With this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday post on power we enter into a portion of the Lord’s Prayer known as the doxology. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about that churchy word in a couple of weeks. You’ll note the first key word in this verse is kingdom, which echoes our earlier study of the same word in this prayer.
“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.”
Matthew 6:13b NKJV
Merriam-Webster defines power this way:
1 a (1) : ability to act or produce an effect
(2) : ability to get extra-base hits
(3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect
b : legal or official authority, capacity, or right
2a : possession of control, authority, or influence over others
b : one having such power specifically : a sovereign state
c : a controlling group : ESTABLISHMENT —often used in the phrase the powers that be
d archaic : a force of armed men
e chiefly dialectal : a large number or quantity
3 a : physical might
b : mental or moral efficacy
c : political control or influence
4 powers plural : an order of angels — see CELESTIAL HIERARCHY (1)
These secular meanings cover a wide range of ideas about power, but we want to look specifically at the kind of power Jesus mentioned in the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer. Depending on your Bible translation, the doxology may or may not appear in second half of Matthew 6:13.
Biblical Definition of Power
There are several Greek words translated power: dunamis, kratos, exousia, and hoah.
In our key verse this week, the word translated from Greek to power is dunamis (doo’-nam-is). Strongs Concordance (G1411) defines this use of power as “force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):—ability, abundance, meaning, might(-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle(-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.”
It is commonly considered the miracle-working power inherent in God.
Power in the Old Testament
God’s power is evident throughout His mighty acts from the very start of creation through the parting of the Red Sea, the piling up of the Jordan, the tumbling of the walls of Jericho, even in the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. But have we now forgotten God’s power because we no longer notice Him at work in the same ways? Have our feeble memories failed us? Have we forgotten He is still the all-powerful (omnipotent) creator and ruler of the Universe? Has our lack of memories minimized our impression of His power?
God gave Job a reminder of His power when He was at His lowest. Perhaps it is for all of us.
“God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with his clouds. He created the horizon when he separated the waters: he set the boundary between day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke. By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?”
Though not the Greek dunamis, but in Hebrew, the Old Testament discussion of God’s power echoes of valor, victory, mastery, and strength. He is still in charge of that same force today as He was then, even if we fail to remember.
Power in the New Testament
In the New Testament, we see God’s power come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.
It is the same power by which Mary conceived Jesus.
“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
It’s the same power Jesus felt go out of Him when the woman with the bleeding disorder touched the hem of His robe and was healed.
“”Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me. Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.””
It’s the same power Jesus refers to as ability in the parable of the talents.
“To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.”
It’s the same power Jesus told His followers they had problems comprehending. This is probably still true today.
“Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.””
And it’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
“and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms”
Power for God’s People
Then we see that power given to all believers through the Holy Spirit. Dunamis is the same word Jesus uses when He tells His Apostles to remain in Jerusalem until He sends them the promise of His father and they are endued with power from on high.
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
We know this power of which Jesus speaks to be the Holy Spirit the Apostles received at Pentecost. The same Spirit we receive at baptism that seals and guarantees our Salvation.
It’s the same power Paul tells Timothy we have been given. Interestingly enough, the word used for spirit here is the one used to reference the Holy Spirit.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
It is the same power referenced as the source of God’s ability to perform miracles through Paul.
“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul: so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”
It’s the same power Paul stands unashamed of before the Romans.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
It is the same power we receive to overcome our fleshly desires and live godly lives.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
2 Peter 1:3-4
But, it’s also the same power Paul tells the Corinthians is housed in our frail bodies so as not to confuse it as our own strength.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
2 Corinthians 4:7
God gives His people His power which enables both their desire and their ability to do His will. When we operate within God’s will He works His power through us.
For Thine is the Power
So, when we pray, “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever,” we recognize that all power belongs to God and trust that His power is at work in and through us as His children. Through that power He is perfecting us in His Son’s image and equipping us to do His will here on earth until Jesus returns to establish His eternal kingdom. I don’t know about you, but that is a reminder I need constantly. Not only that God has given me His power, but that it is His power not mine. Because only when I fully acknowledge that all my strength, power, might, or abilities come from God alone, can all the glory be His, too.
God chooses to impart His people with His power to expand His kingdom for His glory! He doesn’t need our help, but He lovingly invites us to participate in His plan.God chooses to impart His people with His power to expand His kingdom for His glory! He doesn’t need our help, but He lovingly invites us to participate in His plan. #wordnerdwednesday #power #lordsprayer Click To Tweet
Same Power by Jeremy Camp is a powerful reminder of God’s power at work within us.
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope