Is repetitive prayer a sin? Many individuals imagine that meditation and mantras violate Jesus’ instructing about repetitive prayer. We’ll see about that…
Repetitive Prayer and Sin
Jesus stated in Matthew 6:7 NKJV, “And once you pray, don’t use useless repetitions because the heathen do. For they assume that they are going to be heard for his or her many phrases.” Many assume that Jesus meant that repetitive prayer is a sin. That we must always by no means repeat the identical phrases once we pray. Is that this what he meant? Is repetitive prayer a sin? Relaxation assured that it’s by no means a sin to succeed in out to God—nevertheless you do it. Now, let’s check out some components to find out if repetitive prayer violates Jesus’ teachings about prayer.
First, let’s have a look at the phrase that the NKJV interprets as “useless.” The Greek phrase βατταλογήσητε (battalogēsēte) seems solely as soon as within the New Testomony. It comes from βαττολογέω (battalogeó), and is translated alternately as “to make use of meaningless repetition” or “to make use of useless repetition.” Sturdy’s Concordance renders this as, “I chatter, am long-winded, utter empty phrases, stammer, repeat.” Sturdy’s Exhaustive Concordance says it comes from two phrases: “From Battos (a proverbial stammerer) and logos; to stutter, i.e. (by implication) to prate tediously — use useless repetitions.” First, let’s have a look at this phrase so typically rendered as “useless.”
“You’re So Useless!”
We’ve all heard that Carly Simon music that claims, “You’re so useless, I guess you assume this music is about you.” We may simply change the phrases to, “You’re so useless, I guess you assume this prayer is about you.” The phrase “useless” has three definitions:
- It means “self-centered.” We are saying an individual is useless once they look within the mirror an excessive amount of, primp too typically, or care an excessive amount of about clothes and elegance. We are saying an individual is useless once they make each dialog about them. So, when Jesus says that we’re not to hope utilizing useless repetition, he’s saying we shouldn’t pray self-centered prayers. We pray self-centered prayers when day after day we make our prayer time all about us. As a substitute of praying for different folks, we pray for our personal needs and wishes. Not that it’s improper to ever pray for your self, nevertheless it’s useless and repetitious if you end up the main focus of your individual prayers day after day. What in case your prayers have been extra about God and fewer about you? What in the event that they have been extra about others than they’re about you? That is what Jesus was speaking about.
- It means “ineffective.” As in, “He tried and tried to drag the sword from the stone, nevertheless it was all in useless.” Jesus doesn’t need us to hope with ineffective repetition. It’s like a toddler who says to their mum or dad, “Can you purchase me that pack of sweet? Can you purchase me that pack of gum? Can you purchase me that toy?” By their repetition, they assume that they are going to get their mum or dad to do what they need. They smile sweetly and hope that their repeated supplications will come throughout as devotion. However simply as a mum or dad sees via it, God sees via it too.
- It means “meaningless.” Typically, folks use this verse to illegitimize others’ claims to the present of tongues. “Your phrases haven’t any that means,” they are saying, “and Jesus forbade prayer utilizing meaningless phrases.” Click on right here to learn my article, “Tongues: A Prayer Language?” With out spoiling your studying of my different article, I’ll merely say that, for the one who prays in tongues, it’s not a meaningless expertise for them. If that is how they’re connecting to God, then whereas the phrases could also be unintelligible, they’re not at all meaningless.
Is Repetitive Prayer a Sin?
Many Christians imagine it’s improper, and even sinful, to hope repetitious prayers. They criticize individuals who pray the rosary, for instance, as a result of they’re repeating the identical factor again and again. They decry mantra meditation as a sin, as nicely. So, is there an issue with repetitive prayer? Provided that it’s useless. Solely whether it is self-centered, ineffective, and meaningless. If the objective is to get God to listen to you due to your repetition, you’re off the mark. But when the objective is to coach your self to listen to God, you’re hitting the nail on the pinnacle.
Hitting the Nail on the Head
If I’ve a thick piece of wooden and a protracted nail, I can’t count on to get that nail into the wooden simply from one thwack of the hammer. I have to hit that nail time and again till the nail lastly sinks in. Typically my coronary heart may be form of wood. If I need the peace of God or the phrase of God to grow to be embedded in my soul, I’m going to need to repeat that phrase, again and again till it lastly sinks in. That is Christian mantra meditation – the repetition of scripture, mixed with deep respiration. By partaking in such meditation and prayer, I don’t hope that God will hear me extra. As a substitute, I hope that I’ll hear from God extra. And that form of repetition isn’t in useless.
Christian Mantra Meditation
So, I invite you to discover a quiet spot and check out Christian mantra meditation. Choose a passage of scripture that’s significant to you. Preserve it quick – a single verse, or perhaps a single phrase. As you inhale, breathe in God’s grace. As you exhale, let the phrase rumble out of your stomach, via your chest, previous your larynx, and out your mouth. Exhale simply as deeply as you inhale. Comply with that by inhaling God’s grace as soon as extra. Repeat. Spend as many minutes as you want with this till that nail has sunk deep into your wood coronary heart. That is meditation.
Is It a Sin to Meditate?
Is it a sin for Christians to meditate? The individuals who counsel repetitive prayer is sinful typically miss the truth that meditation is talked about all through the Bible. The primary time we encounter meditation, Isaac is within the subject meditating simply earlier than he meets his bride, Rebecca. Patriarchs and prophets meditated to get near God. Jesus typically communed with God via prayer and meditation. While you meditate, you stroll within the footsteps of holy ladies and men all through the ages. While you get calm, you discover God within the silence. You don’t make God hear you by your repetition, however as an alternative, the repetition lets you hear from God. And once you discover God, your prayer isn’t useless.
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