“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen." (Matthew 6:13b)
What does 'Yours is the kingdom and the power' mean?This final stanza of Jesus' prayer summarizes the position of the Supreme Being compared with our position.
Firstly it describes the simple fact that God owns everything. He is the creator and owner of everything. As such, He is also the rightful enjoyer of everything.
This is communicated by Jesus with the use of the word "kingdom" - which is not referring to a physical 'kingdom' or location as also noted regarding "Your kingdom come."
That reference definition illustrates that the Greek word translated to 'kingdom' actually means "royal power, kingship, dominion, rule" according to Thayer's lexicon. The lexicon clarifies the word is "not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom."
This means that the translation to "kingdom" is quite confusing. A more appropriate translation would be something like "dominion" or "authority."
Aren't we also powerful?Many of us in the physical world are convinced that this world was created for our pleasure. Many of us believe also that God’s position is to deliver power and authority to us.
Some preach that we should pray to God for anything we want. These teachers promote praying to God for money, a good job, healing my leg, helping my football team win, and any other self-centered thing I am interested in.
While it is good to turn to God when we are in need, it is a perverted form of worship to consider God our waiter or delivery person, so our relationship is based upon Him giving us stuff.
Because this philosophy is seductive, many preach about all the riches we will get - as long as we worship in their church and donate money to them.
Some of these teach that all we have to do is proclaim Jesus die for our sins and we will be healed of our physical problems. And if we want our football team to win we should pray. And if we want more money or a better job we should pray for it.
And some also ask us to pay them to pray for us. Some will ask us to send them our prayer requests (with a check of course) so they will pray for us.
Such teachings are fraudulent. Accept the power of God and Jesus is good. But they are confusing the roles. We are subordinate to God.
Jesus is teaching us that God has the power. He is teaching us that the glory is God’s. God is the enjoyer.
Who serves who?It is not that God's position is to give us stuff. He is not our servant. He is not our “go-to” guy whenever we want something. He is not at our beck and call, and anything we ask for He fetches.
And this is why many people's prayers go unanswered. People don't get what they ask for unless they deserve it. Unless they've worked for it and their efforts are rewarded.
Yes, sometimes God will do what we ask of Him when the submission is made humbly and sincerely by someone who cares about the Supreme Being.
For such cases, the overall intention is to serve the Supreme Being. So these requests are not the same as those coming from pure self-centeredness.
Why should we pray then?Certainly, God does love us and He will accommodate us whether we ask or not. This is the ultimate in unconditional love. And certainly, we can know that every benefit we get here in this world, as well as every challenge and lesson, ultimately comes from Him.
But this is not what Jesus wants us to use prayer for. A prayer is a communication. It is like picking up the phone and calling someone. When we kneel or bow our heads to the ground and open the line of communication with the Supreme Being we should not waste that precious communication on asking Him for the temporary things of this physical world, for a body that will soon shrivel up and die, and decompose shortly after.
We should use that precious communication to ask God if we can resume our natural position as His loving servant: If we can resume our loving relationship with Him.
And what does a person do when they want to get closer to someone? They praise them.
And what does a person do when they have gotten closer to someone? They praise them.
And what does a person do when they care about someone? They praise them.
This is what Jesus is advising his students to do: Praise the Supreme Being. This is why he is suggesting they praise God:
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever"