Why in Matthew 6:7 we are warned not to repeat a prayer yet in Luke 18:7 the widow is commended for doing that?

Hello P,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

There is a difference between Matthew 6:7 and Luke 18:7. Let’s examine these verses closely:

Matthew 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.”

In this verse, the phrase “vain repetitions” Gr. battologeō, means: “to speak stammeringly,” “to say the same thing over and over again,” “to babble,” “to rattle off,” or “to speak without giving thought to what is spoken.” Jesus was here speaking against the repetition of vain words in prayer.

Luke 18:7 – “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”

Here, Jesus is speaking about the necessity of perseverance in calling on Him. If the judge, for selfish reasons, would eventually respond to the widow’s plea, how much more will God answer the pleas of all that seek Him.

The Bible teaches of the importance of speaking to God for Christians, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Also, Paul encourages the believers to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The connection with Heaven should not be broken (Luke 18:1). Paul labored “night and day” (1 Thess. 2:9); he also prayed “night and day” (ch. 3:10). Active connection with his heavenly Father, through prayer, brought Paul spiritual victories.

Jesus is our example in having a fervent prayer life. At the beginning of His ministry, He fasted forty days and prayed most earnestly to be able to resist the temptations of the devil (Luke 4). During His ministry, He continued His prayer life “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). And at the close of His ministry, His prayer was even more intense “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). If Jesus prayed so earnestly, how much more should we as Christians persevere in prayer?

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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