Catechism lesson 48: Doxology (LD 52b)

At the end of the Lord’s Prayer, we give praise to God. This is not only important in prayer, but for all that we do in our lives.

LD 52 q&a 128.

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,
your 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.

LD 52 q&a 129.

What does the word “Amen” mean?

“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.

“For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” This is a doxology, that is, a “saying of praise”. It is a prayerful exclamation in which we praise God for who he is.

In the Bible, we find many doxologies that are part of prayers, especially at the beginning and/or the end of a prayer. You also find doxologies in Paul’s letters, for instance in Rom. 11:33-36 and 1 Tim 1:17. We know that the Israelites used doxologies in their prayers, so it makes sense that the Lord’s Prayer also ends with a doxology.

If you look up the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer (Mat. 6:13 and Luke 11:4), you may find the text printed in brackets, or in a footnote. Most Bible scholars believe that the doxology was not part of the original text of the gospels, but was added later by scribes. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that the doxology we have been using for many centuries is probably not really found in the Bible!

But there is no reason to worry. Everything we say in the doxology is found elsewhere in the Bible. We should recognize that the earth is God’s kingdom, that he is all power-ful, and that all glory is for him.

Read 1 Chron. 29:10-13. Who is praying this prayer? How can you tell this is a doxology? What parts of this prayer are similar to the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer?

It is a good practice to include a doxology like this in all your prayers. The catechism explains why it helps you have the right attitude about praying. On one hand, it helps you realize that God is so great that he can indeed do all that you ask him. On the other hand, it helps you be humble and realize, that the ultimate goal is not that you get what you want, but that the Lord gets the glory he deserves.

We often end our prayer by saying “Amen”. What does this mean, according to the catechism?

Homework

All: Memorize q&a 129.

Older students: Also memorize q&a 128.

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