Practical Meditations on the Lord's Prayer

Newman Hall, 1889



The doxology is omitted by the Revisers. It is not in Luke's version nor in the oldest manuscripts of Matthew, nor in the Vulgate. Alford says, "It must on every ground of sound criticism be omitted." It is supposed to have been placed on the margin, and subsequently transferred to the text, such doxologies being in frequent use. But though excluded by an exact criticism, a doxology so dear to our associations will long be used as expressing scriptural truth and an appropriate response to the prayer. It reminds us of David's thanksgiving, "Yours, O Lord, is the power, and the glory—Yours is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head above all." The Apostles Paul, Jude, and John, record similar ascriptions of praise—"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen." "To the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever." "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power to Him who sits upon the throne." The doxology is also implied in this very prayer; for His must be "the kingdom" who is asked to do kingly acts; and He must possess adequate "power" who is asked to accomplish what needs Divine strength; and to God alone must belong the "glory" of all His works. It is adoration naturally arising from devout hearts, and has been hallowed by immemorial usage in the Christian Church.


He who comes to Him must believe that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Here we profess our belief that God is both able and willing to do what we have asked.

1. The Kingdom—In ascribing to Him the kingdom, we deny that it is the devil's, from whom we have just asked deliverance. The "Evil One" who tempted our Lord, and who tempts us by displaying the allurements of the world, saying, "This is delivered to me, and to whomever I will I give it," is a usurper, having no true authority; his pretended kingdom is one of darkness and falsehood, is now overruled by God, and will soon be overthrown forever. Away with the idea of a malignant spirit sharing the kingdom forever in conflict. No! the kingdom is God's altogether, unchangeably, eternally, and this God is our Father in heaven. The kingdom of Nature is His. Its laws owe their origin to Him, and if He pleases He can suspend or change them. The kingdom of Humanity is His. Men aspire to control each other, to mold society, to rule in larger or lesser spheres, to be kings. History abounds with the follies and crimes of men who persuaded themselves that theirs was the kingdom for their own selfish ends, claiming a Divine right to do wrong and serve the devil. Nebuchadnezzar boasted—"Is not this great Babylon that I have built, by my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" It cost him seven years of humiliation to learn that "the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He wills." And how often have proud aristocracies and turbulent democracies abrogated all obligations of Divine justice, as if God had vacated His throne, or delegated His authority to them; as if human might was Divine right. Still more monstrous has been the claim to personate Deity, as when fallible men have pretended to be Christ's infallible representatives and vicars, condemning those who questioned their authority as guilty of rebellion against God. And not only so; but when, in a less degree, the headship of Christ in His Church has been claimed by princes, prelates, presbyteries, congregations, as if their decisions must be accepted as endorsed by His sign manual; as though the abuses and corruptions incident to every system, if not from selfishness and pride, yet from ignorance and neglect, could be Divine; and as if efforts towards reformation must be repressed as presumptuous interference with the government of God. All such claims need to be held in check by the avowal that the kingdom is God's; not man's, who is at the best ignorant, foolish, frail; but God's, the infinitely Wise, Holy and Good, our Father; to whom, above all the false claims of human authority, our final appeal is made.

If the kingdom is our Father's, every one of His children may claim its privileges and service. The poorest peasant with the proudest peer, the lowest servant with the mightiest monarch, may rejoice in being fellow-subjects of the one King; there being for each some allotted place, some work, some honor—for each the watchful care of the loving Father, whose is the kingdom. "If the words 'Yours is the kingdom' are true words, priests, kings, saints must say as much as any, yes, more than any—'It is not ours. We exist only to testify whose it is, only to bring all whom we can reach within the experience of its blessedness.'…We are bound to affirm that a Fatherly kingdom is established in the world; that to be members of it is our highest title, and that the beggars of the land share it with us; that under Him all may in their respective spheres reign according to this law; that all offices, the highest and lowest, have hence their responsibility and dignity—that this kingdom reaches to the most trifling acts and words; that not one of the suffering myriads in a crowded city is forgotten by Him who is its Ruler, any more than one of the spirits of just men made perfect—that when all the subordinate vassals of the kingdom shall confess their dependence upon Him, and feel towards one another as He feels towards them, then His kingdom, which is now, will indeed have come in power" (F. D. Maurice).

If we confess that the kingdom is God's, how great our inconsistency if we withhold our personal homage of heart and life! "Yours is the kingdom" means "We are subjects of Your kingdom, yielding homage not to worldly opinions and personal interests, but to You our only Lord." He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom;" He "opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers," and will say, "Come, you blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom."

2. The Power—It would be vain to ask favors of a king in title only, who might be entitled to promise, but would be unable to perform. Our Father has both the might and the right. The kingdom of nature is not endowed with independent powers. The King does not sleep on His throne while impersonal forces work their will. We are not subjected to unfeeling, irresistible laws; we are not reeds shaken by the wind, pebbles rounded by the wave, dewdrops exhaled by the sun; whatever the forces of nature and our feebleness, we affirm our confidence in our Father's all-controlling power. His Son said—"All power is given to me in heaven and in earth;" so that power is in the hand of gentleness, of Him who blessed little children and cleansed the leper.

The power does not belong to man, great as are his achievements. The steamship plunging forward in the teeth of the wind, piercing the crests of the mountain-waves, seems to defy the forces of Nature; but this illustrates not man's resistance to those forces, but his obedience to the laws which govern them. Steam and machinery avail us only when in using them we render homage to the power of God. The victories of modern science are achieved, not by compelling Nature to conform to our theories, but by building our theories on a reverent study of Nature; so that in science as well as morals it is true, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth;" the most docile and obedient making the resources of the universe their own. All our boasted victories of science over matter are so many tokens of the truth that "Yours is the power."

So with human life and history. There is power in wealth and station; much more in genius; more still in goodness; but all comes from the Divine Mainspring. We are apt to regard the agency and overlook its Lord. Yet Providence often teaches that calculations based on human probabilities may be utterly falsified. The wisest have been controlled by fools, the strongest overthrown by babes. Many a Goliath has fallen by a stripling's stone. Solomon says—"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor favor to men of skill." The power is our Father's; so that when "we have no might against this great company; neither know we what to do," we can say—"but our eyes are upon You." Thus, when all seemed lost in the death of the Founder of the Church, by the power of God He burst the tomb and ascended to His throne. The powers of the world were enraged, and sought to destroy the infant Church; but the power of God turned their plots to foolishness, their force to feebleness. "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together" against the fishermen of Galilee; but they took refuge in prayer, and said, "Lord, You are God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that is in them." Yours is the power! "Now, Lord, behold their threatenings—and grant to Your servants, that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching forth Your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Your holy servant Jesus." Yours is the power! When thus they prayed, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." God chose "the weak things of the world to confound the mighty," and proved that "the weakness of God is stronger than men." The victory was not with the princes, but with the despised Nazarene. When the foes of the Church have seemed to prevail it has not been by their own power, but by Divine permission. When Pilate boasted, "Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" Jesus replied, "You could have no power against me, except it were given to you from above." So, whenever we see power in hands least fit to wield it, and fear the consequences, let faith look up and say, "Yours is the power."

In all efforts to extend the kingdom, let us remember that as the work is God's, so is the power to accomplish it. We might well despair if left to our own resources. Who are we to conquer ignorance, prejudice, barbarism, wickedness? to convince the careless, soften the obdurate, purify the corrupt, save the lost? The power belongs to Him who bids us do the work; and so, conscious that without Him "we can do nothing," we believe that "we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us." Alas for those who offer this ascription, and yet resist the power of truth, of conscience, of the Spirit! How certain the overthrow of those who strive against the power of God! But, on the other hand, what consolation is theirs who embrace the power which is used for their support, and imparted to themselves! "He gives power to the faint." I may glory in my weakness if the power of Christ rests upon me. I am safe in my Father's care, for His is the power; and Jesus said of His sheep, "They shall never perish; no one is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

3. The glory—In its proper place, honor is a worthy motive. We admire one who for it spurns the largest bribe and sacrifices life itself. Yet men often seek false glory, slaying thousands for fame, and have been the curse of nations. But the glory of God is the manifestation of perfect wisdom, holiness and love, His glory is inseparable from the highest happiness of the Universe.

How difficult it is to render all the glory to Him! When ascribing it to Him, we often try to retain some for ourselves. In glorifying our country, its wealth, power, fame, do we not unconsciously glorify ourselves? Is not much of the praise we give to our own Church, its formularies, usages, successes, a disguised glorification of ourselves as belonging to it? Are we equally ready to praise whatever is excellent in other communions? In the spirit of this ascription we should not envy others their share of praise, but feel that it is God's to give; not our own to clutch at and be proud of, or to lament if we do not obtain it. Non nobis Domine, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name be the praise." True prayer must be in harmony with the character of Him to whom we pray. We may ask nothing which it would not be for His honor to give. We ask virtually if not formally, in the name of the Lord Jesus, when we thus, by His direction, pray to the Father whose glory we seek as our highest end. "What we thus ask faithfully we shall obtain effectually." We acknowledge His royal prerogative to give what we ask—Yours is the kingdom—His capacity to secure the gift—Yours is the power—His honor in bestowing—Yours is the glory. The doxology is thus a confession of the faith which is essential to the efficacy of this and every true prayer.


Although prayer is designed partly for the spiritual benefits derived from its exercise, and although such benefits are often primary in importance, yet, as shown in the introductory chapter, they are secondary in order. We are warranted to ask blessings which might otherwise be withheld, and to obtain which we are encouraged to be importunate. We may plead with God, employing arguments the strongest of which are drawn from His own character. When appealing to our fellow-men, we urge their capacity to do what we ask, their generosity, their past favors, and their own encouragement for us to apply to them when in need. ed. And our Father permits us thus to pray.

The Bible is full of illustrations of such pleading. "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to Your loving-kindness. You have delivered me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer." So here we plead what God is known to be, as an argument why He should act in accordance with His own attributes; not what we are, but what He is; not the smallness of our sins, but the greatness of His mercy; not the minuteness of our wants, but the magnitude of His power; not the sincerity of our prayer, but the majesty of His throne, the depth of His love, the glory of His grace.

We plead first the prerogative of royalty. We have prayed that His Name may be hallowed, His kingdom come, His will be done. It is for the King to establish His own rule. We have asked for a kingdom which is His own and not another's. Therefore, O Lord, establish it, reveal it, extend it, perfect it, help us in promoting it, plead Your own cause, assert Your own authority, "Your kingdom come, for Yours is the kingdom."

We also plead for ourselves. The King is the fountain of grace. He alone can forgive offenses against Himself. Our patience Father is on the throne, whose "property is always to show mercy and to forgive." "He delights in mercy." Therefore we plead, "Forgive us our sins, for Yours is the kingdom." The King is the fountain of honor. None carry titles in a land but by sanction of its ruler. In appealing to God as Father, we seek adoption as His children—an honor infinitely surpassing whatever earthly kings can give. He to whom we pray is able to confer this, for He is sovereign Lord. Grant us this nobility to call You "Father"—for "Yours is the kingdom!" No fear of asking more than He has to give need trouble those who can say, "Yours is the kingdom." It is reported of Alexander, that he once gave permission to a friend to demand of the royal treasurer any gift he pleased. The request was for a sum so great that the treasurer appealed to the monarch, thinking it too much for any subject to receive. The king replied, "But not too much for Alexander to give." When we consider the boon we ask—pardon of all sin, victory over all evil, the supply of all need, the honor of calling God "Father"—we might be discouraged by thinking how infinitely more is all this than we have any right to ask, were it not for the assurance that it is not too much for Him to bestow to whom we say, "Yours is the kingdom."

So also we plead His power. Men may say, "I would, if I could;" but "is anything too hard for the Lord?" He who said, "Let there be light," can say, "Your sins are forgiven you." "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean." His promise to Abraham was joined with the assertion, "I am the Almighty God;" which title all the children of Abraham by faith may plead. When we feel the force of unholy influences, the power of evil habit, our own weakness, and the strength of the foe; when in the cause of truth and philanthropy we feel discouraged by the opposition of some and the apathy of others, and are ready to say, "I have labored in vain, and spent my strength for nothing," we are encouraged to continue to pray, "Your kingdom come," by the plea, "For Yours is the power!"

So also we plead God's glory. All we ask tends to promote the glory of Him to whom the glory belongs. "It is Yours already; will You not act consistently with it. Has it not been Your glory to listen to the cry of Your children, to supply their need, to forgive their sins, to defend them from evil, to uphold Your own authority, to secure the performance of Your Will? Do this still, for Yours, O Lord, is the glory." Thus Moses pleaded—"Pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your mercy?" and Joshua—"O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns their backs before their enemies? and what will You do to Your great Name?" and David—"For Your Name's sake, pardon my iniquity;" and Jeremiah—"O the Hope of Israel, do it for Your Name's sake;" and Daniel—"O Lord, listen and do for Your own sake, for Your people are called by Your name." Thus our Divine Exemplar pleaded—"Father, glorify Your Name." Thus we also plead His own honor. "We have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us, what things You did in their days, and in the old time before them. O Lord, arise, help us and deliver us, for Your Name's sake! O Lord, arise, help us and deliver us, for Your honor."


We praise God for His gifts. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." "In everything give thanks." Our Lord, who revealed the Father, welcomed the expression of praise in the one leper who returned to give thanks for his cure. He Himself gave thanks at the miracle of the loaves, when He instituted the Supper, and at Emmaus after His resurrection. For every blessing of this life we should praise the Giver; but above all for His "inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace and for the hope of glory." "In Him we live and move and have our being." Therefore "it is meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty Everlasting God."

Delight in the giver is a still higher form of praise than gratitude for the gift. A loving child says not so much "I want a gift," as "I love my father." A mother is pleased with the recognition of her tender heart more than of her helping hand. The children of God thus delight in Himself. The glorious company of heaven unite in the anthem, "Glory and power be unto our God forever and ever." The Church on earth responds in adoration of God, not only for His gifts, but for Himself, saying, "We praise You, we glorify You, we give thanks to You, for Your great glory." Such praise should ever blend with our prayers. "In everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Without thankfulness it would not be for our good that fresh favors should be bestowed. On the wings of supplication we soar to the throne, and while gazing on its glory our petitions are brightened by the luster, and transfigured into praise. Your kingdom come—we adore You; Your is the kingdom! Your will be done—we magnify You; Your is the power! we desire Your glory—Hallelujah; Your is the glory! We know our requests are already heard. "Before you call I will answer, and while you are yet speaking I will hear." Therefore, while praying "Your kingdom come," we may join the Church triumphant in the song, "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who was and are and is to come, because You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned."

Such praise to God is the best expression and aid of union among the worshipers. Christians who differ in opinion may agree in praise. As at a political meeting of loyal citizens who sincerely and zealously advocate differing methods of promoting the common weal, there may be many voices so uplifted together in debate that no coherent utterance may be distinguishable, yet when the national anthem is sung, all those discordant voices blend in the harmony; so is it in the songs of the Church. Controversy is hushed when we "praise God from whom all blessings flow." This also links earth with heaven. Departed saints have ceased to need many of the prayers we offer, but they still praise as we do, if not for the same gifts, the same Giver. And angels unite in this Liturgy. They have no higher employ, or purer joy. "I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."


"Yours is the kingdom forever! "We rejoice that it must so remain. "Your dominion endures throughout all generations." "Yours is the power forever!" Not a reservoir which may be emptied, but an ocean to which every outflowing stream returns; not a force which may be spent, but an infinite energy. "Yours is the glory forever!" Not like earthly glory, whose emblems are the fading flower, the passing wind, the transient meteor. As it was in the beginning, so is it now, and so ever shall be. The glory of God is His love, and "His mercy endures forever." Jesus, the brightest manifestation of the Divine Glory, is "the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Is it unreasonable to hope that those who praise a God who lives "forever," will share in that "forever"? Will beings so endowed perish? The Old Testament says little of immortality in direct terms; but its records tell of those who worshiped God as the Everlasting. Must not they whose faith and love thus rose up to the eternal throne, have cherished some hope of immortality themselves? Our Lord showed that life eternal was thus revealed to them. They worshiped Jehovah, the Self-existent, the "forever" God. He proclaimed Himself as "the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob." He was not ashamed to give Himself this title. "I am the God of those who worshiped, trusted, served, and praised me." If dead and extinct, God, who could have continued them in being for His service and love, allowed them to perish; He had permitted and enabled them to adore His everlastingness, and yet allowed them to sink into nothingness. Would He boast of being their God? No! "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living." "He has prepared for them a city;" an endless life with Himself; "wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God." Their praise of a "God forever" lifted them into the region of an endless life, and made there partakers of the nature they adored. "Life and immortality" are clearly "brought to light" by the Gospel. "We know that we have eternal life;" "Our life is hidden with Christ in God;" "Because He lives, we live also." We exult in a kingdom, a power, a glory, which can never cease. We rapturously repeat the Hallelujah Chorus, "Forever! Forever! Forever!" Can we who are privileged by God to render such worship, be allowed by the same God to perish? Can we conceive of Him looking with complacency on such worshipers, listening to their ascriptions, and then allowing one after another, thousands after thousands of them, millions after millions, with this word "Forever" on their lips, to drop into the grave and be themselves dead "forever"?

No! We are ourselves forever if we really worship a "forever God." All our interests are thus lifted up into the great future. It is not for the present merely that we pray. The Kingdom we seek to promote is forever; the Will we wish to be done is forever; the bread we ask in the strength it imparts for promoting that kingdom and doing that will, has a bearing on the "forever;" the forgiveness is pardon forever; the trials in which we ask support are a discipline for the forever life, and the deliverance from all evil is a deliverance forever. Thus all things about which we now pray are linked with the life that is forever. It is "God our Father forever" who provides our bread, orders our steps, appoints our trials, for our good and His glory forever. Thus, nothing that happens to us is trivial when we bring it in prayer to the region of the "forever." When the writer was in Jerusalem, he visited the ancient quarries beneath the city, where are seen heaps of chippings, and marks on the rock showing the size and form of the stones which had been excavated for building the temple. These were laid in their courses without sound of hammer, axe, or chisel. Here, in these dark caverns, were prepared the goodly stones which were to form parts of that majestic structure on Mount Moriah, where the sacred feasts were celebrated, and the sacrifices were offered, and the anthems of Hallelujah resounded, and the Shekinah of God was revealed. How mean in itself the condition of any one stone, hewn and chipped in that dark cave; but when its purpose was contemplated, what dignity invested every touch of the shaping tool, and every minutest part of the process that was preparing it for taking its place in the temple of God! And so with all the circumstances of our earthly life. Our daily joys, sorrows, trials, and cares are no longer insignificant when overruled by God, the great Master Builder, to constitute us temples of the Holy Spirit now, and to prepare us for a place in the heavenly Jerusalem, the house not made with hands, where God reveals His unveiled glory, and every stone of the structure is resplendent with the reflection of Himself; not insignificant when we consider that these little things of our earthly existence are fashioning us as living stones for the temple of God, by establishing His kingdom in our hearts, by molding our will to His, by giving us victory over temptation, by purifying our hearts from sin, by enabling us to appeal to Him as "Our Father in heaven," and to ascribe to Him "the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, FOREVER."


Amen is the echo of earth to heaven—it is man's response to God. This very word was uttered three thousand five hundred years ago, when the Israelites worshiped in the wilderness, and afterwards when they responded to the priests in the temple. Our Lord often uttered it, and the apostles and early Church habitually employed it; martyrs have died with it on their lips, and at the present day it is used throughout the world by "all who profess and call themselves Christians." For it has been transferred without translation into every language, so that Chinese and African, Greenlander and Hindu, however varied their speech, utter the same Amen. Thus it is a bond and badge of union among all Christians of every tribe and kindred. Day by day, among all nations, this response is made to the one Father, anticipating the day when the kingdom shall fully have come on earth, and when the whole creation will resound with one harmonious, all-comprehensive Amen to God.

Amen is a strong affirmation; so our Lord employed it in uttering important truth in relation to regeneration, John 3:3; and immortality, John 8:51. He is Himself the Divine Amen, testifying and ratifying the truth of God. This is one of His titles, "Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness." "All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God." The promises are fulfilled forever by Him. His life on earth was His Amen to all that God is in heaven. His words of wisdom, miracles of goodness, life of purity, proclamation of mercy, death on the Cross, were His Amen to the types and prophecies of the Old Testament. His resurrection and ascension were His Amen to His own claims and His people's hopes. His gift of the Spirit was His Amen to His promises and the need of His Church; and His intercession is a continual Amen to us, who in His Name "come with boldness to the throne of grace." This gives special interest to our use of the word. Keeping in mind that Christ is the great Amen, every Amen we utter is prayer

and praise in His name. It is the expression of confirmed and earnest desire. The Amen of affirmation says, "So it is;" of supplication, "So let it be." We utter our petitions, and then, briefly reconsidering and summing up the whole, we pray Amen. It also means expectation of receiving what we ask. Our petitions have not exceeded what it is in God's power and for His glory to bestow, or what He has encouraged us to ask; and so we utter the Amen of faith. It means confidence in our Father. Whether He answers us in the way we wish or not, we trust His wisdom and love. This word is the riveting of a nail to make it fast, the sealing of a document to render it valid, the endorsing of a cheque to give it currency, the addition of an oath to confirm a promise.

Suitable in private prayer, it is specially valuable in united worship as the adoption by the many of the utterances of the one who speaks. So the tribes solemnly assented to the blessings and curses pronounced by the Levites on Ebal and Gerizim. So, when David brought up the ark to Mount Zion, after the doxology, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel forever and ever…all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord." The words and music were new, and the congregation could not unite with the choir in the anthem, but at its close they associated themselves with the whole of it by their own Amen. On the return from captivity, when Ezra "blessed the Lord, the great God," "all the people stood up and answered, Amen and Amen, lifting up their hands," indicating not only their concurrence with the words of homage, but their willingness to hear and obey the word. That such response was general may be inferred from the words of the Psalmist, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting; and let all the people say, Amen." Not the ministers alone, or the choir, but "all the people:" men, women, children; not mentally merely, but audibly. "Let all the people say Amen." If, as Archbishop Leighton says, "all Christians are God's clergy;" if, as Peter says, they are a "royal priesthood;" if, as the anthem of the Blessed says, they are "kings and priests to God," let them not leave all worship to the church officers—priest, presbyter, or pastor—but assert their own priesthood by this united response. This was the custom of the early Church. Paul asks how can people "say Amen at the giving of thanks," if the language is unknown? In heaven the Amen of gathered voices is the most familiar sound. To the anthem, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain," the four living ones, representing the highest orders of angelic nature, "said Amen." And after the Hallelujah anthem, "the four-and-twenty elders, and the four living ones, fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, Amen, Hallelujah!"

This impressive response was practiced by the early Church. Jerome says that at the end of every public utterance of prayer and praise, the united Amen of the people sounded like the waves of the sea falling on the shore, or the voice of thunder. "The hollow idols, and their temples that were empty, did echo and rebound the Church's Amen, so that their fabrics shook." It was not a merely mental assent, nor a smothered whisper, but such an outburst of emotion as made it evident that all the people assented, thus stimulating the devotion of the worshipers, and testifying to strangers their steadfast faith. Alluding to the early method of celebrating the Lord's Supper, Dean Stanley says—"The consecration was not complete until it had been ratified in the most solemn way by the congregation. For it was at this point that there came, like the peal of thunder, the one word which has lasted through all changes and all liturgies—the word which was intended to express the entire, truthful assent of the people to what was done and said—Amen."

A Puritan writer says—"When we set our seal to the truth of God and say Amen, it is a word that fills earth and heaven—there is not a more joyful word in the world than when whole congregations say and shout Amen" (Sibbes). Another says—"The united breath of God's people sends a blast upon their enemies; the trumpet blew, and the people shouted, and Jericho fell down to the ground. If any single soul who prays in faith, shall be heard; how much more when the whole congregation is in harmony, and unanimously cries 'Amen'! God will say 'Amen' to such Amens" (Woodcock). Such a collective response to prayer, whether liturgical or "free," is grander than any music of organ and choir; and more impressive than any sermon is the confession thus given by all to the reality of worship and the truth of God. But let it be the soul's response. "The word 'Amen,' unaccompanied with the feeling which it is intended to call forth, loses its power from familiarity, and, though constantly on our lips, lies bedridden in the dormitory of our soul. But it is a great word this word Amen! and Luther has said truly, 'As your Amen is, so has been your prayer'" (Saphir).

While many are prompt in practice, if not by speech, to say Amen to the world's fashions, opinions, and favor; Amen to the allurements of self-indulgence and sin, to the flesh and to the devil, let our heart ever respond with its Amen to God. He says, "Seek my face:" let us reply, "Amen! Your face, Lord, will I seek." He calls, "Return, you backsliding children:" "Amen! behold, we come to You." Jesus stands at the door and knocks—our opening the door is the soul's Amen. He commands—Amen, we obey. He promises—Amen, we believe. He leads Amen, we follow. Amen is the answer of a good conscience towards God. Amen accepts the Divine covenant—"Come out from among them, and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord God Almighty." What condescension, that He should ask our concurrence What honor and joy for us to respond to all His appointments, even unto death; as Cyprian, when condemned to be slain by the sword, exclaimed "Amen!" When the heavenly Bridegroom says, "Surely I come quickly," the Bride replies, "Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus." "If we say Amen to God's invitation, He says Amen to our salvation."

Amen is an emphatic and comprehensive summary of the Lord's Prayer; responding to it as a whole, omitting no one petition. "Our Father in heaven." Amen! Creator and Preserver of all men, Redeemer from sin and death, help us with filial confidence to say, "Abba, Father." Amen! We bless You for thus revealing Yourself. You are more than our largest conceptions of a word so dear. May we rejoice in Your sustenance, protection, culture, discipline, comfort, and all we need to fit us for the inheritance You have provided for Your children. May the word "Our" reprove selfishness. May we recognize the brotherhood of man in the one Fatherhood that links all classes and nations together. Amen! You "are in heaven," glorious, mighty, mysterious, unchangeable; pure as the blue ether and ever near as the surrounding atmosphere. May we reverence Your majesty while rejoicing in Your love. May obedient homage blend with filial confidence. Trusting You fully, yielding ourselves to You absolutely, delighting in habitual, reverential and familiar communion with You as children, may we more and more respond to this title —"Our Father in heaven." Amen.

"Hallowed be Your Name." Amen! Let this very designation be universally known and honored. May God, as revealed in His Son, be worshiped, loved and reverenced. May the Name of Jesus, who is "the Image of the invisible God," be dear to the hearts of all! May we have true conceptions of this Name, cherish appropriate emotions, manifest suitable reverence, fail not in worship and service; and by thus hallowing it ourselves, impress others with its majesty and goodness. Amen! May Your glory take precedence in our desires and aims, and Your Name be more to us than worldly good. "God is LOVE." Let all mankind know and honor You; by the whole earth "Hallowed be Your Name!" Amen!

"Your kingdom come!" Amen! Let Your rule of holiness and love universally triumph over all that is false, wicked and cruel, overcoming infidelity, idolatry, superstition, ignorance and sin. And may we who pray for it strive diligently to promote it. Amen! Let Your kingdom come in every church by its increasing purity and usefulness; let it come in our hearts by more absolute self-surrender to the King! O for the time when Christ shall come again to claim this world as His; when tyranny, war, greed, lust, pride, poverty, sickness, sorrow, death, shall be known no more! We love Your appearing! We are looking for this blessed hope! Let the whole earth be filled with Your glory Amen, and Amen!

"Your will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven." Amen! We rejoice that Your will rules the universe; not fate, or force, or chance. As You are our Father, that Will must be wise, kind, for our good; O let it be done! Amen. Let it be done by men as by angels, not from compulsion but from love; cheerfully, promptly, unstintedly, freely, intelligently, prayerfully, always. Let it all be done, and as in Your presence. Let me do it; let us do it; let all do it, in passive submission as in active service. Help us to imitate Him who said, "Father, not my will but Yours be done." In the blending of our own will with Your may we enjoy "the peace of God that passes all understanding." So let it be done here on earth and now, even "as it is done in heaven." Amen!

"Give us this day our daily bread." Amen! You who have made us to hallow Your Name and long for Your kingdom and do Your will, will not permit us to lack any good thing. You who fed Israel with manna and performed the miracle of the loaves, do by that same word "give and preserve for our use the kindly fruits of the earth." Give us seasonable food; enough for our need; give it from day to day; and help us to trust You for tomorrow. We ask for one another, for the family, the nation, the world; for our friends, for our foes, Give us! May we feel our dependence on You for it; cherish gratitude; be diligent in the use of means, and not waste Your gifts. May the bread we eat be our own by industry and honesty, and as Your gift; and may we be willing to share with those for whom we ask it. And while we ask food for the body, give us the living Bread to strengthen the soul. Amen!

"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Amen! Against You, You only have we sinned. All wrongs done to ourselves and our neighbors are sins against our Father. Our debts are written in Your book. They increase and cannot be discharged nor transferred. O cancel them! "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." But You have sent Your Son to discharge the mighty debt by His life given for us all. We ask for pardon in His Name—Amen! May we be truly contrite because of sin, confess it and forsake it. Pardon as well as feed us, day by day. Pardon also our neighbors, our enemies, mankind! We do not ask mercy which we ourselves refuse to show. We cannot ask pardon for those to whom we deny it. We have forgiven, we do forgive! O help us to forgive others more generously, more fully, and do You forgive both them and us. Amen!

"And lead us not into temptation." Amen. Past sin is our grief and shame—guard us from the repetition of it. It has shown us our weakness—be our strength. So direct the circumstances of life that the temptations we cannot avoid may not be beyond our strength to resist through Your help. Break the force of hostile influences in the world, in our companions, in our condition, in ourselves. Set a hedge around us to keep us from going astray. Let us not be tempted above that we are able, but with every temptation make a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it. Amen! You who Yourself have suffered, being tempted, are able to help us the tempted. Let us not go into the perils into which we ask You not to bring us. May we watch and pray that we enter not into temptation. Preserve others also from the danger which we dread for ourselves; and let us not by carelessness or selfish indulgence encourage them in dangerous paths from which we ask You to preserve both ourselves and them Amen!

"But deliver us from the evil." Amen! Save us from the Adversary who tempts us to destroy us. May we be watchful against his devices, and brave to resist his assaults. You who came to destroy the works of the devil, destroy his works in us. Deliver us from the evil in ourselves which affords him such advantage. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts. May we be filled with the Spirit, and so have no vacant space for the Evil One to enter. "Deliver us from the evil, whatever it is, that lurks even in the best of good things—from the idleness that grows out of youth and fullness of bread—from the party-spirit that grows out of our political enthusiasm or our nobler ambition—from the fanatical narrowness which goes hand in hand with our religious earnestness—from the harshness which clings to our love of truth—from the indifference which results from our wide toleration—from the indecision which intrudes itself into our careful discrimination—from the folly of the good, and from the selfishness of the wise, good Lord deliver us" (Stanley). Deliver us from all the evil tendencies of our own hearts; from all the evil consequences of sin; let sin itself be soon destroyed, and may we be perfectly conformed to the image of our Father. Amen.

"Our Father in heaven!" Hear, we beseech You, these Your children's prayers, responding to the teaching of Your Son. Will You not grant what You have instructed us to ask? Earth echoes back the voice of heaven. We ratify with rejoicing hearts the Divine word. Yours is already the kingdom for which we pray! Yours is the power to secure obedience to Your will! Yours is the glory which in all our prayers we seek! We bless You for Your gifts! We adore You for Yourself! King forever; Mighty forever; Glorious forever! OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER. AMEN.

Our Father Who in heaven does dwell,
In love directing all things well,
Hallowed forever be Your Name,
Let earth and heaven Your praise proclaim.

Soon may Your glorious kingdom come,
In homage not one voice be mute;
Your loving will obeyed on earth,
Even as by those of heavenly birth.

Our needful bread give day by day,
Take all our trespasses away;
And as for pardon we entreat,
So let us show forgiveness meet.

Preserve us in temptation's hour,
Your children save from Satan's power;
For Yours the rule, strength, glory be,
Both now and through eternity. —Newman Hall

The kingdom, Lord, is Thine,
The right o'er all to reign;
None can assail Your throne Divine,
Nor of Your laws complain.

The power, O Lord, is Thine
To vindicate the Right;
With strength Your love does intertwine,
Mercy allied to might.

The glory, Lord, is Thine;
All praise to You be given!
Through all Your works Your wonders shine,
In earth and highest heaven.

For evermore the praise,
The kingdom, power, belong
To You; throughout eternal days,
Creation's endless song.

Amen! the chorus rings
From earth to heaven again;
The universe adoring sings
One blessed, glad AMEN. —Newman Hall