Some manuscripts contain a postscript to Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. It reads:
“For Yours is the kingdom, power, and the glory forever. Amen.”
When I pray the Lord’s prayer, I often think about God’s strength and power, and how He is Lord of all the kingdoms on earth, and has unending power. However, recently I stumbled across an interesting passage in the Old Testament that prompted my thinking. In 1 Chronicles, King David is telling everyone that his son Solomon is going to build a temple for God. He ends with this pretty cool prayer that has some interesting echoes:
“Blessed are you LORD, God of our ancestor Israel, forever and always.
To you, LORD,
belong greatness and power, honor, splendor, and majesty,
because everything in heaven and on earth belongs to you.
Yours, LORD, is the kingship, and you are honored as head of all.
You are the source of wealth and honor,
and you rule over all.
In your hand are strength and might,
and it is in your power to magnify and strengthen all.” (1Chronicles 29:10-12)
Do you see the similarities? It’s interesting language that Jesus chooses here.
However, what really jumped out to me as I read the 1 Chronicles passage is the specific location and occasion of God’s power.
When David pray, “the kingship belongs to you”, it’s a very specific thing. God was meant to be, in a very real way, Israel’s king. (When the people demand a king in 1 Samuel chapter 8, God basically says, “You are rejecting me in favor of a human king.”)
So David has a very specific place/kingdom that he’s thinking of when he prays this prayer—it’s the place where God rules, and is meant to rule.
What struck me is the way in which we have a kingdom as well. In a very real way, we are the kings and queens of our bodies, our lives. They are our kingdom; we choose, make decisions; make rules for ourselves.
What if to pray, “yours is the kingdom” means “yours is THIS kingdom—this life?”
What if this epilogue to the Lord’s prayer is actually the most radical part of all? To utterly surrender our kingdom—our lives—to God and allow Him to take the throne?