Heidelberg Catechism Q.128 & Q.129

Q.128. What does your conclusion to this prayer mean?

A. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever means: We have made all these requests of you because, as our all-powerful king, you not only want to, but are able to give us all that is good; and because your holy name, and not we ourselves, should receive all the praise, forever.

Q. 129. What does that little word “Amen” express?

A. Amen means: This is sure to be!  It is even more sure that God listens to my prayer than that I really desire what I pray for.


Many of us learned the Lord’s Prayer with this ending, however it was not included in the original manuscripts that we have.  So why did the church add these words and what do they mean?  The church added these words as a way of bringing the prayer to a conclusion that extolled the glory of God and acknowledged his ability and power to fulfill all six of the petitions prayed.  This ending serves to consciously refocus the believer from his life and frailty and allow him or her to gaze upon God once again.  Read Daniel 4:34-37.


What does it mean that God is all-powerful?  Read Psalm 66.  God’s power is displayed in his creating ability.  If is displayed in his miracles as he bends natural laws to accomplish his purpose.  God’s power is displayed in his use of men and women to accomplish his will.  When we say that God is the power, we are declaring that all power supremely resides in him and nothing can even begin to challenge his reign.  He always will win.


God’s power is also mediated by his goodness.  Jesus declared that God alone is good.  In his goodness, the power of God is used to bring about blessing and redemption for humanity.  He gives all of himself in order to see all of our life rescued and renewed.  Read Mark 10:17-18 and Romans 10:11-13.


Because of God’s kingly authority, his mighty power and his glory our Lord understands how to punish evildoers and to save his elect people.  He is God.  Read 2 Peter 2:4-9.


Finally, we pray these prayers because God deserves and owns all glory.  He is wholly other and wonderfully majestic.  He is the very definition of holiness, righteousness and love.  He is God, we are not and so we pray asking him to save us from all that is against us.  Read Psalm 115:1 and John 14:13.


The final Amen we utter after each prayer and especially after this one serves to reinforce in our mind that each of these requests and their related petitions are the will of God.  God will see his people redeemed in a covenant relationship.  God will cause his name to be known and honored.  God will extend his kingdom.  God’s will must be accomplished.  God will continue to provide all we need for physical life and spiritual fruit, including forgiveness of sins and spiritual leadership.  The Amen reminds us that these are the true things we can count on in this life and the next and that our Lord earnestly desires to answer each and every one of these prayers.  Read 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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