Answering the criticism of the way Catholics pray with the Books of Isaiah and Revelation

I was just thinking about the evangelical’s criticism of the way Catholics pray. They say that Catholics pray wrong because they repeat the same prayers. According to them, it was never Jesus’s intention for us to pray the Our Father. Jesus, they say, said; when you pray, "Pray like this; Our Father, who art in heaven…" I don’t know if that is the best translation from the original but that is the translation of the English Standard Version (ESV). They, further argue that in Matthew we read:
Matthew 5:37
37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

And so, we are to understanding that repeating ourselves is not good. Instead, when we pray,according to the evangelicals, we should express to God what is in our heart not repeat the same thing over and over again like the Catholics do with the Rosary and there is no need to pray the Our Father, Jesus was just teaching us how to pray not to keep repeating what He said.

This morning I was thinking about how both Isaiah and the Holy Apostle Saint John both reported that in their vision of heaven they saw those who were in the presence of God say: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord - continuously.

Isaiah 6:3
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

John 4:8
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

We do not need to communicate what is in our mind and heart to the Lord as though He did not know. We do so because we are in a relationship with Him, but the relationship is with God who already knows what is in our hearts and mind.

There is obviously nothing wrong with praying the Our Father everyday. It is the prayer Our Lord Jesus prayed and He was not praying to the Father to help him overcome a tooth ache, He said to pray like this, a prayer that applied then and now and to everyone - so why not pray it?

Also, to repeat a prayer like the Our Father and other prayers Catholics pray is not so senseless as it takes discipline to keep focused on what one is praying and the meaning of what is being expressed. Not to mention that when we pray the rosary the Hail Mary become like the atmosphere of the scenario or the song or rhythm as our soul focuses on the mysteries. And, the presence of the Hail Mary while contemplating the mysteries opens the soul to the experience of the prayers and the contemplation of the mysteries.

Furthermore, Our Blessed Mother Mary likes the prayer of the rosary and in her apparitions has recommended and requested that we pray it and that praying it leads to salvation as she told the children in Fatima. Now, of course, people will say that they do not believe in the apparitions and present arguments against the Virgin Mary, but, irregardless of that, I think people in the privacy of the soul, just need to try to pray the rosary and see for themselves that it is a prayer that nourishes the soul and so it must be okay with God.

Can you add to these arguments? I would like to know as I have a cousin who converted to the evangelical church and he is very outspoken about how ‘catholics’ do not pray correctly. I am preparing to respond to him for when I see him again. :smiley:

When Christ taught us in this way, He was expressing the classic teaching of “quality over quantity.” He was trying to show that it is not how many times we pray that counts for a good relationship with God, but the love and whole-heartedness that we place into it. Therefore, it is better to pray one Our Father with this whole-heartedness than it is to pray ten of them with only one of two being that way, with the others being said haphazardly. However, if we pray all of the ten Our Fathers with whole-heartedness, then that it great, too. So, it really all depends on whether we are willing to devote our full selves to God in our prayer life; that is what is important and what Christ was teaching us!

God bless you and yours!

-Ryan

Excellent, didn’t think of that.
I also like the Parables of the Persistent Friend and the Persistent Widow.

If Protestants don’t believe in being persistence in prayer, they might as well
call Jesus a fool for telling us to pray and pray and keep praying using those
two parables I spoke of.

I wouldnt even pay attention to such criticism unless you are simply chanting prayers over and over again because you think the number of Hail Mary’s recited has some merit. Otherwise, such criticism is just another fabricated distortion of biblical intent devised in attempts to discredit Catholicism. There are far more weighty issues that Protestants could present that have some meat, although they still capable of overcoming. If this is all a person can criticize about the Church , his faith has more issues than problems of meaningless chatter and clanging of gongs. If someone has issues with the Catholic faith, talk about something more important and leave this one alone as it is very low on the priority list!

As to repetition, one can use additional examples out of the Bible, such as Psalm 136 in which the phrase, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated, 26 times!

Matthew 26:39-44…Jesus repeats same prayer, 3 times.

Christ said that it not be VAIN repetition.

I assume if one is addressing God the more one is persistence the better. However repeating the same request to people can get off the wrong way. I do not see any thing wrong in repeating oneself to God. In fact the Orthodox tend to say Lord Have Mercy about as many times as Catholics who regularly pray the Hail Mary in the Rosary. I am sure it is very pleasing to God when we can give Him persistence prayers. Even in the Divine Mercy messages the Lord Jesus often asked St. Maria to continue reciting the Chaplet more than once for certain individuals. I am convinced one simple prayer by St. Therese did not enable God to send mercy towards a certain prisoner who was condemned to die. Her persistence in praying for such an individual was the motivating factor. God loves us more when we approach Him with boldness, conviction and with a persistence attitude. If you are Catholic, Orthodox or even Protestant, then don’t give up. Keep after Him. Wear Him down. He loves us more when we approach Him in this way.

Many Protestants turn to Mathew 6.7 saying that it says to not pray as the pagans do “for they think that they will be heard for their many words” this is speaking of the pagan babbling and not the repeating of prayers. Repeating of prayers is very biblical.

In Luke 18.13 Jesus recounts a parable of a man who was a tax collector being justified for repeating the prayer “God, be merciful to me a sinner”

In Matthew 26.44 Jesus himself repeated his prayers three times “saying the same words”

1 Thessalonians 5.18 tells us to “pray without ceasing” or “pray constantly”

Also, in Revelation 4.8 the “four living creatures…day and night they never cease to sing, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

Regarding “holy, holy, holy:”

There are no superlatives in Hebrew as we know them (e. g. good, better, best). How many times an adjective is repeated denotes its value. So saying “holy” twice is “holier,” and three times means “holiest.”

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