I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Monday, June 2, 2008

Structured and Repetitive prayers in the Roman Catholic Church are these based in the Bible?

We Catholics are sometimes criticized for our structured and repetitive prayers because according to some Christian denominations this is not based on the bible. The main objective of these criticisms is to sway those Catholics who are not deep in their faith away from the Catholic Church and recruit them to join their Christian church instead.

These Catholic prayers are based on the bible.

On Matthew 26:44 it says: “Jesus left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again.”

On Luke 18:1-7 Jesus told a parable to pray in repetition: “Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?”

On Revelations 4:8 it says: “The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come."

The prayer that Jesus taught us to pray: "This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.” ( Matthew 6:9-13) we say this prayer everyday. Nothing’s wrong with it because Jesus himself taught us this prayer.

The bible itself contains repetitive prayers, for example on Psalm 136 the phrase, “For his steadfast love endures forever” was repeatedly written twenty six (26) times.

Jesus too repeated prayers: He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. (Matthew 26:44)

There’s nothing wrong with structured and repetitive prayers same as that there’s also nothing wrong with our spontaneous prayer for God. What is important is, we are sincere and we feel God’s presence in our prayers. Let us always remember that God always looks at our hearts when we pray. Regardless if it’s repetitive/structured or spontaneous prayer.

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