FIFTY-SECOND LORD’S DAY
THE SIXTH PETITION.
Question 128. How dost thou conclude thy prayer?
Answer. “FOR THINE is THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, FOREVER;” that is, all these we ask of thee, because thou art our King, and Almighty, art willing and able to give us all good; and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but thy holy name, may be glorified forever.”
This conclusion contributes to the confirmation of our faith, or to our confidence of being heard, seeing that God is willing and able to grant what we desire and pray for at his hands. Thine is the kingdom. The first reason is drawn from the duty of a king, which is to hear, defend and preserve his subjects. Therefore, thou, God, since thou art our king, more powerful than all enemies, having all things in thy power, both good and evil, so that thou art able to restrain and repress them; good, so that there is no blessing so great that thou canst not give, if it be agreeable to our nature; since we are thy subjects, be present with us by thy power and save us, seeing thou hast a love for thy subjects and canst preserve and defend them. And the power. The second reason is drawn from the power of God. Hear us, God, and grant us all that we pray for, since thou art able, and thou alone; for this power rests in thee alone, being joined with infinite goodness.
And the glory. The third reason is from the end or final cause. We ask these things for thy glory. We desire and look for all good things from thee, the only true and sovereign God: We profess and acknowledge thee as the author and fountain of all good things; and because this glory is due thee, we therefore desire these things from thee. Therefore hear us for thy glory: for this petition and expectation of all good things from thee is nothing else than an ascription of honor and glory to thee. Hear us especially since thou wilt grant us the things which we desire. Thou wilt do what contributes to thy glory. What we desire and pray for contributes to thy glory. Therefore thou wilt grant it unto us. Give us, therefore, what we pray for, and the glory shall redound to thee, if thou deliver us: for so shall thy kingdom, power and glory be manifested.
Obj. We seem to bring persuasive arguments to God, by which we may constrain and influence him to do for us what we pray for. But it is in vain that we use arguments with him who is unchangeable. God is un changeable. Therefore it is in vain that we thus plead with him. Ans. We grant the argument as it respects God, but not as it respects us. Or we may reply that there is here an error in taking that as a cause which is none. We do not use arguments that we may move and influence God, or persuade him to do what we ask; but that we ourselves may be persuaded that God will do this that we may be assured of being heard, and ac knowledge our necessity, and the goodness and truth of God. These arguments are, therefore, not added to our prayers for the purpose of moving and influencing God; but merely to confirm and assure us, that God will do what we desire and pray for. These now are the reasons on account of which he does it: Thou art the best king. Therefore thou wilt give to thy subjects what is necessary and tends to their salvation. Thou art most powerful. Therefore thou wilt show thy power in giving these greatest of all gifts, which can be given by no one, beside thee. It shall contribute to thy glory. Therefore thou wilt do it: because thou hast a regard to thy glory.
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