Today we come to the final phrase in the Lord’s prayer as we know it: “For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Jesus did not actually include these words in the Lord’s prayer. He concluded with the petition to save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil (or the evil one.) It seems a rather dark ending to the prayer. Likely he knew that his disciples, being good Jews, would add a doxological ending to it.
In fact, this is exactly what the early Church did with the Lord’s prayer. Various manuscripts offer a variety of endings, although some of the early church fathers are clear that the prayer did not originally have such a doxological conclusion. Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, and Gregory of Nyssa and report the prayer ending as we find it in both Matthew and Luke’s gospels with the request to save us from evil.
You might be interested to hear some of the alternative endings offered by the early church. Some ended simply with, “For Thine is the power forever and ever”, while others like the Didache, written around 100 A.D. read, “For Thine is the power and the glory forever”, while others read, “For Thine is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit forever”. Another reads as we know it: “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever”. The Orthodox Church, uses the longest version: “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever.
However we end the prayer, I think it is appropriate to end in praise to our God. When we say to God, “the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,” we are essentially saying the end game is in God’s hands, only God has the power to bring about God’s good plans, and when everything is finally make right, God gets all the credit! It is to simply say, “We know everything is in your hands, Lord, and we are good with that!”
There is one more word we add to the prayer. We say Amen at the end. This is a Hebrew word which would have been said at the end of prayers in Jesus day and long before. Usually it was not said by the person offering the prayer, but by all of the people listen. “Amen” was the people’s response to the prayer and the way by which the people would say to God, “I agree with this prayer” or “may this all happen as we have asked.” I think the thumbs up at the end of the Lord’s prayer in sign language says it all.
Remember, when we gather for worship at the Wellfield Gardens tomorrow at 10:00 AM that we are planning to sign the Lord’s prayer. I will take a moment to reteach it before we begin worship, but you can also check out the video I made last week to remind yourself of the signs. https://vimeo.com/461551775
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