Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
"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" (Matthew 6:7)
Jesus did not mean that we should never repeat heartfelt pleas and expressions of thanksgiving in prayer. In the garden of Gethsemane on the night before he died, Jesus repeatedly used "the same word" in prayer. (Mark 14:32-39) It would be wrong for us to mimic the repetitious prayers of "people of the nations." "Over and over again," they repeat memorized phrases that include many unnecessary words. It did worshippers of Baal no good to call upon the name of that false god "from morning till noon, saying: "O Baal, answer us!'" (1 Kings 18:26) Millions today offer wordy, repetitious prayers, thinking in vain that they "will get a hearing." But Jesus helps us to realize that the "use of many words" in long and repetitious prayers is of no value from Jehovah's standpoint.
(Watchtower issue: 2/15/09, 3:8, 9)