The Lord’s Prayer
by Pastor Randy Fehr
This prayer was what Jesus gave his disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray.
It has to be special; it was from Jesus, of course! It was something that was meant to bring about change in those who made it part of their daily lives. This last section is no exception.
‘Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,” a sort of benediction, was not included in the earliest manuscripts. The theological truth and the practical impact of this ending is such that it should change us as we incorporate it inAto our bloodstreams. I am quite certain that the Holy Spirit authored its truth.
Moses never prayed this prayer, but his story is a great example of how these truths take shape.
Thine is the Kingdom
What is a kingdom? A kingdom is the place where the will and way of one king holds sway.
The first part of this triad should jolt us out of our self-built kingdom thinking and set our kingdom compass to Jesus and help us begin the transition of kingship from us to Him.
We have already told God in this prayer that we would like His kingdom to come both into our personal lives and into the world around us.
We have been okay to relegate God’s rule to the surrounding world and to the coming kingdom rule and reign of Jesus, but God had in mind our internal spiritual life and our physical kingdoms as well. He is the rightful King of all.
As a young man Moses thought he was building God’s kingdom in God’s way. Moses could see Egypt and being Pharaoh as attainable goals. Surely even God had his hand in this. He was allowed to live when all Hebrew boys were being killed. He was rescued from the Nile by Pharaoh’s own daughter; he was moved into Pharaoh’s household as one of the family who was taught and trained in Egyptian leadership.
When Moses killed the Egyptian he hadn’t only made a judgment error; he revealed he was building his kingdom his way. Too often we are preoccupied with building our own kingdoms. We plan and organize our lives so that we can get a certain education, get a certain job, buy a certain vehicle, a house, take a certain vacation.
Yet there is a voice from the Lord’s Prayer telling us that this place where we have set ourselves up as king is something or somewhere that isn’t really ours. Even our physical aspirations are God’s kingdom. James says, “Now listen you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14). The Apostle Paul says, “You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
We need to be reminded again and again that Jesus really is king. He has our best interests at heart. He can do a better job of ruling than we can. Our physical lives should be submitted to His kingship as well. They are part of His Kingdom.
Thine is the Power
The reminder that teaches us how God’s kingdom work is accomplished comes from these words. It was Moses’ kingdom and Moses’ power that justified killing an Egyptian. It is a very disheartened Moses who sinks to the ground in Midian. He had lost his passion and purpose. God continued the process of training for the ensuing 40 years.
It was only then that God brought him to the burning bush at Mount Horeb. Of all the theological imagery that God could have used to speak to Moses through, He chose a burning bush that did not burn up. God was clearly teaching Moses again and the symbolism was absolutely intentional. We had better not miss the message.
God had seen His people suffering and heard their cries for help. He would act. Sometimes we act independently using our strength to accomplish our will as Moses did. We often independently interpret circumstances of our lives and place ourselves in the King’s position. We act and then are surprised when things don’t turn out the way we think they should.
Still, the burning bush? It is the fuel for the fire that is not consumed. God is telling Moses that by obeying this call you will be fuel, but at the same time you will never be all used up. That is quite different from Moses’ perception that he had 40 years earlier. It is God’s power that accomplishes His work! The apostle Paul says, “Likewise we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you” (2 Cor. 13:4).
We are like Moses. We believe that it is our power to accomplish our perception of God’s will and we soon become used up. We try too hard. We have our own agendas. We are too strong. It takes a long time to recognize that it’s His kingdom and it’s His power that will accomplish His tasks, and we are called to live life with God. We might be surprised to find that it’s by God’s power that we live with Him and serve others.
Thine is the Glory
We have had our eyes opened to the fact that it’s His power at work in us that accomplishes what really needs to get done. It is natural and important that we would give that recognition and praise to Him. “I am the Lord; that is My name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).
There is more. When Moses developed and used his abilities and talents and followed through on God’s call, it became a beautiful yet messy affair. God loves when people develop and use the gifts they have been given in God-directed ways. God is glorified. He shines with glory and becomes attractive when we align our lives with His life. Still we need to see His glory.
Moses has learned that he could not lead the people on his own. In Exodus 33 He explained that he didn’t know who would go with him and he wouldn’t budge without “God’s Presence.” When God reveals that He is with Moses on this journey, Moses boldly asks God to show him His glory! What is Moses asking for and what does he want to see?
Hebrews 1:3 tells us, “The son is the radiance of God’s glory.” Jesus is the shininess of God, and Moses knew he wanted Jesus to go with him and he needed to see Him. We often relegate seeing God’s glory to seeing His handy work in nature. We desperately need to meet with Jesus!
Moses shone because of his interaction with the beauty of Jesus. He was transformed every time. Paul believes that our relationship with the Holy Spirit in this new covenant should produce more glory than even Moses experienced. (2 Cor. 3:7-17). This should be happening in us because we are brave enough to engage these words, “Thine is the glory”!
The triad reminds us that we need to recognize where God has been involved. He has given us the gifting and ability from the start, yet we need to be faithful in growing our abilities and using them. Yes, we need to see God’s beauty in creation, yet more important is the need to be changed continuously by the beauty of Jesus.
Praying this benediction should not only remind us that it’s really His kingdom, His power and His glory; it should help us submit to its truth and transition into making it life- changing.
Submitting daily to His kingship is a better way to live. It doesn’t simply recognize His power as the power to accomplish, but it transforms us. What a wonderful ending to this prayer. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your work of getting this to us!
Randy Fehr, MDiv, was the pastor of Grace Community Church in Aylmer, Ont., where he and his wife Gloria live.