My devotional reading this morning was on the last portion of The Lord's Prayer, "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever," (Matt 6:13) and thus completing the readings on the Lord's Prayer in R. Kent Hughes' The Sermon on the Mount. And with this, I thank God for the valuable lessons that when I utter the prayer from now on, it is with better understanding and awe of my God.
As much as this doxology may not be a part of the original prayer (it does not appear in any of the oldest manuscripts for the Gospel of Matthew), it is fitting close to the most complete model of prayer given by Jesus.
In all our prayers, we need to confess and proclaim that God is indeed the King, absolutely free and sovereign; the Omnipotent, the all-powerful one who can do anything; and the Forever Glorious, whose splendor and honor we can look and depend upon.
When he stood with Pilate, Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). The kingdom of God is indeed out of this world, not in our dimension and yet we are already citizens of it through Christ under his kingship, reign and power. How amazing!
Jesus also said that apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Hughes here gave mention to a very interesting painting by a French painter Émile Renouf, where "an old man dressed in fisherman's garb, seated in a boat with a little girl beside him. Both the elderly gentleman and the child have their hands on a huge oar. He is looking down fondly and admiring upon her. Apparently he has told her that she may assist him in rowing the boat, and the child feels she is doing a great share of the task. It is easy to see, however, that it is his strong, muscular arms that are actually propelling the boat through the waves...(it) is a parable of what a soul can do when it depends upon God."
The Helping Hand (1881)
by Émile Renouf
(I have always wondered how people can sit for hours in front of a painting in a gallery. Now I understand. I would do that with this painting and find out the meaning behind the expressions of the man and the girl, and feel their feelings.)
The blatant fact is this: if we do not believe that he is indeed the King who is omnipotent, who can do anything—for some hold on to a "sick God" theory in that whilst he is all-loving he is not all-powerful—then we have no reason to pray, at all. The very fact that we are commanded to pray affirms the very sovereignty of God.