Jesus thought differently than most about prayer. A Man of deep prayer Himself, the Lord taught His disciples the power of a heartfelt petition before God. And more than that, Jesus taught that the vain repetitions of His day were not effective in reaching God's ears! Now, God will listen to repetition. Repetition is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. Hannah repeated her petition (1 Samuel 1:12), and Jesus repeated Himself on more than one occasion (Matt 26:36-42). The emphasis of Matthew 6:7 is on the word vain. Jesus said it is possible for Christians to pray lengthy prayers that never get higher than the ceiling. What we need more than flowery words is a pure and sincere heart....Think of it this way: by praying as we ought, we are fostering a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our Creator. He alone is our audience, and He alone determines whether what we have said is from the heart and according to His will. Too many people think that their spirituality can be gauged by public opinion. Too few really concern themselves with what God thinks about their prayer life.http://edgewoodcoc.org/vain_repetition.htm
Depends on the religion the only repetition I know in my religion is "mea culpa" and that is said 3 times.. Some religions don't even repeat sentences but use a repetitive "prayer wheel" the more you spin the more indulgences.
The Bible actually discourages such prayers for "they think they will be heard for their vain repetition.". Prayers should be from the heart, not from rote. Mathew 6:7 "But when Ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
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Last edited at 3:07PM on 3/5/2013
That's an interesting question. It can be answered by looking at the model prayer given by Jesus at Matthew 6:7,9, 10, "But when praying, do not say the same things over and over again...'you must pray, then, this way: Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.'"
We can always pray to God. In fact, we are encouraged to do so. (2 Thessalonians 5:17). We should speak to God like a best friend. Would you repeatedly say the same things over and over to your friend? Of course not! It would sound robotic and insincere! At Lamentations 2:19 it says, "Pour out your heart before the face of Jehovah just like water." In addition to what is mentioned in the model prayer, we should thank him, share our concerns, pray for others, and ask forgiveness of our sins.
Matthew 6: 7-13 shows us the model prayer as a guide for things we should pray for. Verse 7 goes into detail when it says "But when praying, do not say the same things over and over again, just as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words."
We shouldn't repeat the same words over and over. Rather, if we are praying for something specific, we should definitely ask over and over. Jesus was telling us this in Matthew just to emphasize that we want to always pray from our hearts, not just as a routine.