Matthew 6:7

Proper prayer

7 “When you pray, don't pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they'll be heard.

Matthew 6:7 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 6:7

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions
Saying the same things over and over again,

as the Heathens do,
as the worshippers of Baal, from morning till noon, ( 1 Kings 18:26 ) . This our Lord observes, to dissuade from such practices, because the Gentiles, who were odious to the Jews, used them, and the Jews were guilty of the same; had they not, there would not have been any need of such advice:

for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking;
as did the Jews, who, under pretence of "long prayers", devoured widows' houses; and with whom it is an axiom, that "everyone (hnen hlyptb) (hbrmh) , that multiplies prayer is heard" F8; and whoever prolongs his prayer, his prayer does not return empty; and he that is long in prayer, his days are prolonged F9: and, according to their canons, every day a man ought to pray eighteen prayers. Moreover, their prayer books abound in tautologies, and in expressing the same things in different words, and by a multiplicity of them.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 67. 3.
F9 Zohar in Exod. fol. 104. 4.

Matthew 6:7 In-Context

5 “When you pray, don't be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that's the only reward they'll get.
6 But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.
7 “When you pray, don't pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they'll be heard.
8 Don't be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask.
9 Pray like this: Our Father who is in heaven, uphold the holiness of your name.