Prayer Repetition is Forbidden By The
Or Is It???
Matthew 6:7, "But when you pray, use not 'vain'
repetitions, as the 'heathens' do; for they think that they shall be heard for
their much speaking."
This is the only verse in the Bible to which
detractors of the Rosary refer. The emphasis in this verse is on the word "vain"
and not on the word "repetitions". Let us look at the meaning of the keywords,
'vain', and 'heathen', which portray the meaning of the entire verse...
1. Not yielding the desired outcome.
desired outcomes have been realized by praying the rosary.
substance or worth.
a. The same reasoning applies
3. Excessively proud of one's appearance, or accomplishments,
a. Not applicable here.
a. Not so with the excellent fruits received
by so many who pray the rosary.
5. To no avail: our labor was in
a. Certainly not this one, see 1a.
Irreverently, i.e, took the name of the Lord in
a. Definitely not this
To which of these meanings do detractors
1. One who adheres to the religion of a people
or nation that does not acknowledge the GOD of Judaism, Christianity, or
a. All Christians are off the hook here.
a. Same as 1a.
3. One who is
regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or
a. Same as 1a.
Hmmm, it seems to me that Christians do not fall under
any of these meanings.
The simple fact of the matter is that there is (V)ain repetition, and there
is (U)seful repetition. Holy Scripture refers to far more Useful repetition,
than to Vain...
Useful repetition of prayer...
1. Isaiah 6:3,
"And they cried one to another, and said; Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord GOD of
hosts, all the earth is full of His glory."
a. The Seraphim
repetitiously praising GOD.
2. Daniel 3:51-90, this is the famous
'Canticle of the three children'.
a. A great number
of repetitions here.
3. Matthew 26:36-44, "...And leaving them he went
back again, and prayed a third time, saying the same words
a. Jesus Christ Himself in repetitious prayer.
Can we do less?
4. Luke 6:12, "Now it came to pass in those days, that He
went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to
a. All night prayer, any repetition
5. Luke 18:1,3-5, "And He told them a parable that they must always
pray and not lose heart."
Vs 3-5, is the parable of the GODless
judge..."...yet because this widow bothers me, I will do her justice, lest by
her continual coming she finally wear me out."
6. Luke 21:36, "Watch
then, praying at all times..."
7. Acts 12:5, "So Peter was being kept in
the prison; but prayer was being made to GOD for him by the Church without
8. Romans 1:9-10, "For GOD is my witness, whom I serve in my
spirit in the Gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always
imploring in my prayers..."
9. Ephesians 6:18, "With all prayer and
supplications pray at all times in the spirit..."
10. Colossians 1:9,
"This is why we too have been praying for you unceasingly..."
Thessalonians 3:10, "Night and day we pray more and more that we may see you
12. 1Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without
a. 'Without ceasing', you would
have to pray repetitiously.
13. 2Timothy 1:3, "...that I remember you
without ceasing in my prayers night and day."
a. How can anyone do this without
14. James 5:16, "For the unceasing prayer of a just
man is of great avail."
a. I would say 'of
great avail', is just the opposite of 'vain', wouldn't
b. I would say praying the Rosary
fits rather nicely right here wouldn't you agree?
4:8, "And they do not rest day and night saying, Holy, Holy , Holy,
the Lord GOD Almighty, who was, who is, and who is
a. My oh my, even the angels before
GOD do repetitive prayer.
16. Psalms 136 has 25 verses. In every one of
those 25 verses, there is the prayer, "for His mercy endures forever." How do
those who use Matthew 6:7 to detract from the rosary explain that?
Psalms 150 has only 5 verses and yet either "Praise the Lord", or "Praise him",
is repeated 11 times in those 5 verses.
18. Exodus 17:8-13, as long as
Moses held up his hands in prayer, Joshua and Israel had the better of the
battle with Amalek. As soon as he let his hands rest, Amalek gained the better
of the battle. How could Moses have prayed for the better part of a day without
being repetitive? This is a shining example of the power of prayer.
Luke 18:1-8, a persistent woman pestered the judge with a repetitive request for
a long time. In verse 5, the judge became weary and finally granted her request.
Now what do you suppose would have happened if the woman had twenty of her
friends to speak (pray) in her behalf? No doubt the judge would have caved in
Vain repetition of prayer...
1. 1 kings 18:25-29,
They were praying to Baal, and in vs 29, "...and there was no voice heard, nor
did anyone answer, nor regard them as they prayed."
The Rosary is certainly not "vain" repetition for praying,
as it has brought much joy to many people. Just as one example, on January 28,
1998, Mother Angelica of EWTN was miraculously healed of a crippling back injury
after forty years of pain and having to wear three braces.
She was healed
while she prayed the Rosary...
Written by Bob Stanley, March 21,
Updated November 8, 2001
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