Thursday, August 30, 2018

“Lord, Teach Us to Pray” (Pt. 9)

(Aug. 30, 2018)


          Have you ever asked anyone a question and the answer you received was so profound it left you speechless?  That must have been the feeling of the disciples after receiving Jesus’ answer to their request Lord teach us to pray! (Luke 11:1) 

          The prayer Jesus gave was revolutionary.  The title of Albert Mohler’s commentary on the prayer captures the essence perfectly well – The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down.  Indeed this simple, yet profound, prayer is revolutionary!  We think we know how to pray.  On one hand it seems so simple, but is not.  Praying rightly involves communicating with God from the heart, dedication of the mind and spirit, and a person truly ready to ask God for the right things.  The Lord’s Prayer is a uniquely appropriate prayer for both new believers and the most seasoned veterans of the faith.

          Last time we came to the end of the body of the prayer.  The Jews commonly added benedictions to things.  After the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer we have one such benediction.  In verse Mat. 6:13c we read “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.”  Several times throughout the Old Testament there is a long or short “Amen” or a word of praise.  The Greek word “doxa” means “praise.”  We get our word “doxology” from this word.  “The Doxology” we sing says “Praise God from whom all blessings flow . . .” What we have at the end of the Lord’s Prayer is something of a “doxology.”  The doxology found  in Mat. 6:13c almost certainly comes from 1 Chron. 29:11 which says “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chron. 29:11)  The words in Mat. 6:13c are not found in any of the earliest manuscripts of Matthew’s Gospel.  It was almost certainly added by a scribe at a later time, a couple of centuries after the originals.  Some of the translations of Scripture have it in the text, while some only in a footnote.  John MacArthur offers this perspective as he writes, “Although they may not have been in the original account, the words are perfectly fitting in this passage, and express truths that are thoroughly Scriptural.  They form a beautiful doxology, declaring the preeminence of God as seen in the greatness of His eternal kingdom, power, and glory.” (John MacArthur; New Testament Commentary; Matthew Vol. 1; 397)  Indeed what is said here is a fitting end for the prayer in much the same way we would say “Amen” after a sermon that was good and biblical as an affirmation of its truth.  We would still understand though, that the sermon itself was not being equated with Scripture.

          The concluding remarks begin by affirming that “His is the kingdom and power.”  We read in Psalm 103:19 “The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.”  It would be understood that if there was a king there would be a kingdom and if there was a kingdom there would be a king.  There is not merely “a” kingdom but a very specific kingdom – “’Thy’ Kingdom come!”  It would also be understood that being king would mean possessing power.  Like the passage in Psalm. 103 says, no one put God in charge; He was already in charge.  He rules over all.

          Next we see “His is the glory.”  Second Corinthians 3:18 says “But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  Every believer sees the glory of the Lord in the pages of Scripture and are transformed into the image of God.  Christ is the image of God.  The phrase “glory to glory” refers to an ever-growing glory as believers behold the glory of God in the Word of God, and the Spirit of God transforms them into the likeness of Jesus Christ.  What is being described here is the process of sanctification.

          The final word in verse 13 is “Amen.”  Second Corinthians 1:20 says “For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”  This means that all of God’s promises concerning Christ are true and trustworthy: a yes.  One by one we could go through every promise He has ever made and say “Lord did you mean it when you said . . .?”  And every single time the answer would be yes!  Remember “Amen” is like saying “So be it,” “yes,” “It is so,” “It is true,” “It is truth,” “It is correct,” “It is right.”  So when we tack on an “Amen” when we bear Biblical truth we are affirming that we believe what God has said.

          William Barclay writes in conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer, “And so, when we have prayed the Lord’s Prayer, we rise from our knees and go out to the world and its ways remembering the royal sovereignty of God and pledged to obedience to him, remembering the dynamic power of God and trusting in the power to answer our prayers, remembering the glory of God and living with the reverence which knows that earth is penetrated and permeated with the divine glory.” (William Barclay; The Lord’s Prayer; 112)  Indeed, it is so “Amen.”


In Christ,


Dr. Allen Raynor, Pastor

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