in writing in the mid sixteen hundreds, many of the more ancient Greek manuscripts were not yet discovered, such as the fourth century Sinaiticus. But having said all that, and pardon the Greek study, what was said was still biblical.
David in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 prayed, “So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly, and David said, ‘Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and forever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your Hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we think You, and praise Your glorious name.'”
All these are arguments to enforce our petitions. And please notice that they are all based on God, on His works of creation and redemption, on Him alone. You will find no man-made encouragements in this Old Testament text. The conclusion, whether if was truly there originally or not, is God-centered, and whether we use the specific words, or simply other words in our pleading with God, it is a right and noble conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer.
Words to live by: Our pleading with God must never be based upon our merit, of which we don’t have any in the first place anyhow, but only on the mercy of God. He and He along must receive the praise, and truly His is the kingdom or dominion. His is the power or authority. His is the glory and majesty. Amen, and amen.
Through the Scriptures: Revelation 16 – 18
Through the Standards: The certainty of judgment
“As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen”