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Question and Answer

Is it showing a lack of faith when we bring before God the same prayer requests over and over again? Is this what the Word of God is warning us against when it refers in the Scripture to “vain repetition”?

My understanding of “vain repetitions” found in Matthew 6:7 is pagan practice of praying in chants and formulated scripted prayers that are personally meaningless. The true believer is asking out of a sincere heart for what he prays. He is not mindlessly mouthing some kind of ritualized prayer that means nothing to him, or praying for the sake of public consumption.

Certainly, it is appropriate to pray continually for God's answer to your prayer. The Lord Jesus went with His disciples to the garden in Gethsemane to pray, and He told His disciples to keep watch and pray. Christ Himself repeatedly asked His Father if He could not drink the cup of death and suffering on the Cross (Matt. 26:41–44). Christ had no problem with repeating His prayers for God's will to be done. The great 19–century evangelist D. L. Moody had two friends that he regularly prayed would be saved. Over the years he continually prayed for them. One of the men came to know Christ, shortly before Mr. Moody's death; the other was saved after Mr. Moody's passing. As Scripture tells us, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). God knows our hearts and hears our prayers.

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