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A Fitting Conclusion


I wonder how you end your prayers. Do you end your prayers by simply saying amen? Or are you more like my children who always close their prayer by saying something like, let us have a good day, amen? To some degree, how we close our prayers is just as important as how we start them. Sadly, though, for many of us, we start our prayers off with the best of intentions but either do not end our prayers at all or we get to a point and have no idea how to close the prayer at all. Sometimes, it is because we feel like we should say more, but we have run out of things to say. Sometimes, it is because we lose our train of thought. One of the things that I have found myself doing is lying in bed praying and falling asleep while praying. When we look at the Lord's prayer, we find something interesting about the end of it. There is some debate about how the prayer is actually finished. In most modern translations, the traditional ending is not included. This is because the older manuscripts that we have do not include the ending. Even if it is not a part of the prayer, it is still something worth learning from.


Question 128#


The catechism includes the traditional ending and makes some good points about what we can learn from it. It asks how the prayer is concluded and answers:

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. That is: All this we ask of Thee because, as our King, having power over all things, Thou art both willing and able to give us all that is good,[1] and because not we but Thy holy Name should so receive all glory forever.[2]

While this ending may not be scripture, it is scriptural. What I mean by that is that the idea behind it is certainly a scriptural idea. When we come to the Lord in prayer, we have to start with the understanding that our prayer is a request and an acknowledgment that the Lord is able to do all that he pleases. He is the Lord of all creation, the creator of heaven and earth. It is fitting to start our prayer and end our prayers with this understanding. As the traditional conclusion puts it, we ask these things because the King of kings and Lord of lords has power over all things. More than that, we conclude with the understanding that the Lord is both willing and able to do all that he has promised to do. The Lord always keeps his promises.


Because of Who He Is


If the first part of the traditional ending has to do with the Lord keeping his promises, that is, that he has all power and is willing and able to do what is good, then the second part of the ending has to do with the glory of the Lord. Once again, we see an acknowledgment of who God is and what he deserves. He already has all the glory. More than that, he is entitled to all glory as the creator. These days, we honor or praise someone who invents something useful. People like Tesla and Thomas Edison are celebrated throughout history for the various things they have invented. These men used the things around them and discovered new and unique ways to use them. But the Lord created everything out of nothing. There was nothing, then the Lord spoke, and everything came into being. Just as it is good and right to celebrate someone who invents something that helps humanity, it is infinitely more suitable to praise and celebrate what the Lord has done. It is good and right to end our prayers with the acknowledgment of the things of the Lord and to give praise to his glorious name.


Conclusion


While I do not believe that the traditional ending of the prayer is part of the scripture, it is good and right to do. It is scriptural to praise the Lord by acknowledging his power and majesty. It is good and right to ascribe all glory to his name. He is the creator and sustainer of all things. If this were not true, then there would be no point in praying. As we come to the Lord in prayer, we must come in humility. Asking for the Lord to do what only he can do. Believing that he can do all that he pleases in the heavens above and the earth below. We pray for the lost that he would change their hearts and bring them to himself. We pray for our churches that the Lord would do as he has promised and build them. We pray for our families that the Lord of all the earth would do what is right. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen.


Soli Deo Gloria


[1] Rom. 10:11-13; II Pet 2:9. [2] Ps. 115:1; Jer. 33:8, 9; John 14:13.

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