What Jesus meant and how repetition really works

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“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7, CWSB).

A few years ago, at Sunday School, a discussion ensued about whether it’s okay to repeat prayers.

I can’t remember what led to the discussion, but I remember some of the arguments against repeating prayers. Here are a few of them:

If you are certain of His call, you’ll be certain of His presence

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When God called Abraham, He said:

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1, NIV)

It wasn’t Abraham’s idea to leave Haran. He was comfortable there. He was a rich man with many servants. But God told Abraham to go to a land he had never seen before.

To comfort Abraham and convince him that following this direction was the right choice, God made the following promises:

“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;

What is the substance of your hope, and how do you find it?

substance of hope
substance of hope
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Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

What did Abraham have that made him wait on God for a child for those many years?

What did Mary have that made her certain she would have a child as a virgin?

What did David have that made him certain he would defeat his enemies if he followed a specific plan of attack?

We all have hopes and dreams. We have things we want to happen in our lives. That’s why we are humans and we look forward to…

Praying for one thing over time yields powerful results

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Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1, NIV)

Is there a need to pray for extended periods?

What do you say when you’re talking for two to three hours in prayer?

Aren’t you being repetitive? Because even Jesus warned us against vain repetition.

These are questions worth considering because inadequate answers could lead to a shipwrecked faith. And no one wants that.

Some believe that you ask only once and anything more than that is an expression of unbelief. …

If you believe what you write, you’ll avoid a crisis of conscience

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I believe as a writer you would get to this point in the journey where there’s that grinding in our chest as you write.

You punch each key louder and louder trying to silence the voice of your conscience telling you, “But you don’t believe that, do you?”

However, the creative juice is flowing and you’re making sense to yourself. The message is popular and it pays the bills. But here’s the crisis — do you write what the market wants or do you write what the market needs?

Discovering peace as a writer

Every writer has a deep desire to be widely accepted by…

Situations that demand our praises are the ones we least expect

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I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
(Psalms 34:1–2, NIV)

We all have the opportunity to face difficult times. It’s not always of our choosing and no one is immune to this experience. Prayers won’t always prevent you from meeting them but surely they can rescue you or keep you through.

Difficulties come from various sources. Sometimes it’s external forces that just want to toy with your thinking and destiny. …

Assuming too much about people kills the joy of charity

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The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. (Matthew 26:11, NIV)

No matter where you live, there’ll always be people in need. Whether it's clothing, food, or shelter, you can’t escape the sight of someone walking along the street, standing outside the local store, or at a traffic light asking for a helping hand.

The area of contention though is not more whether to help than how to help. That is the general question. Here are a few ways that point manifests itself in our thinking:

Should we give him or the shelter?

Motivation quickly dissipates from one missed occurrence

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Whether it’s early morning prayers, evening exercises, giving up soda, reading a book, or typing 1,000 words every day, consistency would always be the key to building momentum. And momentum is very important because, for most endeavors that shape our lives, success would only come from repetition.

For repetition to work, consistency is the key.

So what happens when you miss one of those occurrences? Most personal development proponents would say that you have to show up whether you feel like it or not.

I don’t like that advice, not because it isn’t true but because it’s true and I…

The keys to the perfect writing style are knowing what helps you connect with your readers and understanding that one size doesn’t fit all

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If you’ve used applications like Grammarly or Hemingway, you’ll notice how they guide you to always shorten your sentences. When a sentence starts to run into ten words, alarm bells begin to go off even before the apps highlight it. But it’s not only about the sentences. They point out a host of other issues with your writing and most of the points are well-meaning. However, you wouldn’t go two paragraphs without your work starting to look like a rainbow.

That’s one reason why I turn them off while writing — they can be so distracting! Even worse is the…

To set the foundation for all Christian relationships

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Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; (John 13:3, NIV)

Jesus teaches using very practical techniques especially when He wants to drive home a point. And there was nothing as powerful as what He did in the upper room where He stripped, stooped, and washed the disciples’ feet.

I can imagine being in that room when the meal was going on and everyone was busy passing the palettes around. Then Jesus stood up. They probably thought the meal was over, but they barely…

Olugbenga Ojuroye

Christian | Author | Thinker | Helper. Get my new book “Finding Eden” on Amazon.

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