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Full Question

Matthew 6:7 states, “When ye pray, use not vain repetitions.” So why do you recite the Lord’s Prayer and other written prayers?

Answer

The Our Father was given to us by Jesus as the model of prayer (Matt. 6:9-15; Luke 2:1-4), so it would be quite odd for Christians not to use it as their most common prayer.

Jesus himself repeated prayers:

[Jesus] advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” 

Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”

He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44)

To claim that simply repeating the same prayer is a violation of Jesus’ teaching would be to claim Jesus violated his own teaching.

Are the angels in heaven violating Jesus’ teaching by praying the same prayer forever?

The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come” (Rev. 4:8).

Jesus’ point in Matthew 6:5-8 is about prayer without heart, prayer without soul, prayer without inner meaning. Jesus was condemning a transactional understanding of prayer. Commonly repeated prayers like the Our Father are about meditation and worship of God, not finding the right formula to get what we want.

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

4 Comments

  • Amalia Koch says:

    I don’t understand what they mean condeemed repeated prayer ? What about the nnovena which is prayed for nine consecutive hours the same prayer ?

  • Amalia Koch says:

    I don’t understand what they mean condeemed repeated prayer ? What about the nnovena which is prayed for nine consecutive hours the same prayer ?

  • aiello01 says:

    There is a difference between praying or asking God for the same thing over and over again, versus repeating words over and over again like a mantra. Prayer is not intended to be a meditative device. Our peace and strength come from unconditionally trusting in God (see 1Peter 5:5-7 and Philippians 4:6-7).

  • aiello01 says:

    There is a difference between praying or asking God for the same thing over and over again, versus repeating words over and over again like a mantra. Prayer is not intended to be a meditative device. Our peace and strength come from unconditionally trusting in God (see 1Peter 5:5-7 and Philippians 4:6-7).

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