Does repetitious prayer impress God?


In fact, it depresses him.

Let me explain.

God hears our prayers because of his love for us, not because of how good or eloquent (or repetitious) we are.

Some don’t see it that way. They think if they keep praying over and over and over God will certainly hear them. They can even pray without praying by spinning prayer wheels or hanging prayer banners in the wind or sticking prayer notes in a special place. We might be impressed by their persistence, but God isn’t.

We know this because God told us so.

One day Jesus’ followers asked him to teach them how to pray. He told them, “When you pray, don’t keep babbling like the pagans (unbelievers). They think they will be heard because of their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him!”

Ever had friends who were so close they knew what was bothering you without your telling them? They knew what you were going to say before you said it? You never felt you had to win their friendship or earn a hearing from them by going on and on and on about something. They knew, they just knew. They knew and would do something about the situation because they cared for you. They were your friends.

God says he is on our side, that he is our friend. He knows what’s bugging us, he knows what is eating us alive. We don’t have to go on and on and on in prayer, rehashing the same stuff over and over to him. He hears us because he loves us. We don’t have to earn a hearing from him.  His love for us has given us a hearing. Always.

That’s why when people repeat the same prayer over and over, it depresses God. He is seeing a misguided person who doesn’t know God’s love is free. He is seeing a person who is trying to earn a love God has already given.

Does that mean we can’t pray the same prayer, say, like the Lord’s Prayer, day after day? Sure we can. Once a day is great—as long as we pay attention to what we are telling God in that prayer. To join our words with our hearts and our minds; that’s engaging conversation, whether it is between friends or between a child of God and his heavenly Father.