The Heathens Prayer

Posted By on Tuesday, April 03, 2018


1. Who is designated by the term “heathen,” 6:7? The non Jews, i.e., “the Gentiles which know not God,” I Thess. 4:5

2. Point out the characteristics of the heathen’s prayer, 6:7-8:
(1) Wrong method. The heathen relies on the multiplication of words and mechanical recitation and reiteration of his requests as a meritorious means of being heard
(2) False assumption. Believing that the virtue of his prayers lies in the mere utterance of words, the heathen mistakenly takes for granted that he is being heard
(3) Vain repetition. The heathen seeks to render the empty verbosity of his prayers more effective by much repetition, thus reciting merely the same prayers over and over again without ever praying any of them
(4) Worthless effort. The futility of the heathen’s prayer arises from the fact of his ignorance concerning the nature of true prayer which is not a matter of words, but of meaning; not of form, but of heart; not of outward beauty, but of inward reality

3. Comment on the heathen’s prayer, 6:7-8:
(1) Repetition in earnest supplication as Christ did in the garden (Matt. 26:44) is one thing; vain repetition as the heathen did is quite another
(2) Much speaking is not necessarily much praying, and long prayers do not necessarily yield large results
(3) There may be more prayer in a few words of earnest supplication than in hours of mere talk, more real prayer in total silence than in the loudest cries