New American Standard Bible
"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
King James Bible
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Darby Bible Translation
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as those who are of the nations: for they think they shall be heard through their much speaking.
World English Bible
In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking.
Young's Literal Translation
'And -- praying -- ye may not use vain repetitions like the nations, for they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard,
Matthew 6:7 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Use not vain repetitions - The original word here is supposed to be derived from the name of a Greek poet, who made long and weary verses, declaring by many forms and endless repetitions the same sentiment. Hence, it means to repeat a thing often; to say the same thing in different words, or to repeat the same words, as though God did not hear at first. An example of this we have in 1 Kings 18:26; "They called on Baal from morning until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us!" It may serve to illustrate this passage, and to show how true is the description here of prevailing modes of prayer, to refer to the forms and modes of devotion still practiced in Palestine by the Muslims. Dr. Thomson ("The Land and the Book") gives the following description of what actually occurs: "See those men on that elevated terrace. One has spread his cloak, other their Persian rugs toward the south. They are Muslims, preparing to say prayers - rather perform them, in this most public place, and in the midst of all this noise and confusion.
"Let us stop and watch the ceremony as it goes on. That man next us raises his open hands until the thumbs touch the ears, exclaiming aloud, "Allah-hu-akbar" - 'God is great.' After uttering mentally a few short petitions, the hands are brought down and folded Together near the girdle, while he recites the first chapter of the Koran, and two or three other brief passages from the same book. And now he bends forward, rests his hands upon his knees, and repeats three times a formula of praise to 'God most great.' Then, standing erect, he cries "Allah-hu-akbar," as at the beginning. Then see him drop upon his knees, and bend forward until his nose and forehead touch the ground directly between his expanded hands. This he repeats three times, muttering all the while the same short formulas of prayer and praise. The next move will bring him to his knees, and then, settling back upon his heels, he will mumble over various small petitions, with sundry grunts and exclamations, according to taste and habit. He has now gone through one regular Rek'ah; and, standing up as at the first, and on exactly the same spot, he will perform a second, and even a third, if specially devout, with precisely the same genuflections.
"They are obliged to repeat some expressions thirty times, others many hundred times. Would that these remarks did not apply to nominal Christians in this land as well as to Muslims!"
The heathen do - The original word is that which is commonly translated "Gentile." The world was divided into two parts, the Jews and the Gentiles; that is, in the original, the "nations," the nations destitute of the true religion. Christ does not fix the length of our prayers. He says that we should not repeat the same thing, as though God did not hear; and it is not improbable that he intended to condemn the practice of long prayers. His own supplications were remarkably short.
LibraryJune 16. "Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon" (Matt. vi. 24).
"Ye cannot serve God and Mammon" (Matt. vi. 24). He does not say ye cannot very well serve God and mammon, but ye cannot serve two masters at all. Ye shall be sure to end by serving one. The man who thinks he is serving God a little is deceived; he is not serving God. God will not have his service. The devil will monopolize him before he gets through. A divided heart loses both worlds. Saul tried it. Balaam tried it. Judas tried it, and they all made a desperate failure. Mary had but one choice. …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
June 10. "Your Heavenly Father Knoweth Ye have Need" (Matt. vi. 32).
Hearts and Treasures
1 Kings 18:26
Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, "O Baal, answer us." But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made.
Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.
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