MEDITATIONS ON THE LORD’S PRAYER #10
“The kingdom, the power, the glory”
November 10, 2011
Reading: Matthew 6:5-15
“Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory” Matthew 6:13
What sense is there to pray unless the One to whom we pray is able to answer our petitions? The condemnation against the gods made by the hands of men has always been:
“But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; noses they have, but they do not smell; they have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat” Psalm 115:3-7.
As does the Psalmist, Jesus tells His disciples to begin their prayers by acknowledging that our Father is in heaven, and concludes with the expectation that our prayers will be heard and that He has the ability to answer.
Matthew spends a great amount of time speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven beginning with the message of John the Baptist to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matthew 3:2.
There are two things that give us confidence when we pray—God is able and willing to grant our requests. This is addressed in the words of our text: “For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,” not for a period of time, but “for ever.”
“Yours is the kingdom.” God is both Owner and Ruler of His kingdom and governs both His people and property, for He made all things out of nothing. Our Father, who is in heaven, is the Sovereign King of His kingdom, and He bids us come to His throne of grace that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need (Hebrews 4:16). He speaks and it is done, and we have this confidence that He hears us when we pray.
Our confidence is also that He has the ability to answer our petitions. Earthly kings may have the authority to grant the requests of his citizens, yet does not always have the means to make it happen. Not so with our Father, for “Yours is the power.”
There is a great difference between authority and power. Abraham knew this, for he was
“fully convinced that what He [God] had promised He was also able to perform” Romans 4:21.
“Yours is the power.” God has the power and ability to govern His kingdom, and that includes hearing and answering the prayers of His people.
“Now this is a great encouragement to us, that we go to a God that hath an absolute right, for which he is responsible to none. We go not to a servant or subordinate agent, who may be controlled by a higher power, and whose act may be disannulled; but to an absolute lord, to whom none can say, ‘What doest thou?’ Job 9:12” Thomas Manton.
We can ask nothing but what God is able to give:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21.
“Yours is the glory.” Everything God does is for His glory and honor. God will not grant our request unless His name is glorified by it. This was the driving force behind the work and ministry of Jesus: “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name" John 12:27-28, see also 13:31-32.
As God’s children, God’s glory should be the motive and goal in everything we do. If we pray for that which will enhance our own ego and agenda, we cannot expect God to answer. However, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16), then that is a different matter:
“O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your name's sake” Jeremiah 14:7.
When we pray with God’s glory the intent of our heart, we pray according to His will:
“Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake’” Ezekiel 36:22;
“For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off” Isaiah 48:9.
For every child of God, no matter what we do, our presiding goal and motive should always be the glory of our heavenly Father:
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
“We cannot empty the ocean with a nut-shell, nor comprehend the infinite God, and raise our thoughts to the vast extent of his power, only we must go to some instances of God’s power; that power that made the world out of nothing, and that power which wrought in you where there is such infinite resistance . . . Our wants are not so many but God is able to supply them; our enemies and corruptions not so strong but God is able to subdue them: Surely your heavenly Father will do what is in the power of his hand” Thomas Manton, 1620 – 1677.