June 28, 2018


Philippians 4:20

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

—  Philippians 4:20

The writer Anne Lamott claims that a great deal of her prayer life can be summarized by the alternating prayers “Help me, help me, help me” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Probably this is true of most of us. And, of course, we also need to say “Sorry, sorry, sorry” in confessing our sins. But we all recognize that we are forever bringing God our needs and then—in appropriate response—closing the loop with a prayer of gratitude.

Thanksgiving is wonderful and necessary. But so is doxology—and it’s not always clear that we do much of this. Doxology is praising God for who he is. It is giving God the glory that is due him for his radiant holiness. In thanksgiving we offer up gratitude for something we have received. But in doxology we honor the very being of God. We exalt and praise the Lord simply because he is God.

The word doxology comes from Greek and literally means “glory word.” We see God’s glory, and we speak a word of amazement as we send that glory to God.

Doxologies erupted from Paul quite often in his New Testament letters—and usually near the end, as we find here in Philippians 4. Doxologies of many kinds should regularly flow from our hearts and lips too!

Our glorious God is worthy of all the glory we can beam back to him!

All glory be to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the radiance of your holiness, the purity of your righteousness, the beauty that is simply and profoundly YOU! Amen.

About the author — Scott Hoezee

Scott Hoezee is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church who served two congregations before joining the faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary in 2005 as the director of its Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of numerous books, reviews, and articles, and he is a cohost of the radio program Groundwork, a sister-program of Today devotional. He is married to Rosemary Apol, and they have two adult children and a Boston terrier named Chester.

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