John Wesley on Prayer Lesson 4

*Finally, thine is the kingdom.

“For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen”

Matthew 6:13 (NASB)

Two final petitions, “And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors”–give us, O Lord, redemption in Your blood, the forgiveness of sins. As You enable us freely and fully to forgive, so forgive us all our trespasses.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”–Whenever we are tempted, O Lord who helps our infirmities, do not let us to be overcome or suffer loss by it, but make a way for us to escape so that we may be more than conquerors, through Your love, over all sin and the consequences of it.

The principal desire of a Christian’s heart is the glory of God (vv. 9-10); and all wants for himself or others is the “daily bread” of soul and body, pardon of sin, and deliverance from the power of it and of the devil (vv. 11-13). There is nothing besides that a Christian can wish for. Therefore, this prayer comprehends all his or her desires. Eternal life is the certain consequence, or rather completion, of holiness

The conclusion: “For Thine is the kingdom”–the sovereign right of all things that are or ever were created. “The power”–the executive power, whereby You govern all things in Your everlasting kingdom. “And the glory”–the praise due from every creature for Your power, all Your wondrous works, and the mightiness of Your kingdom, which endures through all ages, even, “forever. Amen.”

*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

As Wesley finishes up The Lord’s Prayer in Lesson 4, he comments on the final two of six petitions: “And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors,” and “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” When it comes to forgiveness, this portion of the prayer seems to indicate that forgiveness of our debts (or sins in Aramaic) depends on our forgiveness of others. In Jesus’ parable of the wicked servant in Matthew 18:21-35, a servant was forgiven a large sum by his master, but this same servant refused to forgive a much smaller debt another owed him. When the master heard of this, he put the servant in prison, not for his debt, but for his pettiness in not forgiving the man that owed him the smaller debt, after he had been forgiven so much. In the same way, our sin against the Lord, our Master, is far greater than any sin we might suffer by another human being. Will we forgive?

As we petition God not to lead us into temptation, we must realize the Greek sense here of trial or testing. Jesus Himself prayed, “If possible, let this cup pass from Me,” as he labored in Gethsemane. It is well to pray for deliverance from evil or the evil one, if we forfeit any supposed rights we have and include, “But nevertheless, not My will, but thine be done.” As Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “”These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” In some things, we may have to endure until His coming, but as He overcame, we will ultimately overcome, as well.

“For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.” His sovereignty over all creation as Creator, sustainer, and completer of all that exists. Yet a sovereignty, power, and glory that He shares with us through Christ. The apostle Paul wanted believers to know this, and prayed in Ephesians 1:18-23,

18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

“Forever and ever. Amen”

Published by doctorpaddy

An ordained minister, Christian communicator, and educator.

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