For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever

This doxology is not found in the earliest manuscripts and was probably added later as a Scriptural (I Chron. 29:11) and fitting conclusion to the prayer. Be this as it may, these three concepts─kingdom, power, and glory, are ultimate reality. By nature, we do not see God’s kingdom; our senses and reason turn to worldly politics as a knee-jerk reaction when things are not right. How much do we talk politics rather than the Kingdom? What really captures our imagination? By nature, we do not see God’s power working in and through all things; we live on the surface and fear the powers of chaos. How much do we live in fear? Likewise, we do not easily see the glory of God in a world that seems dominated by decay and suffering. Do we live in constant amazement and awe, or are our spirits sickened in spiritual nausea?

Jesus, in teaching us this prayer, is telling us that the more we pray this prayer, the more we live in it, the more real God’s Kingdom, power and glory will become to us. Make this prayer the very center of your daily prayer; pray it in the morning when you get up, and at night when your head hits the pillow, and as much in between as you can. Do not be afraid of “vain repetitions as the ‘pagans/heathen’ do” here (Matt. 6:7). Pagan ideas of prayer has to with magic so as to manipulate the gods (I Kings 18:26) or mantras to manipulate the psyche. This prayer is the special prayer of a child made to a Father with whom we can relate on a deep intimate level. The more we pray this prayer, and turn the phrases round and round in our hearts, the less mechanical it seems, and the fresher it becomes, and the more we are formed by it. The prayer is indeed a fixed one, but we and our circumstances change moment by moment. As we and things around us change, the prayer sparkles like a diamond, sending off colors and flashes that renew the soul.

One last thing here. To be good at and to master anything in this life, we must spend hours practicing it. One does not just sit down at the piano and play like Rubinstein. Why on earth do we feel that prayer should be any different? Why should we feel that prayer must be some spontaneous thing that must be charged with great emotion to be real? Most of us in our culture know that our minds cannot comprehend God, but far fewer know─ really know─that our feelings cannot grasp God either. True prayer most often takes place on a level far deeper in the soul than our emotions. True, our minds and hearts are often affected, but if our prayer life is based on them, it will become erratic and ineffectual. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, the Psalms, and our petitions to God day by day consistently, we find that something quite unexplainable happens deep within beneath the surface of our thoughts and feelings.

Friends, I do not speak here as one who has made great progress in prayer. I am just a beginner. Therefore, I invite any of you to join in here and help us out!

2 Responses to “For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever”

  1. Michael Trollo Says:

    Fr. John,
    History is replete with great men and women of God that have found that praying the “Lord;s Prayer” was one of the major keys to their spiritual life. Certainly we need no other encouragement than being obedient to our Lord who said pray this way! The omniscence of the Trinity knows that if this is the way He is leading us to pray , this will also be the place in prayer we meet with the greatest opposition (both from without and within). Another mystery! praying with purpose and not just in a repetitious sort of way. One of the greatest area of improvement , for me, is the area of prayer. I have had seasons of prayer and it always builds my faith and trust in Jesus! So why do I vacillate in visiting my prayer closet??

  2. Mike, it has dawned on me recently that this prayer is not just Jesus’ recommended way how we should pray, but it is His own prayer which He learned to pray to the Father when here in His earthly journey, developed, tried, and tested by the Son of God Himself!

    As for vacillating; welcome to the human race! Two rules always to keep in mind: 1) practice, 2) patience with yourself!

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