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Vain Repetitions (Matthew 6:7)

Introductory Thoughts

Man always seems to find a way to corrupt that which is good. Prayer was meant to give man a means of communicating with the Creator. It is to originate from the depths of the heart and never to be memorized and repeated. This is why true prayer is speaking to God from the depths of the heart. As such, God never intended for man to script His prayers to the Lord. In fact, the Lord warned His people against using “vain repetitions” while talking to Him (Matthew 6:7). Unfortunately, many people find it easier to simply repeat a prayer commonly called the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) rather than communing with God with heartfelt sincerity. God never intended this example of praying to be repeated. In fact, the Lord clearly made His intentions understood when He said, “After this manner . . . pray ye.” The Lord provided a manner (or an example) for His disciples to follow, not words for them to inattentively repeat. With this example of prayer, the Lord certainly was not instructing His followers to do the very thing that He warned against a few verses earlier.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The prophets of Baal called on their god and said, O Baal, hear us, from morning until noon. Elijah did not say the same thing over and over, but told God what was on his heart (1 Kings 18:26, 36-37). You dont keep saying the same thing when talking to dad or mom and neither do we when speaking to an all-knowing God.
  • (For everyone): Do you use vain repetitions in your prayer time? Do you repeat the same things each time? Do you pray scripted prayers? How can these things hinder genuine heartfelt prayer?
  • Do you often repeat the Lords prayer? Have you ever considered that the prayer given was specifically associated with the Jewish disciples to whom the Lord was talking?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you pray from the heart.
  • Ask the Lord to show you the vanity of repeating prayers.