Kingdom Power and Glory

 

Luke 11:1-13

Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father….

Please pray with me…

The other day I received a Facebook challenge. At first it was nice, a quote from Christ asking for His disciples to trust Him. Then it turned sour when it asked me to forward the message to ten friends and Jesus would reward me for my faithfulness. As you might have guessed, I declined to pass it on. I then took the opportunity to tell this person that what she was asking went contrary to her first message. How much do you trust God if you think His grace comes by human means? There is no way to earn further blessings, especially in chainmail on Facebook. All power, glory and might are already His and all His blessings are given by grace alone. I choose to trust in that. I received a message back saying, “Good point.”

This morning we conclude our series on Luther’s catechism teachings on the Lord’s prayer with this final petition, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever amen.”

Luther says this means that we should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen, which means “yes, yes, it shall be so.”

Yes, Yes, it shall be so! God tells us in Psalm 50:15, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Yes, Yes, it shall be so! Proverbs 15:29, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”

Yes, yes, it shall be so!!

Have you ever stopped to think about what an almighty thing it is to hear every prayer? Have you ever imagined what kind of love it would take to even care? Over and over we prove our unworthiness yet God loves us enough to hear every word, every plea, every anguished groan. Not only that, He cares enough to answer every request. Yes, Yes, it shall be so.

And how do we know that God is able to answer the prayers of His people in Christ Jesus? He tells us. First, Luther says, he reminds us that He alone is the King who has all good gifts in His control.

From James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

It has always been part of God’s character to care for His creation and from the beginning of time He has opened a willing heart to listen and respond. It is His delight to offer us good things and He is the source of them all.

In fact, His love is so all encompassing that we take for granted the many gifts He gives. By His mighty power He provides the air we breathe and the food we eat. He provides the relationships we value and the families we cherish. All good things come from our loving God purely out of His Godly goodness and grace. And His love for us will never wain nor will He ever tire of providing all we need in this life for there is no variation or shadow due to change in Him.

Secondly, Luther says that we know that God is able to do this because He alone has the power to grant our petitions. From Psalm 33, “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.” And from Ephesians 3, “To Him who is able to do far more abundantly then all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Only God has the power to answer prayer. Only God is mighty enough to do all we ask according to His will. Only God possesses the glory due Him because of His mighty works. His kingdom will never end and one day we shall inherit by faith because it is His will for it to be so.

With a simple Word, God can do all things. So vast is His authority in fact that we could never imagine it. That is why so many try to bring Him down to our level. That is why so many cheapen His grace.

So many limit God’s power by rewriting Scripture to shape God into their own image. They say “God cannot find enough faith in an infant to Baptize them.” “God cannot give us actual body and blood in the Lord’s supper.” “God cannot condemn man for this or that.”

Because His power can’t be imagined, we have, in our minds, put brakes on His capabilities. We have limited Him to our own worldly capabilities forgetting that His realm is vastly different from our own.

Trust in God to shape you into His image. Depend on His power in every phase of your life. Allow Him to show you His love for you as His glory shines in your life. Let His kingdom come in your life.

Finally, Luther says that God is able to answer the prayers of His people because all glory is His and he is worthy of our praise. From Psalm 113: “The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens! Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high?” And from 1 Timothy 1:17, “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

The choice is still yours. You can either believe His Word or reject it. You can either surrender to Him or try it on your own. God will or force response. But for those of you who put their full trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, your reward will be God sized, unimaginable, glorious beyond all measure. Why? Because He told you so.

These words are actually absent in both versions in Matthew and Luke. In fact, the Catholic church doesn’t include them either. So why do we pray them to end our prayer?

In part, it is because we are adding nothing new. The whole prayer up to this point has described this same kingdom, power and glory we pray about. In every petition it is this kingdom, power and glory we depend on. In this petition, we give glory to God as we focus on His power and majesty. These words give us a reason for the hope that we share. They show our God faith that these petitions will be both heard and answered. They declare that it’s not about us but about God. It is, therefore, a blessing to be able to recite these words every Sunday and it’s unfortunate that so many churches have decided to omit them.

We end this prayer the same way we end all prayers, by saying “Amen.” Up to this time we have made many vital requests:

  • The we would live and bring honor to God’s name
  • That our lives would be God’s kingdom where He is present and rules our hearts
  • That God’s will would be done in and through us
  • That God provides for our every need
  • That God would forgive us and give us the will and the ability to forgive others
  • And, finally, that God would protect us from temptation and every evil

But now we end this prayer with our Amen, “Yes, Yes, it will be done!!”

By living a life of righteousness, we bring honor to God’s name.

By surrendering our very lives to Him we allow His kingdom to come to our lives and even to the lives we touch.

By allowing God to rule our hearts we match our will with His own will

By thanking Him for all he has given we acknowledge His power to love us in a Godly way.

By imitating His forgiveness of others, we become Christ to the world.

By resisting the temptations and evils of the world, we show His power for good.

We pray the Lord’s prayer with the assurance that God will answer us. When we end this prayer we are not asking ourselves questions like, I wonder if I prayed for what God wanted me to pray for?” Or “I wonder if God really heard me?” or “I wonder if God will answer my prayer?”  By saying your Amen, you declare that there are no “I wonders.” By saying your Amen you are saying that you understand that God will answer this prayer, not because of who we are, but because of who He is.

The Lord’s prayer is a powerful prayer taught to us by Jesus Christ Himself, the one we depend on for the faith we share. It is a life transforming prayer filled with all the petitions God looks for to bring us to a new life. When we come to the end of this prayer, we know that God will answer us and we will be changed into to His image and not the other way around. Together we pray this as the people of God, the Body of Christ and His most fortunate creation.

Please pray with me:

Lord, may your mighty power forever rule in our hearts as we bring your light to our dark world. May your kingdom reign so that we might come to an end of our sorrows. And my your glory shine for all to see so that, even unbelievers can no longer deny you. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

No comments yet

Comments are closed