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Vain Repetitions In Prayer

Matthew 6:7 speaks of 'vain repetitions' in prayer. Do you agree that we are sometimes guilty of these vain repetitions in our praise and worship songs also?

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 ---M.A. on 1/31/06
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I do not agree that there are vain repetitions in Spiritual worship. In flesh worship, yes. At this time, the disciples did not yet have the Holy Spirit. But we are a spiritual priesthood offering spiritual praises. See what is happening in heaven. Rev. and night saying holy, holy, holy. Those are not vain repetitions. If you sang "I love you Lord" a thousand times you would just be more in love when you were done.
---john on 11/27/08

I don't believe this would apply to praise and songs. When he is speaking of vain repetition in prayer, he is questioning our "faith". In song and praise, we sing and praise because of our inner peace, joy and thankfulness in our hearts.
---Fred_S. on 5/6/07


I'm so glad that I could never be G-d or I would have to listen to you ramble.

---Reiter on 11/13/06

When you and a friend go out for the evening, do you repeat the same sentence throughout the evening?
---Steveng on 11/13/06

** Do you know how it hurts your ears when your C.D. bugs out with all of those skips because an itty bitty scratch got on it.**

And you think that God's ears work the same way yours do? Have you anthropomorphized Him that much?
---Jack on 11/13/06

From my own observation, it seems that one's own repetions are never vain.

Only the repetitions of other people are vain.
---Jack on 11/13/06

Matthew 6:7-8 Jesus tells us "And when you pray do not keep on babbling like a pagan , for they think they will be heard, bacause of their many words. Do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." We had one of our Elders who just kept going on and on and saying basically the same thing over and over again. I think when that happens you have a tendencyto lose track of what they're saying.
---Norma7374 on 11/13/06

Do you know how it hurts your ears when your C.D. bugs out with all of those skips because an itty bitty scratch got on it...that is what your Vain Repetition in Prayer sounds like. Speak from your heart or be silent.

" a yearning of the heart to be one with the Maker, an invocation for His blessing. It is...the attitude that matters, not words uttered or muttered..." ~Gandhi

---Reiter on 11/13/06

I agree some Praise and Worship leaders try to "work up" a move of the Spirit by repeating short verses,but everyone needs to realize one who is led by the Holy Ghost may well do the same. I have been P&W Leader and I didn't follow what Humans wanted but prayed and gave the service to God's direction,I moved as the Spirit moved me,with anointing, and at times that included singing a verse over until the Spirit released me to move on. We sang Hymns also, but one must please God not man.
---Darlene_1 on 2/1/06

M.A. I agree with you. If a song leader was doing that on an ongoing basis (as Mary described) they need instruction as to how to properly lead a service.
---Bruce5656 on 2/1/06

The church I attend has no-one under 50 and we use an 'old-fashioned' hymn book. The wording of the hymns are all very scriptural and the tunes appropriate, some sombre, some very rousing etc. I've attended churches where the age range is larger and their hymn choice is different. Some I like and some are indistinguishable from rock music, full of repetition in word and notes and seem to send the young people into a frenzy.
---emg on 2/1/06

Bruce I was not referring to the fact that we sometimes sing the same songs that we have sung before. I was referring to some of the songs we sing having just one line, or even just a few words, which are repeated over and over again. This sometimes goes on for a long time until various members become tired and gradually dwindle away. A very messy finish to something we call spiritual. If the Spirit were doing the guiding I think everyone would know when it was right to stop.
---M.A. on 1/31/06

This question speaks to one of my biggest concerns. And yes I do believe we are guilty. How did I solve the problem, I used the time spent in obvious repetitious singing
As an opportunity to pray out loud, which I love to do, without drawing attention to myself
---mima on 1/31/06

Absolutely - I stood and listened to the worship leader on Sunday sing "Take me away" (just those 3 words) ad nauseum for almost 10 minutes. Have also been subjected to "The river flows" (3 words) ad nauseum. To me that's vain reps, can't think of any purpose or meaning - give me a juicy hymn that I can sink my heart and soul into - or even "I love you, Jesus."
---marya4598 on 1/31/06

John "If you sang "I love you Lord" a thousand times you would just be more in love when you were done" I would not find it helpful ... I would rather sing I know that my redeemer liveth, and Oh for a thousand tongues and And can it be ... and Teach me how to live, and Send me out. Just as much feeling. Different things for different people.
---alan8869_of_UK on 1/31/06

My opinion is that the songs we sing are not the same as the prayers we pray. Few of us have the ability to make up a different song every time we sing. Anyone can pray a different prayer.

I see prayer as an expression of my relationship with the Father. For this reason I do not pray with old english a la KJV. Nor do I pray with the strict formalism that some do. Prayer is me talking to my Father, respectful, reverental even but informal.
---Bruce5656 on 1/31/06

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I believe the emphasis in this verse belongs on the word "vain" rather than "repititions."

In Matthew 15:8,9 Jesus said - "These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men."

In other words, they were doing the right thing but outwardly their attitude was wrong. (See also Matthew 23:1-5; Mark 7:7).
---DoryLory on 1/31/06

The Bible continues to say they think they will be heard for much saying(Paraphraised).It is trying to get God's attention in the wrong way, is the problem. Praise and worship isn't prayer so the verse doesn't apply to that. If you will read in Revelations about the singing to God in Heaven you will see what is sung is repeated also. No we are guilty of nothing except loving God with our praise and worship of Him. He welcomes adoration.
---Darlene_1 on 1/31/06

# 2 Now on one occasion at a planning meeting, I said that the older folk felt their type of musical worship (hymns) was being pushed out & they felt excluded. I was told they and I should change.
There should be a balance ... some of each.
---alan8869_of_UK on 1/31/06

# 1 There is often a lot of repetition in modern praise and worship singing. But is anyone "guilty" of it? I don't think so. I much prefer old fashioned hymns, and do not find the repetitions of the modern songs helpful. But many do ... one person commented that as she repeated the words again and again, she was pulled closer & closer to God. Now if it is helpful to some it is OK by me.
---alan8869_of_UK on 1/31/06

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Yes I do & sometimes I think that God, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit sometimes get bored with it. One suggestion is to play some music and we not do anything, just let the Holy Spirit minister to us. In Acts 3:19 it says a time of refreshing comes from the presence of the Lord.
---Rickey on 1/31/06

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