At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matt. 6:9-13).
As we come to the coda of the Lord’s Prayer, the kingdom, power and glory phrase, the first thing to comment on is its presence. In some versions of the Scriptures, the prayer simply ends with the petition to “deliver us from evil” (e.g. ESV). Other versions of the Scriptures include it (e.g. KJV, NASB, and NKJV). The difference is a function of the manuscript tradition that is being relied on—the Textus Receptus includes the phrase, and more modern critical texts do not. One of the reasons why I use the King James is that I prefer the Textus Receptus manuscript family. It is worth noting, quite apart from the manuscript issues, that the abrupt ending of “deliver us from evil” seems odd, like the petitioner ran into a wall while praying. The prayer really seems incomplete without the coda.
The petitions of the prayer are grounded in the fact that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong to God forever. Let us begin with the kingdom.
This is the second time the kingdom has been mentioned in the prayer. The first time was in the petition for the kingdom to come. Here the fact that God possesses the kingdom is the basis for all the petitions, including the earlier prayer for the kingdom to come. This reinforces the fact that the Christian faith is a monarchy. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. As we preach the gospel to unbelievers, we are not canvassing votes, trying to get Jesus elected president. We are not trying to rally support for Him. He has been crowned, and Christians are the messengers and heralds, sent out into all the world to declare what has already been accomplished.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).
He is on His throne now, and has been reigning for the last two thousand years. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He approached the Ancient of Days on the clouds of heaven and was given an everlasting dominion (Dan. 7:13-14). In that passage from Daniel, we may even have an anticipation of the blessing found in this coda. “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” (Dan. 7:14).
And because “His kingdom [is] that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14), it is possible for us to offer up all the petitions found in the Lord’s Prayer, doing so in full confidence. He is the King over all, which means that He can provide for us (daily bread), protect us (lead us not into temptation), and restore us (forgive us).