7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty - He is the King of glory.
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honour come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! 34 Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor? 35 Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.
Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen.
This last phrase in The Lord’s Prayer is a doxology, a form of praise or thanksgiving. It is one of the greatest doxologies ever uttered, but interestingly enough it is not included in the original prayer in Matthew 6 or Luke 11. The fathers of the early Church added it, but they didn’t just make up the words. They
found it in Scripture, in First Chronicles. David had finished gathering all the materials for the great temple to be built in Jerusalem by his son Solomon, and he delivers this doxology which many years later was added to the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus ended The Lord’s Prayer with these words: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” But not the early Church. With the benefit of hindsight, they had a glimpse of the bigger picture. They not only experienced the crucifixion, but also the resurrection of Jesus. They knew the victory of the empty tomb, and so were inspired to end the prayer with this triumphant doxology: “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen.”
In adding this phrase at the end of The Lord’s Prayer, they reaffirmed what Jesus taught at the beginning of the prayer. “Hallowed be Thy name” is matched by “Thine is the glory.” “Thy kingdom come” is matched by “Thine is the kingdom.”
“Thy will be done” is matched by “Thine is the power.”
Dr Albert Winn was a leading figure in the Presbyterian Church in the USA, and he called the doxology in the Lord’s Prayer the Church’s great “nevertheless.” He wrote, “Yes, the world is laced with sadness. Yes, this life is bombarded by tragedy. Yes, the world is riddled with evil, famine, hunger, suffering, war, bitterness, despair and discord. Yes, Herod was a king who murdered the innocent children of Bethlehem. Yes, Nero was a king who used the early Christians as torches for his garden parties. Yes, Herod still lives today in the lives of many evil kings, leaders and rulers. Nevertheless, the Church still prays, “Thine is the kingdom.” Nevertheless. Yes, Herod was a ruler who had enormous power. Herod had the power to keep the hungry hungry; and he used that power. Yes, Pilate was a ruler who had enormous power. Pilate even had the power to crucify Jesus on the cross of capital punishment; and he used that power. Today there are still boatloads of rulers in many regions of this world who abuse their power. Nevertheless, the Church still prays, “Thine is the power.” Nevertheless. And yes, as we read the New Testament, we discover early on that Caesar Augustus reigned in great glory. And as we study the world today, we still discover rulers who reign in great glory. And we also discover athletes, and rock stars, and movie stars, and national leaders, and heroes, and all kinds of celebrities who reign in great glory. Nevertheless, due to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the Church still prays “Thine is the glory.” Nevertheless, Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.”
The prayer ends as it began. Jesus taught us to begin the prayer with praise. We are told to pray “hallowed be Thy name.” Now, we are called to rejoice in who God is and in the power He holds.
The world is full of uncertainty and turmoil, so it is such a comfort to love and serve a God who is worthy of all the praise and glory we can give Him.
As we come to the end of this series we’ll take a look at each phrase of the doxology to this prayer.
“Thine is the kingdom.”
God is sovereign. The word sovereign means “independent and holding complete power.” We often speak of God’s pre-eminence. He is over and above this world.
Of course, just one glimpse at the world and it may seem that satan and his demons are in control, but God really is over and above all of that. What we see around us is a visible, physical kingdom, dominated by fallen human beings who whether they are aware of it or not, are to all intents and purposes influenced by the forces of evil. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” What the non-believing world cannot see is that there is also an invisible, spiritual kingdom dominated by an all-powerful God - a God who is working out a perfect, eternal plan in this world, despite all of the evidence which appears to challenge that truth. But the Bible is clear that the God we serve is all-powerful and in absolute control of all things.
Just a few verses which bear out that promise: Isaiah 43:13. “From ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 46:10-11. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”
Ephesians 1:11. “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”
So while things may look like God has somehow forgotten about us or has lost control, we can know with an absolute certainty in the face of such evil, that all things are working out according to His plan. And, when the smoke settles and the dust clears, God’s will is going to stand pre-eminent and His purposes will all be brought to pass. Our God reigns and He remains on His throne for eternity. Psalm 45:6 says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever.” And Psalm 145:13, “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.”
Remember that when Jesus taught His disciples this prayer, the Roman Empire held the entire known world in its cruel and powerful grip. It stretched from the British Isles, all the way across the Mediterranean, and as far away as India. Caesar had power over every man, woman and child, yet we pray: “Thine is the kingdom.”
Oppressive, tyrannical dictatorships have come and gone, but the God of creation still rules and reigns supreme. Don’t let a lost, cynical world tell you that God is out of business or doesn’t even exist. He is on His throne and the kingdom is His. We are the ones who have given satan and evil a foothold in this world. We looked at this a couple of weeks ago: When we were created, we were given dominion over this world, but in our disobedience we sinned and gave that dominion away. Now satan, and not man, is the god of this world, but when Jesus came into this world, died on the cross and rose from the dead He redeemed – He bought back - everything we gave away. Jesus paid the price and He stripped satan of his dreams of ruling the universe. It is He – Jesus Christ, and not satan who rules supreme. And because of this, Jesus alone deserves our worship, our love, our devotion, and our allegiance.
So when we pray this prayer we acknowledge His supremacy and our own subjection to Him as our Sovereign Lord. We are acknowledging that He is our King and we are His servants. This implies that we are His and His alone. Yet, we still use the word “my” when we talk about our possessions and the other things we treasure. “My money, my job, my life, my house, my family, my church, my this and my that.” All we have and all that we are is due to the kindness, love and grace of God.
One of the things we do when we come to Him in prayer is to humble ourselves before God as we acknowledge His sovereignty in our lives and rejoice in His pre-eminence. Because He controls the kingdom, He has the authority to grant our requests.
Secondly, “Thine is the power.”
God not only reigns supreme, but He reigns in mighty power. He is almighty.
Just a few of the many verses of Scripture that proclaim His power:
Job 42:2. “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”
Psalm 62:11. “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong.”
Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
Ephesians 3:20-21. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
When we come before this almighty, all-powerful God in prayer, we can pray with confidence that He hears, simply because of who He is.
His power is eternal. His kingdom, His power and His glory are “forever.” Another of the great attributes of our God is the fact that He is immutable. This means that He is unchanging in His very nature and His being. In Malachi 3:6 He says, “I, the Lord, do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” His power today is the same as it ever has been and always will be. This is the God who invites each of us into a living and loving relationship with Him, and who invites us to seek Him out in and through prayer.
There have been some extremely powerful men throughout human history, but where are they now? You can read about them and visit their graves if you like, but it is only the powerful, almighty God of the universe who has reigned, is reigning, and will reign for all of eternity.
And thirdly, “Thine is the glory.”
Everything God is doing as He exercises His pre-eminence and His power is for His glory. Psalm 8 begins with these words: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”
Everything about God – His personality, His nature, His work, His very essence – all of these things and more, are to be honoured. We are to give Him glory. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
He does what He does so that His name will be exalted. He alone has the glory, and He alone deserves the glory.
How easily we fall into the trap of giving glory to others. We admire the rich and famous, and the sports stars who can do the things we wish that we could. There is nothing wrong with admiring exceptional talent, but how easily do these people become our heroes and idols? And of course, we always want glory for ourselves too. We take our God-given talents, but instead of using them for His glory, we try to accumulate wealth and accomplishments so that we will be admired by others. But it is God alone who deserves all the glory. Even in the so-called simple or little things we can glorify Him. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” How different would our lives be if we actually learned to do that? If we could just learn and exercise that simple truth, we would revolutionise our lives, our Churches and our praying.
Someone once said that maybe the reason so many of us struggle in our prayer lives is because we don’t take enough time to simply give God the glory He deserves. How much prayer time do we actually dedicate to just glorifying Him and thanking Him for who He is, rather than asking Him for this, that, or the other? Yes, He does give us our daily bread – Jesus Himself taught us to pray daily for God’s grace and provision in our lives, and we are to bring those things to Him in prayer, but every now and then we need to set aside self and just focus on Him. In the words of Bruce Ballinger’s worship song, “Forget about yourself and concentrate on Him and worship Him. Worship Him, Christ the Lord.”
When we hear the word ‘jealous’ we immediately think it is a negative thing, but those of you who’ve done the Truth Project will remember that when God says in Exodus 34:14 “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God,” it is a statement that proclaims His glory. In Isaiah 42:8 He says, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
He wants to move in our lives, our homes, our Churches and our world in power and for His glory, but He will only do so, when He and He alone receives all the glory.
The Bible proclaims the wonderful truth that God’s kingdom, His power and His glory are forever. This is a promise that we can rejoice in, especially when we face the troubles and hardships of this life, because we know that these things will pass. There is a wonderful prayer from the 16th century that I occasionally use at memorial services: “O Lord, support us all the daylong of this troubelous life, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work done. Then Lord, in Thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We give Him the glory that is due to His name here and now, but there is coming a time when we will give Him the glory in a place called ‘forever.’
But only those who know Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life will enter into His glory for eternity.
Are you a Christian? Are you saved? Do you know the peace and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ alone? If you are, then you already have a glimpse of His Kingdom, His power and His glory, but one day you will see and experience those things in all their fullness. You will share in His glory forever.
This great prayer closes with the word “Amen.” What does amen mean? It’s a word we’re very familiar with but what are we actually saying when we pray that word at the end of virtually every prayer we pray?
It means, ‘so be it, let it be true, I affirm this.’ Older translations of the Bible quote Jesus as saying “Verily, verily I say unto thee.” It’s the same word. “Truly, truly. Amen, amen.” It’s a proclamation and an agreement with the truth of God.
When we pray ‘amen,’ we mean ‘yes, true, let it be so.’ Paul writes this in 2 Corinthians 1:20–22. “No matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
When the last word is, ‘Amen,’ it means quite literally, “Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Yes! Truly, truly! True! Verily, verily! Let it be so! Amen and Amen!”
We end the Lord’s Prayer with a confirmation of His promises. We say, “So be it Lord. It’s going to be just as you say it will be.”
We close by going back to David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29. “Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honour come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
J Vernon McGee, in his commentary wrote, “Do these words sound familiar to you? You will recall that when the disciples asked the Lord Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them a model prayer. He took them right back here to David’s prayer. ‘Thy kingdom come’ was in the heart of David. These are words of brevity and simplicity, and they gather up the aspiration and hopes of centuries. This is one of the greatest prayers in the Scriptures and certainly in the Old Testament. It is all-comprehensive, majestic and filled with adoration, praise and thanksgiving. It repudiates all human merit and declares human dependence upon God. It reveals self-humiliation, confession, and dedication of self. It admits that all belongs to God. David recognised that the kingdom is God’s.”
The God to whom we pray is the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords. Yet He is up close and personal. That should give us reason to rejoice, even as we journey through a world that is cruel, wicked and evil. We should rejoice even as we fight our own battles in life. Prayer is about rejoicing and celebrating Jesus. We rejoice because all that is His is ours because we are His.
Homegroup Study Notes
The doxology of The Lord’s Prayer (For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory) does not appear in the original prayer as taught by Jesus in Matthew 6 and Luke 11.
2 Timothy 3:16 does teach though that all Scripture is inspired by God, so the doxology belongs in what we know as the Lord’s Prayer.
Compare David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10:13 and the opening proclamation of the Lord’s Prayer. (Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.)
Discuss the similarities between the opening and closing statements of the Lord’s Prayer.
Why is it important to both begin and end the prayer by focusing on God, rather than ourselves?
It’s been said that too often we use prayer as a shopping list or a list of our demands, yet we are taught to bring our requests to God in prayer.
How do we get the balance right?
What have you learned, and how has your prayer life changed through this series?
In which areas do you still struggle with prayer?
Close by praying that God would continue to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him by deepening your prayer life. End by praying the Lord’s Prayer together.