By Not Known

A prayer for God’s kingdom, power and glory seems a worthy way to end the model prayer that Jesus taught his followers.

Yet, these words were not part of Jesus’ original prayer (Mat 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4). The ‘extra’ words are found only in Matthew and only in some poorly supported late texts. They seem to be added for liturgical purposes and follow the format of some Jewish prayers. There is no harm in our use of this traditional ending, so long as we understand that it is not from Jesus.

Nonetheless the extra words seem a good wrap-up. They return to the lofty themes of the opening petitions. God’s glory is upheld as we pray for the hallowing of his name. God’s kingdom is sought as we pray for its coming. God’s power is relied on as we seek his provision of our daily needs, along with his forgiveness and protection from tests and from the power of evil.

Let’s look back over the whole of the Lord’s Prayer …

  • It is a God-centred prayer rather than one centred on the one praying.
  • It rises to big horizons (God’s name, kingdom and will) rather than just the day to day issues.
  • It seeks help for our most important needs, rather than our self-indulgences.
  • It is a prayer for corporate use and thus well suited to our church gatherings.

The Lord’s Prayer can be prayed ‘as is’ and used as a pattern for our own prayers. (The same applies to many of the other prayers recorded in the Bible, including those of Jesus.)

Note again that the Lord’s Prayer is not a magical saying for just anyone. It is a prayer for those who can call God their Father. This is the people who have become God’s adopted children through faith in his Son Jesus Christ. Let us pray that God uses his power to extend his kingdom by adding new believers and thus glorifies his name.

David Burke