Rosary vs. Repetitious Prayer

Q. Isn’t the Rosary condemned by Jesus in Matthew 6:7?

Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words

A. Jesus is not condemning all repeated prayer. If He was, we would be left with no idea how many times any prayer could be repeated. Never? Once? Twice? Three times? Once a day? Once a year? Once a lifetime? Twice…etc. How exactly could we obey Jesus IF in this verse He WAS condemning ALL repeated prayer? We have no concrete direction.

After all, when asked by the disciples about how to pray Jesus gave them a prayer without any stipulations to say it only one time, or once a day, or once year. And we know that from the earliest times this prayer was used in our Christian worship. And let me remind you that this was the ONLY Christian Church in existence.

Also, again, in Matthew (same author as above)

Matthew 26: 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 42 He went away a SECOND time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the THIRD time, saying the same thing.

So, Jesus Himself prayed exactly the same prayer three times in a short time. If the author had meant to explain in 6:7 that all repetitious prayer was pagan then how to explain Jesus’ example here? I think it is safe to say that repeating prayers is not prohibited. What Jesus meant in Mt. 6:7 was to teach against the pagan practice and idea that the more you repeat a prayer the more likely you are to get what you want from the gods.

Besides, what is being missed is that the rosary is primarily a prayer of meditation on the Life of Christ with the Hail Mary prayers used to both ask for Mary’s intercession and to time the length of the meditation on each mystery or scene in the Life of Christ.

3 Responses to Rosary vs. Repetitious Prayer

  1. Pauline says:

    But is it not true that the more you make a prayer, the more you remind God what you need and the more likelyhood that he will grant you what you want. Why then do we repetitively make prayers to God

  2. Joel says:

    Pauline: I think that question was answered in the body of the post. Prayers are repeated in a form of meditation of the life of Christ. This method of prayer has been used in the entire life of the Church and has shown be be very fruitful. My own spiritual growth has been indispensable without a deep meditative life.

  3. bfhu says:

    Dear Rex,
    I know you are sincere but when you say:

    Jesus was not refering to the repeating prayers of people who are praying for things they are worried about/

    I agree with your statement, because I am not bound to Sola Scriptura but you can find no scripture to clearly back up this opinion. What Protestants do not realize is that, while they hold Catholics to a strict, “Where is that is scripture” and a condemnation of the Traditions of the Apostles, they too have their own oral traditions that they are completely unaware of…blind to them, just like the one above and the assertions of opinion that follow in your comment above. Where in Scripture alone do you find them?

    Rex, you and most Protestants are not actually Sola Scriptura. Protestants follow the Protestant Traditions.

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