As this series explores the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase, we consider what each petition means and how to apply it to our own lives. A powerful tool for shaping how we think about God, ourselves, and the world, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to pray and leads us into a deeply meaningful way of talking to and hearing from the Lord.
“For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.”
The Lord’s Prayer ends like it begins, with praise to God. In the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, we named God (our Father) and praised God (hallowed be your name). At the end of the Lord’s Prayer, we praise God again. We name God’s greatness by stating that all things belong to God. This final line of the Lord’s Prayer is a doxology, which means something that gives praise or adoration to God.
“The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours”
By declaring that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong to God, we are naming specifically that God is the creator of all things. We recognize that God is sovereign and rules over all things, and that nothing can happen without God’s knowledge. And we attribute all glory and honor to God alone. This is no small thing, since, as people, we often want to be the ones who create, who hold power, and who receive the glory, the accolades, the praise. We praise God by actively naming that the very things we often desire rightly belong to God alone.
We also acknowledge that God holds the power to do everything we just prayed about in the preceding lines of the Lord’s Prayer: bring God’s kingdom to earth, provide for our daily needs, forgive our sins, and deliver us from evil. Why do we need to raise these things with God? Because God is able to answer prayers and to do in the world what we cannot.
“Now and forever. Amen.”
An ancient hymn the church continues to sing proclaims, “as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.” We are adding our voice to that refrain when we say “now and forever.” All of these things belong to God now, just as they always have and always will. God is faithful and constant. The characteristics of God have not and will not change. So we can trust that the God who provided for Abraham and Isaac, the God who sent Jesus into the world and raised him from the dead, and the God we are praying to today, is one and the same God, and will be the same for all time.
If you look at the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4, Jesus doesn’t teach this final phrase. The New King James Version includes it in Matthew, but it was not part of the earliest Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It was likely added because historically this doxology had become part of the Catholic liturgy, and it came closely after the “Our Father,” known to most Protestants as the Lord’s Prayer. Even though it isn’t included in the earliest Greek manuscripts of the Scriptures, Protestant Christians have included this line as part of the Lord’s Prayer since the 1600s. This beautiful doxology points us to the truth of who God is once again and gives God praise.
As you meditate on this doxology, consider what it means for “the kingdom, the power, and the glory” to belong to God. What does it mean in your life for God to have the power and for God to get the glory?
Read the rest of the Lord’s Prayer series
- Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
- First petition: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”
- Second petition: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven”
- Third petition: “Give us this day our daily bread”
- Fourth petition: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”
- Fifth petition: “Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil”
Terry DeYoung serves the Reformed Church in America as coordinator for Disability Concerns. The AIM of Disability Concerns is to create accessible, inclusive, and missional churches where everybody belongs and everybody serves. If you’d like to support this kingdom-focused work, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephanie Soderstrom is coordinator for Short-term Mission for the Reformed Church in America. You can connect with her by email at email@example.com.