Day 9 | The Lord’s Prayer
Welcome to St Johns Papatoetoe Studies. During Holy Week, we examined portions of our confession relating to the Lord’s Prayer. This connected us to an historic faith rooted in the word of God.
We conclude the study with the following question:
What doth the Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
IThe Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, (which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.) teacheth us to enforce our petitions with arguments, which are to be taken, not from any worthiness in ourselves, or in any other creature, but from God; and with our prayers to join praises, ascribing to God alone eternal sovereignty, omnipotency, and glorious excellency; in regard whereof, as He is able and willing to help us, so we by faith are emboldened to plead with Him that He would, and quietly to rely upon Him, that He will fulfil our requests. And, to testify this our desire and assurance, we say, Amen. Larger Catechism, 196
The Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer are the words: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” This conclusion is sometimes referred to as the doxology of The Lord’s Prayer.
Doxology is a term we use to express God usually liturgically, that is, in corporate worship. It means glory or splendour. The word itself goes back to the 4th century. Putting all that together, doxology is a liturgical phrase where we express God’s Glory.
Doxologies reenforce the importance of collective worship with fellow believers beside private worship. Examples of other doxologies in scripture are:
Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Romans 11:36 – For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
The Doxology in The Lord’s Prayer teaches us four things:
- To enforce our prayer with arguments from God’s perspective
- To join our prayer with praises to God
- To boldly pray by faith
- To end our pray with an “Amen”.
Before we look at these one at a time, there is one further comment about The Conclusion of The Lord’s Prayer. For more than 300 years, there was no question about the doxology. Today, many newer bible versions have decided not to include it in their text. Please do not be alarmed. Newer bible versions attempt to recover what they perceive to be “the original Greek text” of Christian scripture. Since we do not have Greek manuscripts older than 3rd and 4th centuries, the Reformers diligently compared their translations to earlier translations of Scripture. Non-Greek manuscripts older than Greek manuscripts preserve the doxology.
Enforce prayer with Godly arguments
teacheth us to enforce our petitions with arguments, which are to be taken, not from any worthiness in ourselves, or in any other creature, but from God;
Genuine praying takes effort. The apostle Paul encouraged the Roman church to “strive” with him in their prayers to God for Paul’s Gospel work (Rom 15:30). We learn from scripture that effective prayers are petitions offered from God’s perspective. Praying is approaching God to claim God’s promises. Elijah stopped the rain because that was the agreement with Solomon when he prayed (James 5:16-18; 2 Chronicles 6:26; 1 Kings 17:1; 18:39-41). Daniel received vision of the future because Jeremiah mentioned it would be revealed after 70 years in captivity (see Dan 9:4, 7-9, 16-19). That is why scripture and arguments based on scripture are part of our prayer life.
Join prayer with God’s praises
and with our prayers to join praises, ascribing to God alone eternal sovereignty, omnipotency, and glorious excellency;
Similar to the previous point, The doxology teaches us to join our prayer with praises to God. Often we go to prayer in a state of anxiety. We are encouraged to let our requests be known to God with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). The many prayers offered up by King David give us great examples of the correct attitude in prayer (see 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 for one such example.) We petition God in prayer because God is our King and almighty and willing and able to give us all good (The Heidelberg Catechism, 128). True prayer seeks for God to be gloried .
Boldly pray with faith
in regard whereof, as He is able and willing to help us, so we by faith are emboldened to plead with Him that He would, and quietly to rely upon Him, that He will fulfil our requests.
The doxology underscores our faith in God’s work in our lives. We pray knowing God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20-21). We approach God as “Our Father” knowing the heavenly Father gives good gifts to his children (Lk 11:13).
And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 2 Chr 14:11
End prayers with “Amen”
And, to testify this our desire and assurance, we say, Amen.
Did you ever wonder why we close our prayers with the word, “Amen”? Now you know. The Conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer encourages the practice. “Amen” signifies, it shall truly and certainly be (see 1 Cor 14:16). It is stating you pray in confidence that God hears your prayer. It is expressing a heart that feels God desires the petitions you bring forward. Christian scriptures end with such an example. The author of Revelation writes: “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Rev 22:20). “Amen” is used as an affirmation to God’s promise.
So let us end this series of studies with the final word that appears in the bible.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:21).