The Bible warns us against “vain repetitions.” What does that mean?  


Matthew 6:7 states: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Many don’t understand what Jesus was saying here, and start decrying any prayers that repeat phrases as “vain repetition”. Let’s take a closer look.

In the times when Jesus lived, the Gentiles (who were mostly worshipping false gods, which were really demons) knew that there were spiritual laws concerning “how” to get the “gods” to respond to them. We get a glimpse into this through the trial Elijah put the false prophets through in I Kings 18:20-40. In their attempts to get their gods to set the sacrifice on fire, they prayed, they leapt around, they cut themselves with knives, etc. All the things they had been taught to do to arouse the interest of the “gods” in their plight.

If you were to ask a satanist in this day and age, they would confirm to you the fact that there are rituals they must follow, in order to “get” the demons to do what they are asking. They must do certain things, in a certain order with certain phrases said… and if they do it all without flaw – it forces the demons to respond. That makes the satanists think THEY are the powerful ones – but in reality, it is a spiritual law, set out BY GOD, that they are responding to. There is a spiritual power in repetition, a power that we are not privy to, yet God utilizes. (again – think of Naaman being told to dip into the water to be healed 7 times. 2Kings 5:14)

These are laws that are hidden from man, unless someone from the world of the spirit reveals it to them. This is something God expressly forbids His Children from seeking, for what can be seen as obvious reasons – the laws were made to rule those who LIVE in the world of the spirit.

So, getting back to what Jesus was pointing out – in order to “get” the “god” to do what they wanted, the pagans/Gentiles knew that they had to say a particular set of words, with the proper pronunciation, the proper repetition and the proper loudness/audience/etc., etc. that was demanded. IF they did all this nonsense, maybe the demon would stop laughing at them long enough to actually obey the law that was being invoked… You see, the demons couldn’t care less about people. They only want to do what will entice you to draw deeper and deeper into their realm, so that eventually they can drag you to Hell and torment you over and over again for eternity. If doing a few “magic tricks” for you when you ask will accomplish that – so be it.

So, what Jesus was saying here was not referring to heartfelt prayer, addressed to the Father, even if the lines were written to be repeated – often. Case in fact: Jesus sang the Psalms – as did all the Jews. Take a look at Psalm 136:

(we’ll just take the first 9 verses, but you’ll get the idea)

136 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

What has happened to the established Church in some cases, is that the same demons of deception that started all that stuff in the first place, have convinced some that if you pray a certain prayer a certain way, a certain number of times – God has to respond. That action just might fall into the “vain repetition” category – because it is not true prayer, but an attempt at bribery or exploitation. It’s not a matter of truly seeking and touching the Heart of God in your prayer – it’s a “vending machine” mentality: “If I do thus and such, You have to do want I want.” Same deal as back in Jesus’ day.

But the fact that a written prayer repeats itself? Be very, very careful there. Many of those prayers written that are used today were (just as the Psalms were) written BY God, and given to holy, trusted Children of God, powerfully “backed up” by His own spiritual laws, and have much power when used in obedience to God in praying them.

As in ALL things with God – it’s a matter of the Heart.

Carol Jennings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *