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What Is Meaningless Repetition

What does "meaningless repetition" refer to? Does this mean not to pray for the same thing over and over again?

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 ---Cynthia on 10/2/07
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To my understanding repetition pertains to repeating the same thing over and over again as a dictation.

This is done is some Churches.
The statement is given to the people to repeat as a reply.
Each and everytime to an certain program.
---char on 11/24/10

the Bible talks about praying three times a day. whether its for the same thing or for three different things. nothing wrong with that.
and the Bible talks about meditation which requires repeating verses of scripture. so repetition is not the problem.

meaningless is the problem. the original word is "empty". it means idle or inoperative.

an example would be when Jesus talked about people who spoke scripture but their heart was not in it. people disinterested, just going by rote, their minds somewhere else.
---opalgal on 1/19/09

Helen-Lorra8574 - ("Pagans prayed "Mantras", which are said over and over again.") -- Roman Catholics pray hail marys and our fathers over and over again too

So, since the words from the Hail Mary and the our Father are in Scared Scriptures we should not read the bible. They also had their own so-called bible, again are you saying we should not read the Bible?
---Ruben on 10/12/07

Lorra8574 - ("Pagans prayed "Mantras", which are said over and over again.") -- Roman Catholics pray hail marys and our fathers over and over again too.
---Helen_5378 on 10/11/07

Sincere Prayer is never vain repitition, no matter how often repeated. For example a mother at her seriously sick child's bed might be huddled over her child praying "Please God" over and over and over. She wants Him to heal her son and there is not a more perfect prayer on earth, even though it is simple and repeated many times.
---lorra8574 on 10/11/07

Now, take a street preacher praying loudly and condemning the "sinners" walking around him, he is praying vainly because he is only praying to hear the sound of his own voice and trying to make himself look better compared to others. (I am not speaking of all street preachers, only those that fit this description.)

Pagans prayed "Mantras", which are said over and over again. Mantras are often to Pagan gods which are not real gods - this is also vain repetition.
---lorra8574 on 10/11/07

People misuse the quote "Vain repitition"
Vain is an adjective, repitition is a noun.
There is nothing wrong with repetition itself.
We can have good repetition, boring repetition, uplifting repetition, instructive repetition (learning your times table is an example)
It is only vain repetition that Jesus condemns.
In many cases repetition of the Lord's Prayer is good, in other cases it is vain.
It is only when it is vain that it is wrong.
---alan_of_UK on 10/11/07

Mima-Question, is saying the rosary vain repetition????--- Does Matthew 5:7 call Catholic who say the rosary HEATHEN

The answer is No!...Passage Matthew 26:44:
"So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing."
---Ruben on 10/8/07

3X is not vain repitition like a person that says the rosary 20x a day. The rosary is definitely what they would be referring to (as the heathen praying to other gods)
---blaze on 10/10/07

Repeating a prayer is not vain in and by itself.

What makes it "vain" is DOING AS THE HEATHEN DO. The adjectival phrase is the focus, and it is an explanation of "vain repletions".

E.g. "Do not constantly smoke, as many heathen addicts do" is a parallel construction.

Otherwise, Jesus is wrong when he urges us to be persistent in prayers.
---Observer on 10/10/07

Yes, that is exactly what it means.. To do so, would be insulting to a living God, that can hear and understand, without it having to be repeated, he is not deaf..
---Gayla on 10/8/07

Mima:: I grant you this, you admit to wrong interpretation.So "Vain Repetitions" are relevant to Prayer Matt6:7-then HE Gives us the Lords Prayer,which is contained in the Rosary & The hail Marys by way of Intercession & meditation on the mysteries of Jesus life, would you consider that "Vain Repetition"If so why do Christians pray to God at all?God knows each ones wants so why ask?BC HE said ASK & you will recieve.
---Emcee on 10/8/07

Mima-Question, is saying the rosary vain repetition????--- Does Matthew 5:7 call Catholic who say the rosary HEATHEN

The answer is No!...Passage Matthew 26:44:
"So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing."
---Ruben on 10/8/07

Bill Billa::Read the story of Blind Bartimaeus.Did he not call out repeatedly"Jesus son of David haveMERCY on meDid God show his mercy??for his repeated entreaties,in spite of others telling him to keep Quiet? Mark 10:46
---Emcee on 10/8/07

Bill Bila::I am sorry I do not see "vain repetitions" in seeking mercy by one, who is merciful.Vain repetetions are prayers petetioning God with an uncontrite heart for things that are really not of value to your spiritual well being & in a place whwe you will be Noticed by others..Jesus Sermon on the mount is clear.Has no hidden meanings.
---Emcee on 10/8/07

Yes---Emcee you are correct I am wrong. Chapter and verse should have been Matthew 6:7 I hope you are as diligent in questioning yourself as to whether or not you're using vain repetitions and thereby making a heathen of yourself?
---Mima on 10/8/07

Yes, Emcee...Matthew 5:7 >

"'Blessed are the merciful,
. . . For they shall obtain mercy.'"

Paraphrasing this as saying vain repetition is what the HEATHEN do . . . is a very creative representation. But, Emcee we have "a number" of Catholics who are judging people who do not believe in official Roman Catholicism...don't we???
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/8/07

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vain repetition can mean doing things in my marriage the way I have seen others do things, or trying to be like others (o: > and then saying, "I want a divorce" can be a vain repetition of the stupid way a number of people handle things once they fail to get what they selfishly want...after they did not make sure with God about if and who to marry. And the same arguments you've kept using for the same beliefs...without improving in love...can be vain repetition??? (((o:
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/8/07

No, that is not what it means. We pray about things until we get an answer. Meaningless repetition Is praying without any real purpose in mind. Just words. No true Christian will dabble in this. Have a good week.
---catherine on 10/7/07

Emcee...who's judging people? We are examing doctrine. We are to study to show ourselves approved and to test all things.

2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Lamentations 3:40a
Let us search out and examine our ways...

1 Thessalonians 5:21
Test all things, hold fast what is good.
---Holly4jc on 10/7/07

Mima & Holly??::Matthew 7:1-5 tels us what the outcome will be of those who choose to judge their fellowmanas you do.BTW Mima Mat5:7 is a wrong quote & has no bearing on the subject,at least get the verse & ch straight. This is a tactic to speak just to make yourself felt. Nice try, maybe you would like to try "Vain repetitions "once more.
---Emcee on 10/7/07

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Matthew 5:7 tells us, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the HEATHEN do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8....Be not ye therefore like unto them." Question, is saying the rosary vain repetition????--- Does Matthew 5:7 call Catholic who say the rosary HEATHEN ?
---Mima on 10/7/07

1) Amen Whisper and DoryLory...well said. You have both correctly divided the Word of Truth. Praying for someone on a daily basis...for instance, like for salvation is totally different than sitting there repeating the same phrase over and over again for 1 hour straight. Can you imagine...God save my mother, God save my mother, God save my mother...for one hour straight? a wind-up toy. If you are praying for someone's salvation on a daily basis,
---Holly4jc on 10/7/07

2) you are not sitting there for 1 hour straight repeating the same phrase over and over again. The purpose of your prayer each day will be the same, but you will not sit repeating the same phrase over and over each day, like a "mantra" like the Buddists do. Like the heathens do. God wants relationship with us, from the heart. Would you sit and talk to your friend, repeating the same phrase over and over while having coffee?
---Holly4jc on 10/7/07

3) What kind of relationship would that be? You might talk about the same subject for an hour, but you would use a multitude of words, expressing your heart in various ways and words. That's the diffence between relationship and just offering up vain repetitions. Prayer is talking to God and no one talks to another using the same phrase over and over and over again, continuously for an hour (more or less). They hear you the first time during the conversation.
---Holly4jc on 10/7/07

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4) Yes, you might speak to them tomorrow about the same topic, but you still will not sit there repeating the same sentence over and over again. True relationship comes from the heart and with expression of feelings and when we pray to God, we are participating in our relationship with Him.
---Holly4jc on 10/7/07

In order to understand "Vain Repetitions " refer back to the occassion when Jesus used the words & in what contextHe condemned The scribes & Pharasees for their empty Piety Matt6:7-8Matt15:8-9To pray with sincerity is not repetituous.
---Emcee on 10/7/07

I think vain repetition can be in any church. It means you say a prayer or sing a song over and over but your heart is not engaged to what you say. I have seen some catholics repeat prayers and they really honor God with their prayers because their heart is in it. Then I have seen Pentecostals lift thier hands and dance around just because they want others to see how spiritual they are.
---MichelleS on 10/7/07

well...praying the same thing, again, can give ME a reunion with what I have asked God renew my commitment to what I have prayed for > like that I will be changed to be how You are in Your love > "as He is, so are we in this world" (in 1 John 4:17) > whatever this means will be required and Your correction of me to this > and that I will be real in how I love her (who You know I mean), admitting there is question that I am honest enough to mean this like I need to...about her
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/7/07

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each morning now...there is a prayer that has a way of rerererepeating itself from days before, more or less like > this is **Your*** day, LORD, not for what I want to use it for and what I can plan, but for You to create and all You please to share with me, today. And I need to stop while God clears me of all the things and people in mind demanding my attention, and for You to make me so I really submit to You.
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/7/07

This verse answers itself. "Vain repitition" is referring to speaking the same words as though God did not hear you the first time. It is not saying that all repitition is wrong, it is saying that to pray out of ignorance or to pray and not have an understanding of how prayer works, is vain (empty, powerless).
---DoryLory on 10/7/07

Ther is a Greek word called, Proscarterio, it means to pray, and continue until you receive your answer and to not give up.

HOWEVER: This is much different than vain repetitions:

Matthew 5:7 tells us, But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the HEATHEN do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8....Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Part 1.....
---Whisper on 10/4/07

Part 2, Now the thing that gets running fingernails down a chalkboard is sooner than Christ is speaking, 9. Jesus gives "THE LORDS PRAYER" Our Father which art in heaven......but Mother Angelica, like a cd with a scratch..BLINDLY IGNORES WHAT JESUS CHRIST JUST SAID, in verse 7. only one verse above this, inconceivable disobedience and disregard to what Jesus Christ HIMSELF just got done saying, DO NOT DO THIS!!If you do it you are a heathen.
---Whisper on 10/4/07

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Thank you so much Cynthia for sharing the message of Christ with people and for your great compassion for the lost. I was just curious - your posts are filled with great insight and Biblical wisdom - I was wondering whether you are a pastor. May God continue to bless and use you dear sister.
---Renato on 10/4/07

Cynthia if you desire someone to be saved, pray for them daily. The idea of "meaningless repetition" has to do with prayers that are not from the heart. Reading a prayer off a piece of paper and not really meaning what you say are even paying attention to what you say is an empty prayer. Don't let people tell you it's wrong or pointless to pray a similar prayer more than once. This should help.
---Matthew_from_LA on 10/4/07

I heard of demon possessed people who were delivered through fervent prayer. They prayed and prayed and prayed. The BIble says to pray without seizing. Can you imagine a demon possessed person praying one time for deliverance and that's it? Fervent prayer is helpful and powerful. Prayer that is repeated is empty only when it is not from the heart.
---Matthew_from_LA on 10/4/07

Repitituous Prayer is in the eye of the Beholder Not in the heart of the sayer.This makes the beholder judgemental of His neighbour.People in Prayer should be respected .God alone knows who the sayer is praying to Repetitious prayer & correction is a way of life,Not ridicule, unless he or it is praying to satan.God said "and it was good' 6 times in His creation."VAIN repitition' for people to take notice is wrong.This is what it means,what Jesus spoke of in the OT.
---Emcee on 10/3/07

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If you are praying for the eyes of someones heart to be opened to see their need to recieve Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, or in other words for that person to be saved, do you just pray for that person once? I have witnessed to them, but they are not truly converted. Could someone offer spiritual insight on this? Thank you, and Renato, I am disabled and I cannot work, but I do share the message of Christ with people. I have compassion for the lost. God Bless!
---Cynthia on 10/3/07

Michelle-Did Jesus pray repetitious prayers?

Yes..Passage Matthew 26:44:
"So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing."...And they tell Catholic's it is wrong! Go figure...
---Ruben on 10/3/07

Did Jesus pray repetitious prayers?
Did He believe the Father heard Him the first time?
When He cried out to the Father, did He repeat Himself over and over? No.
When He cast demons out - did He repeat the prayer over and over? No. He said, "Come out."
The prayer of faith doesn't need to be repeated over and over. Faith is believing our heavenly Father hears us the first time and knowing that He answers prayers.
---Michelle on 10/3/07

Notlaw ... In our (Protestant) church the "eorship songs" are usually sung through art least three times.
But of course it is not meaningless!!
How easy it is to criticise others for the same thing one does oneself!
---alan_of_UK on 10/3/07

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The 'unjust judge and woman that kept knocking until he gave in'. False interpretation is that the unjust judge was Jesus.
Wrong. How could an unjust judge be a shadow or type of Jesus Christ or God?
God is the Righteous and Just Judge, always.
You can keep knocking, repeating your prayers until finally God may allow you to marry that man you want. It won't be what God had wanted, but keep pushing, keep demanding - it may happen. You'll wish that you had listened to God.
---Michelle on 10/3/07

"pop-evangelicals" are among the very worst at using vain repetitious singing. They do not use vain repetitious prayers to my knowledge.
---Mima on 10/3/07

I think in the Catholic faith, you find ritualistic behavior(kneel,sit,stand), that is done over and over repeatedly, A Christian knows how to please God in his heart.If you ask the Lord, He does answer our needs.
I think this phrase meant the way the rich in Jesus' time felt. They only cared to please Man, and were vain.If our hearts are perfect with God, He knows.
---rosem4839 on 10/3/07

According to Matt6:7 it's the heathen who used vain repetitions. Like the ones who prayed for Baal to burn the sacrifice. In 1 Kings 18:26 tney called on him from morning to evening saying "Oh Baal, hear us"
Modern praise and worship and what the Catholics do can hardly be compared to such things as this.
---john on 10/3/07

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Certainly the Rosary is repetion at best. Also some Christians begin to BEG God when they pray as if God did not hear them the first time. I think this is only a result of lack of faith and some despartion. There was mention of redudnantcy in praise and worship music and I disagree. The elders around Gods throne repeat worship the same words over and over in Rev. Songs of and words of praise can be repetious. God honors all worship.:)
---splaa6685 on 10/3/07

Jack - good one.....
---Andrea on 10/3/07

I believe any of us can be guilty of vain repetition if we are not praying fervently. Sometimes when I pray it seems I am just going through the motions. Sometimes it seems I am "not granted access into the thrown room" because my mind is on other things, or I've just had a fight with the wife, etc. Sometimes, however, when I pray fervently for a loved one, it seems like I'm "granted immediate access to the Mercy Seat".

James 5:16.

Do any of you ever feel this way?
---trey on 10/3/07

Funny you should mention this as this morning while channel surfing, I stopped at Mother Angelica. It just staggered my imagination sounding like a cd, that had a scratch...but the thing that got me the most was, they showed a great big stained glass window over her that showed a Gigantic Mother Mary at central focus of the window with Jesus shoved off to the small side of it, and a masonic star in the marble at her feet, In shock.
---Whisper on 10/3/07

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According to some people on these blogs, only Catholics do meaningless (read: vain) repetitions.

Protestants, and especially pop-evangelicals NEVER do so. ALL of their repititions, without exception, are meaningful.
---Jack on 10/3/07

Here's an example of" meaningless repetition"and the monotonous repeating of this prayer is self condemning.
" Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
---Mima on 10/3/07

The word 'meaningless' must be from some other translation than the KJV.In Matt.6:7 KJV uses the word 'vain', and between these two choices you can get a pretty good idea that it is worthless.The word 'vain' in greek indicates some kind of manipulation. Jesus went on to say in v8 that God already knows what we need.God will not be manipulated so one only needs to ask one time.repetition only proves you don't believe He heard the 1st time.
---Jack on 10/3/07

What work do you do Cynthia?
---Renato on 10/3/07

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