And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray… Matthew 6:7-9a

The denomination in which I grew up recited what we called “the Lord’s Prayer” (aka, the Model Prayer) during every church service. It was probably the first passage I memorized as a young Christian. Regrettably, it became “vain repetition”; I really didn’t think about what I was praying.

In a previous article, we proposed that the Model Prayer is something more than a prayer to recite once a week; it is a prayer of positioning. The Model Prayer is not the prayer to end all prayers, but the prayer to begin all prayers. It is through this model that we come into the Father’s presence – in humility, meekness and total dependency on Him. Without this positioning, all that we have to say are the vain repetitions of man.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9b-13

In this article, with this notion of positioning in mind, we would like to explore three foundational truths that have been lost to the modern church. All three are found in the prayer’s last acknowledgement: For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. We will look at them one at a time.

Yours is the Kingdom

The Greek word translated into “kingdom” (basileia)
means more than a place or a people. Its primary meaning (from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) is “royal power, kingship, dominion, rule”. Therefore, to acknowledge that the kingdom belongs to our Father in heaven is to concede that He has the right and authority to rule over the kingdom of which we are subjects.

God’s kingdom is not a democracy; it is a theocracy. There is no Bill of Rights; His subjects have no rights. The kingdom of God is not a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”; it is of God, by God, and for God. Our position before God must be that of a grateful bondservant.

Yours is the Power

The Father does not rule simply because He says so; He has the power to create, sustain, and destroy. His power is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. This most Christians know and accept. What we tend to miss is the breadth and depth of this claim. ALL good things come from God (i.e., there is nothing good that does not come from God).

Furthermore, we are not “sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God“. To think we are anything more than clay in the Potter’s hands and instruments of His righteousness is to deny that the power belongs to God. This is the position we must take before our Father in heaven.

Yours is the Glory

Understanding the Father’s kingdom and power leads us to a right and reasonable acknowledgement of His glory. If He is the king and He has all the power, who are we to dare claim one bit of the glory of His good work. This is why Jesus commanded us to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16)”. Our confusion lies in who is doing the work.

Paul explains, in Ephesians 2:8-10, that we are saved (by grace, through faith) to walk in good works. Many Bible translations inaccurately translate verse ten to say “do them”. The Greek word used here (peripateō) has no definitional reference to “doing”. We are not to “do” good works, we are to “walk” in the good works God is doing; otherwise, it would not be just for Him to be glorified by those that see them.

Our Deception

Kingdom, power, and glory are three critical battlefronts in the war against our carnal mind’s deceptions. Who is in command, who gets to exercise power, and who gets credit for accomplishments are three things the carnal mind will fight tooth-and-nail to determine.

Our weekly (weakly?) reciting of the Model Prayer will not make us overcomers. We must meditate on and reckon these truths as our own. We must regularly humble ourselves before our Father in heaven, acknowledging His kingdom, power, and glory. Then, and only then, we will be properly positioned to walk in the good works for which we were created.

Our Father in heaven bless you with grace and conviction for proper positioning before Him.

Humbly yours and forever His,