A really good ending

Whether it is the final moments of a sporting event, a concert encore, the completion of a journey or even the last tasty bite of dessert, good endings are certainly to be celebrated. Don’t we all love how a story can come together with a resolution and a happy ending? What has been wrong is now right and there is resolution. Isn’t that why so many classics end with the stars waltzing off into sunset? In a similar way, what is said at the conclusion of a prayer affirms an emphatic “YES” about the content of the prayer.

I have journeyed with my congregation in preaching on the famous prayer often referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Well, yes, Jesus did pray it, but this prayer could very well be called the “Disciple’s Prayer” because Jesus was giving his followers a model way of praying. Two forms of this prayer are recorded in the Bible in the books of Matthew and Luke. Seven petitions make up the prayer with the first three directed to God and the last four addressing human needs and concerns. Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13 said, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

This is the common version many people will pray, but then there is a doxology added at the end which says “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.” This part was added in the first century by early Christians as they felt it was important to do so. The purpose of the doxology was to “give glory” to God and it focuses on His power and majesty. After praising Him for who He is and laying one’s requests before Him, it is very fitting to give back glory to God. This ending helps us see that the prayer then is all about God and not about us. We can take in who God is and we are then able to journey out and face the challenges of life.

The final word of this prayer ends with the word “Amen.” This is not just cute way to say “The End.” “Amen” means “verily,” “truly” or “so be it.” What is said is true and there is a coming action. The great preacher and reformer Martin Luther writes in his explanation of the Lord’s Prayer, that “Amen” means, “Yes, yes, it will be done.” It will be done because God is powerful and is able to answer our prayers according to His will. I love this model of prayer Jesus taught. It is a life transforming prayer. It has a really good ending because at the end we know God will answer and we will be changed into God’s image and into the people of God. AMEN

Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church: “An Alaskan church for people who would rather go to the River.” We gather on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at K-Beach Elementary in Soldotna. 252-2828 or www.therivercovenantchurch.org.

More in Life

Sierra Ferrell performs on the River Stage at Salmonfest in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Salmonfest returns Aug. 2-4 for ‘musically infused family reunion’

The three-day event will feature art, festivities and an array of performers

Gold Peak play the opening set of the Seventh Annual Rock’N the Ranch at the Rusty Ravin on Friday, July 7, 2023, at Rusty Ravin Plant Ranch in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Gold Peak play the opening set of the Seventh Annual Rock’N the Ranch at the Rusty Ravin on Friday, July 7, 2023, at Rusty Ravin Plant Ranch in Kenai. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Music fest returns to RustyRavin

The annual nonprofit music festival is a fundraiser for Nuk’it’un, a transitional home for men

Lisa Parker, vice mayor of Soldotna, celebrates after throwing the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Peninsula Oilers and the Mat-Su Miners on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
King of the River food drive extended, Kenai takes lead

The winning city’s mayor will throw the opening pitch at a Peninsula Oilers game

File
Minister’s Message: The gift of lament

We don’t always know what to do in those difficult parts of life.

Chickpea lentil and spinach curry is served with rice and yogurt. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Finding comfort in memories

I believe that houses hold memories, and I hope the memory of our time there comforts it during its final, painful days.

This advertisement for the Hilltop Bar and Café, the successor to the Circus Bar, appeared in 1962. The names under “Beer and Booze” refer to co-owners Swede Foss and Steve Henry King. (Advertisement contributed by Jim Taylor)
A violent season — Part 5

Bush did not deny killing Jack Griffiths in October 1961, but he claimed to have had no choice in order to protect himself.

tease
Getting creative with camping

Making healthy, diverse meals while outdoors takes some planning

James Franklin Bush was arrested and jailed for vagrancy and contributing to the delinquency of minors in California in 1960, about a year before the murder in Soldotna of Jack Griffiths. (Public document from ancestry.com)
A violent season — Part 4

James Franklin “Jim” Bush stood accused of the Soldotna murder of Jack Griffiths in October 1961

Most Read