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The Lord’s Prayer – Benediction. Matthew 6:13AV. Lord’s Day 52B

15/01/2017

The Lord’s Prayer: Benediction

Text . 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 Matthew 6:13AV  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

So, why do Catholics not use the Long Ending of the Lord’s Prayer?  Why is it in some bibles and not in others?   And, why do we use it so extensively?

  1. It has a long liturgical history. It is used in the DIDACHE. (Teaching of the Apostles) A book of church order and discipline, written around 94AD,, very early in church history, showing the worship practices of the very early church. It’s not canonical, but it is historical, a contemporary report of what the church was doing and saying in worship. When it advises on prayer, the long ending is included.  We know that in the first century the first Christians were using it. .  So it is historically and liturgically attested.
  2. It is perfectly scriptural, and based on 1 Chronicles 29:11-13. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. 12Both riches and honour come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. 13 “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.  So theologically and biblically it is sound and correct.
  3. It’s provenance is unclear. Our repetition of the Lord’s Prayer (as in the old Book of Common Prayer) was based on the so-called Byzantine Text, – the Greek ‘received text’ that is the basis of the KJV and the NKJV. But the long ending is not in the NIV, or the ESV, which are based on the Alexandrian Texts (Codex Siniaticus and Vaticanus).  Slightly older texts, but with less copies.  The Byzantine Texts have the benediction but the Alexandrian do not. The RCs up to the reformation didn’t use the Greek Texts, they used Jerome’s Latin Translation (Vulgate) so in their liturgy the long ending is omitted.  The Reformers wanted to get back to the Greek Texts, so they included it.  More recent discoveries of ancient Alexandrian Manuscripts it is omitted, so modern translations place it in the footnotes. But did the Alexandrian copyists lose it, or did the Byzantine copyists wrongly include it?  No-one actually knows.
  4. It is adiaphora. It is a Protestant tradition to say it, and this tradition connects with the oldest traditions of the Church. We say it because it is universally used in the church, but if another church doesn’t want to include it, it’s not something to argue about.

So, let’s see what the long ending of the Lord’s Prayer can teach us, and what we imply when we say it…

The Essential Expectation of Our Prayers.

That God will answer our prayers, because he has the authority to do so, for he is ever powerful, and when he does it will bring glory to his name.  Isaiah 65:24  Before they call I will answer;  while they are yet speaking I will hear.

Q128. How do you conclude your prayer?  For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. That is: All this we ask of you because, as our King, having power over all things, you are both willing and able to give us all that is good, and because not we but your holy name should so receive all glory forever.

  1. His Kingly Attributes. Message paraphrase: You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty!
    1. His Sovereign Reign. Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
    2. His Omnipotence. 2 Pet 2:9. 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
    3. His Glory. Ps 115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
  2. We are His Subjects. These royal attributes are his alone. We are:
    1. Slaves and servants.
    2. Weak and frail.
    3. Full of vain glory.

Can we take any praise for what God does?  This is why we pray. Because of who he is, and who we are.   2 Tim 2:13  if we are faithless, he remains faithful  for he cannot deny himself.

 

The Eternal Echo of God’s Praise .

The prayer begins with acknowledgement of God’s Creation, Providential Care, Heavenly Situation, Holiness of Character. It closes with an affirmation of his present and future reign…  so the prayer encompasses his immutability throughout all ages.

  1. For ever and ever.  He is from everlasting to everlasting, God’s attributes never change, they never fail, our prayers are based on His gracious, eternal faithfulness.
  2. Amen. 2 Cor. 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

Q129. What does the word Amen mean? A. Amen means: It is true and certain. For God has much more certainly heard my prayer than I feel in my heart that I desire this of him.

 

© Bob McEvoy January 2017

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