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Persistent Or Vain Repetition Pray

Prayer Repetition: Where is the line between persistent prayer and vain repetition?

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#4 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Was this persistent prayer or vain repetition?
---Debbie on 10/14/07


[do you also speak to God using your own words? Mac]
Actually, the prayers are only part of the Rosary. The Rosary is a beautiful meditation on the life, death and resurrection of our Lord.
The "formal prayers" are always accompanied by whatever the person wants to think/pray to God. We ponder one of the mysteries with each set of beads. We can thank Him, praise Him, etc. with each bead or each set of beads. Each person "customizes" his or her own Rosary prayers.
---MaryLouise on 9/15/06


MaryLouise, sorry I've taken so long to get back on this. I don't have access to a computer every day. Thank you for you reply but I'm wondering if you only ever say these set 'prayers' or do you also speak to God using your own words? I'm sure that God would just like you to converse with Him as you would to a friend.
---Mac on 9/14/06


You're welcome, Augusta. These blogs can easily go off the radar screen.
To answer the question about "Holy Queen"
"Holy Queen" refers to the Woman in Revelation, the "Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars"
---MaryLouise on 9/10/06


MaryLouise: "[does the rosary consist of set prayers -Mac]..."
Thanks for answering this for me, MaryLouise. I just spotted it.
---augusta on 9/8/06




MaryLouise - ("...Hail Holy Queen..."). Who or what is "Holy Queen"?
---Helen_5378 on 9/8/06


Mac - When I was a kid I was taught to say the "rosary" just as you describe -- quickly mouthing the words as fast as I could just to get it over and done with. I had no idea of what the meaning was of what I was mouthing. It was vain repetition.
---Helen_5378 on 9/7/06


MaryLouise - I gather the prayers you talk of are ones that you are taught to say - ? Just wondering, because when I pray I simply talk to my Heavely Father as if He were my real dad -- prayer to me is a conversation that I have with Him, and it does not have any set words.
---Helen_5378 on 9/7/06


[does the rosary consist of set prayers -Mac]
Yes, the prayers are: Apostle's Creed, Lord's Prayer, Glory Be, Hail Mary, Jesus Prayer, and Hail Holy Queen.
One meditates on events in Jesus' life during the prayers, such as: Annunciation and Jesus' birth, proclamation of the Kingdom, Transfiguration, Agony in Garden, Scourging, Carrying of Cross, Crucifixion, coming of the Holy Spirit. 20 mysteries.
---MaryLouise on 9/7/06


It is very Simple and revealed in the Scripture if it's vain it's repetious, but if it's from the heart coming by the blood of Jesus we can ask with confidence and without worry because Jesus used the example of the widow asking for help of the Judge and the man asking for bread from his friend they got their answer by persistence.
---Exzucuh on 9/3/06




Alan of UK::Thank you Kindly,for your words of Understanding But would Like to Point out I have no Doctrine I follow only what Our Divine saviour left us to Follow HIS Doctrines.I do not have the Authority to send admonish as you say "to the other place",I believe I have never done that maybe disagree strongly But Condemn NO.like you once said no one listens to me anyway.so you see your Free Choice is safe in the keeping of each ones conscience.
---Emcee on 9/3/06


Augusta does the rosary consist of set prayers (perhaps each bead symbolising a particular prayer or something like that)? Do you always pray this way or do you sometimes commune with God in your own words as well? I have noticed muslims praying with beads and they seem to quickly move on from one to another as they mouth a prayer. I'm just curious - hope you don't mind the questions.
---Mac on 9/3/06


Yes Emcee, there are some non-Catholics who are honestly trying to understand the Catholic faith. i'm glad you appreciate that.
But it does not mean that we ahve to agree with yuor doctrine.
And the fact that we don't agree with your doctrine soes not mean that we condemn you to "the other place", and hope that you don't do that to us!
---alan8869_of_UK on 9/2/06


Augusta, I understand, and that is true for myself also, I speak in these blogs according to what I have experienced/seen, but I do not wish to lump all catholics or any other denomination together. God is bigger then doctrinal differences, and He is mighty to save.
---christina on 9/2/06


I am really delighted to see the efforts made byOur good Catholic bloggers are being acknowledged in a brotherly & sisterly way, to those, trying to make an honest effort to understand our Faith. Gods blessings surely reigns supreme.
---Emcee on 9/1/06


***Christina: "Mention is made of penance, Augusta, in the RCC I grew up in we went to confession every saturday in order to attend mass/recieve communion on Sunday, and we were always given hail mary's etc to say,"***

Christina, I can only speak for myself. It's up to the priest to prescribe whatever kind of penance he sees fit on an individual basis.
---augusta on 9/1/06


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I left the Church in my late teen years. ***MaryLouise: Holy Spirit knocked me over the head years later and let me back home! :)***
The Holy Spirit walloped me good too. lol
***The most important book after my conversion was "Eucharistic Miracles" by Joan Cruz.***
I know what you mean, Mary Louise. I never read that one but I did read Bob & Penny Lords' book on the Eucharistic miracles.
---augusta on 9/1/06


** [there was a time in the roman catholic church that for the right offering you could buy the favors of the pope-tom2] **

I don't know how many appeals and flyers I've seen from the likes of Oral Roberts, Robert Tilton, Jimmy Swaggart, et al, that promised to "pray for YOUR needs and requests"--with space at the bottom to write down the amount of your offering.

Usually they would be soliciting for building projects as well.

Any real difference between the two?
---Jack on 8/30/06


[there was a time in the roman catholic church that for the right offering you could buy the favors of the pope-tom2]

The selling of indulgences is not allowed in the Church. It would take a few pages to explain the whole thing - please read info on Vatican website.

Any abuse of selling of indulgences was stopped. If you recall, Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. He didn't say that the gates of hell wouldn't try to destroy His Church.
---MaryLouise on 8/30/06


Bruce has some interesting things to say about penance, and it brings to mind again extremes such as the Magdalene sisters and the many laundries and abuses which went on until fairly recently. The movie is very disturbing
---christina on 8/30/06


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Mention is made of penance, Augusta, in the RCC I grew up in we went to confession every saturday in order to attend mass/recieve communion on Sunday, and we were always given hail mary's etc to say, which one prayed at the altar after leaving the confessional. Did that for 20 years, but that was 20 yeARS ago
---christina on 8/30/06


jack there was a time in the roman catholic church that for the right offering you could buy the favors of the pope.especially if there was a holy war that needed financing.
---tom2 on 8/29/06


How does the RCC make it's vast wealth that it has?
---Helen_5378 on 8/29/06


[You got that right! lol

Btw, are you a convert too, ML?
---augusta [

Cradle Catholic, nobody taught me about Jesus being present in the Eucharist (so I could understand it), so I left the Church in my late teen years. Holy Spirit knocked me over the head years later and let me back home! :)

The most important book after my conversion was "Eucharistic Miracles" by Joan Cruz. My eyes were opened!
---MaryLouise on 8/29/06


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The rosary is a private devotional prayer that isn't required of Catholics but it is recommended. So we don't pray the rosary at mass, but some churches do have a special time right before mass where we can pray the rosary together. Some just pray the rosary at home, usually as a family. If you google "How to pray the rosary" there are illustrated sites that show you exactly how we do it.
---augusta on 8/29/06


Augusta, I apologise for my ignorance on these matters but would you please explain what you mean by 'Some Catholic churches have rosary before mass & some people pray the rosary at home ..."

No prob, M.P. I'm sorry I didn't explain it better.

The Rosary is the name of the prayer and we use the beads because they're pretty. ;) No, seriously, it's just a way of keeping count of the prayers and developing discipline in our prayer life.

cont...
---augusta on 8/29/06


ALan writes: "Marie Louise & Augusta ... Good"

Alan, it is sooo good. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the 2nd most blessed experience of my conversion outside of the Holy Eucharist. So many Christians have a problem forgiving *themselves* for their sins and having assurance that God really forgave them. Jesus, being Human himself, knew this and gave us a way to KNOW we are clean. It's a blessing beyond belief. And, yeah, it can be tough sometimes too... but so worth it.
---augusta on 8/29/06


Jack: "Have you ever heard of penance being a payment of money (as some jokes have said)? I myself have never heard of it happening in real life, but I'd like to know your experience."

I've never heard of anything like that happening before. :o
---augusta on 8/29/06


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Marie Louise & Augusta ... Good
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/29/06


Augusta, I apologise for my ignorance on these matters but would you please explain what you mean by 'Some Catholic churches have rosary before mass & some people pray the rosary at home'. I know only that a rosary is a string of beads but do not understand what having rosary or praying the rosary means. What actually do Catholics do with a rosary?
---M.P. on 8/29/06


"So true! The lack of understanding of the Catholic faith by the media/television/movie makers is incredible!"

You got that right! lol

Btw, are you a convert too, ML?
---augusta on 8/28/06


PART ONE:
A study of penance and "satisfaction" is very revealing as to the truth regarding penance.

Satisfaction is the technical term that describes the acts prescribed by the priest to the one seeking forgiveness by means of confession and penance.
---Bruce5656 on 8/28/06


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PART TWO:
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "Among the motives for doing penance on which the Fathers most frequently insist is this: If you punish your own sin, God will spare you; but in any case the sin will not go unpunished. Or again they declare that God wants us to perform satisfaction in order that we may clear off our indebtedness to His justice. "
---Bruce5656 on 8/28/06


PART THREE:
The priest may forgive the sin but the punishment for the sin must still be completed. This is either self imposed (satisfaction) or will be exacted in Purgatory.

The councils of Laodicaea (A. D. 372) and Carthage IV (397) and Trent make it clear that satisfaction is to be imposed on the penitent by the confessor (priest.) He is in fact obligated to give penance. If the priest is not instructing the penitent to perform penance
---Bruce5656 on 8/28/06


PART FOUR:
(satisfaction) he stands opposed to the explicit instructions of those councils.

Again, from the Catholic Encyclopedia article on The Sacrament of Penance: Following absolution (the forgiveness of the sin by the priest) "There remains, however, some indebtedness to Divine justice which must be cancelled here or hereafterIn order to have it cancelled here, the penitent receives from his confessor what is usually called his
---Bruce5656 on 8/28/06


PART FIVE:
"penance", usually in the form of certain prayers which he is to say, or of certain actions which he is to perform"
"The quality and extent of the penance is determined by the confessor according to the nature of the sins revealed, the special circumstances of the penitent, his liability to relapse, and the need of eradicating evil habits."
---Bruce5656 on 8/28/06


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Allow me to ask you something, Augusta.

Have you ever heard of penance being a payment of money (as some jokes have said)? I myself have never heard of it happening in real life, but I'd like to know your experience.
---Jack on 8/28/06


(I know it happens in the movies alot ;).

Tee Hee Hee :)

So true! The lack of understanding of the Catholic faith by the media/television/movie makers is incredible! Good answer augusta.
---MaryLouise on 8/28/06


Alan writes: "As the penance, we hear so often that the priest gives as penance "12 Hail Mary's and 5 Paternosters" or similar."

I've never had a priest to tell me to do that, Alan (I know it happens in the movies alot ;). After my confession my priest usually just tells me I need to make restitution to those I've injured by my sins - to ask forgiveness and make right the wrongs I've done etc.
---augusta on 8/28/06


**Augusta - You are a RC and you do not know what penance is? Penance that is given by the priest after you have confessed your sins to him.**
To be precise, after you have confessed your sins to God in the presence of the priest.
---Jack on 8/28/06


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Augusta ... Thanks, I had not realised that was what marie louise was doing.
As the penance, we hear so often that the priest gives as penance "12 Hail Mary's and 5 Paternosters" or similar.
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/28/06


** "For Thine is the Kingdom, ...Amen"
Could someone please show me Where those words are at the end of the Lords Prayer in Scripture.**
It depends on this MS of the Gospels you are talking about. Oddly enough, they do not all have it.
However, "For thine is the kingdom..." is a standard Jewish doxology at the end of prayers, so it's understandable why some MS contain it. Its use (or similar words) would have been familiar to the first generation of Christians.
---Jack on 8/27/06


Augusta - You are a RC and you do not know what penance is? Penance that is given by the priest after you have confessed your sins to him. It used to be mainly "our fathers" and "hail marys", but then like a lot of other things in the RCC maybe it is a little different now?
---Helen_5378 on 8/27/06


One question that i would like answered is if the rosary prayer is so heretical and anti biblical, why did Jesus give us "the lords prayer'? he said to pray like this, sure we could say it differently each time, but we try to stay within those guidelines. In essences, we are saying the same things over and over again. In addition, why do the angel repeat over and over in prayer "holy, holy, holy" and so on.
---ted on 8/27/06


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Alan: Augusta ... "maybe you should tell us the whole wording of the Hail Mary.
Perhaps you can also tell us how saying it several times can possibly be a suitable penance for wrong doing?"

Mary Louise already posted it.

I didn't post anything about "a penance for wrong doing". What do you mean?
---augusta on 8/27/06


"For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen"

Could someone please show me Where those words are at the end of the Lords Prayer in Scripture.
---Steve on 8/27/06


Augusta ... maybe you should tell us the whole wording of the Hail Mary.
Perhaps you can also tell us how saying it several times can possibly be a suitable penance for wrong doing?
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/27/06


M.P.: "Would someone please explain to me what 'Hail Mary' actually means? Who says it, when is it said, why is it said..."

M.P., in short, 'Hail Mary' is how we address Mary in the Rosary which is said in response to Mary's prophecy in Luke 1 (Mary prophesied that all generations would call her blessed). Most of the words are from Luke. Some Catholic churches have rosary before mass & some people pray the rosary at home, daily, weekly etc, but it can be said by anyone at anytime.
---augusta on 8/27/06


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Helen says: ** God hates religion. **

God says: "Pure RELIGION and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27 (Emphasis added.)
---Jack on 8/27/06


**"..Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!", the RCC has twisted ....**
Actually, the Greek word that the KJV renders as "highly favored" is KEChARITOMENOI, from the Greek word ChARIS that elsehwere in the KJV is rendered "grace."
KEChARITOMENOI is literally "all graced up," or as we might more euphoniously render in English, "full of grace."
---Jack on 8/26/06


"Hail Full of grace, the Lord is with you." Luke 1:28
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" Luke 1:42
Holy Mary ["you have found favor with God" Luke 1:30
Mother of God ["mother of my Lord" Luke 1:43]
pray for us sinners [we are to pray for one another]
---MaryLouise on 8/26/06


The Hail Mary is a prayer for the Blessed Virgin Mary's intercession for us to God.

"Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
---MaryLouise on 8/26/06


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There is a whole lot of difference between Heavenly beings and people of the Earth. Man's, and woman's, heart is continually evil and, as we come closer to the end, the heart will get colder and colder. One of the Gifts of God is self-control and every little event that occurs in a person's life chips away at his self-control. It's getting more and more difficult to apply self-control which widens the chasm between God and man. We created the tribulation period by our actions.
---Steveng on 8/26/06


M.P. - The "hail mary" is a RCC prayer to the "blessed virgin mary" asking for her intercession. It is not to be found anywhere in Scripture, but like other cults it is taken from Scripture. When the angel says to Mary in Luke 1:28 "..Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!", the RCC has twisted that around to mean that Mary is highly favored above all human beings. They also use the words in the "hail mary".
---Helen_5378 on 8/26/06


Praying or speaking to dead people is a form of witchcraft isn't it? Would it be necromancy? Is this not an abomination to God? This is what I base my opinion on about the hail Mary's.
---john on 8/26/06


[God hates religion. Helen]
Where is that said in scripture??
---MaryLouise on 8/26/06


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Rev. 4:8 The four beasts rest not day or night saying holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty. Which was, and is, and is to come.
Here we have repetion. They rest not day or night saying this.It's not vain (useless). Thus, all repetition is not vain. But repetion that has no value to God is vain.
---john on 8/26/06


Jack. No. I'm not the judge. I do not condemn. I am discerning between what is right and wrong, and praying hail Mary is vain (useless). Just my opinion, not a judgement.
---john on 8/26/06


(2) No ammount of Scriptural, historical, logical, or linguistic evidence will convince the detractors otherwise. And, no matter what I or another supporter assert is in our heart the detractors don't believe in our sincerity.

Therefore, I remove my sandals and shake the sand off of them as I leave this thread.
---Steve on 8/26/06


(1)A summary: Most of the Protestants here are convinced that repeating the same words during the course of prayer is wrong. Few actually recognize that the key word in Scripture is "vain". But, even the ones who recognize that the key word is "vain", hold that praying the words of Scripture that are the "Hail Mary" are evil and idolotrous.
---Steve on 8/26/06


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Would someone please explain to me what 'Hail Mary' actually means? Who says it, when is it said, why is it said, is it just those 2 words that are said or is it the title of a 'prayer'? Is it directed at Mary herself?
---M.P. on 8/26/06


Jack - Honestly, why do you bother asking me a question if you are not prepared at all to listen to the answer? Obviously, your interpretation of "vain repetition" is different to mine.
---Helen_5378 on 8/26/06


Jack - If the attention and devotion are on the wrong object, in this case Mary, then it is definitely in vain. I am not trying to wriggle out of anything. What I state is my belief.
---Helen_5378 on 8/26/06


MaryLouise - It is still vain repetition because it does not mean anything. "Hail mary's" are from the pits of hell and that is where they are directed when they are said (although you obviously think otherwise because you are so religiously pious, which is false too). You may as well say "Hail Hitler" for all the good it will do. As I have said elsewhere, God hates religion. He hates religion because it a false piety and focuses on self and other gods.
---Helen_5378 on 8/26/06


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John: **To me, hail Mary even once is too much and twice is vain repetion becasue it's useless.**

John, are you called upon the judge the prayers of someone else? Please answer yes or no.
---Jack on 8/26/06


Helen, it seems to me that you are taking it as axiomatic--and without any proof or knowledge of what's in their hearts--that if RC's repeat something in prayer it's automatically "vain," but not if others might repeat it.

This, dear soul, is what the Bible calls "diverse weights and measures", a "double standard," as we would say today. You should read Proverbs 20:10 to see what God thinks about it.
---Jack on 8/26/06


Jack, and I suppose you have gone to heaven to find that they repeat phrases and you came back to earth? Why? (just a little bit of humor)
---Steveng on 8/25/06


The emphasis should be on "vain" not "repetion". There can't be much wrong with repetion because that's what they do in heaven. They say the same thing over and over again for eternity. It's the vain or useless that is the context. To me, hail Mary even once is too much and twice is vain repetion becasue it's useless.
---john on 8/25/06


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[The vain repetition I am speaking of is for e.g. saying 5 "our fathers" . . . very quickly one after the other, then as the RCs do followed by 5 "hail marys" said quickly too. You would not have much time to really stop and think of what you are actually saying, therefore . . .vain without meaning. Helen_5378]
So, if Our Father's and Hail Mary's are said with devotion and love, as in the rosary, that would be "persistent prayer," not "vain repetition".
---MaryLouise on 8/25/06


** Jack, I have never heard that Proverb before. Where can I find it? I've just tried using my concordance but can get no matches. Is it really in the bible or have you seen it elsewhere?**
I never said it was in the Book of Proverbs, now did I? It's a Christian lower-case proverb, or saying.
---Jack on 8/25/06


But Helen--this is EXACTLY what I said--it's the attention and devotion that keeps repetition from being vain.
YOU are the one who insisted that ALL repetition is vain. Now you're trying to wiggle out of it.
---Jack on 8/25/06


Jack - When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that was very much heartfelt prayer. Presenting a request to God such as Jesus there did is not vain repetition. I would call that persistent prayer.
---Helen_5378 on 8/25/06


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I just read your answer Alan, that is exactly what I meant when I wrote you on the other blog. The reasons behind what we write is what is important.
---lee_1a on 8/25/06


Alan 8869ofUK - Yes, that is exactly right Alan. The vain repetition I am speaking of is for e.g. saying 5 "our fathers" (i.e. the Lord's prayer) very quickly one after the other, then as the RCs do followed by 5 "hail marys" said quickly too. You would not have much time to really stop and think of what you are actually saying, therefore it would be vain without meaning.
---Helen_5378 on 8/25/06


Jack, I have never heard that Proverb before. Where can I find it? I've just tried using my concordance but can get no matches. Is it really in the bible or have you seen it elsewhere?
---emg on 8/25/06


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