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