Matthew 6:7

New Testament

5 “Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward! 6 But whenever you pray, go into your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. 7 When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles because they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 So pray this way: “Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored, 10 may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Berakhot 61a

Babylonian Talmud

He does for the best. And Rav Huna said that Rav said in the name of Rabbi Meir: One’s words should always be few before the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “Be not rash with your mouth and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God; for God is in heaven, and you upon earth. Therefore, let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:1). Rav Naḥman bar Rav Ḥisda interpreted homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Then the Lord God formed [vayyitzer] man” (Genesis 2:7), with a double yod? This double yod alludes to that fact that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created two inclinations; one a good inclination and one an evil inclination.

 Notes and References

"... Matthew 6:5–7 makes the same point about prayer: Do not do it to be seen by others and do not heap up empty phrases. Jews prayed standing up and wherever they found themselves when it was time for prayer. Jesus does not criticize standing to pray or praying in public; he criticizes those who love to be seen praying. Pastors stand and pray in public; they are not necessarily hypocritical. As to empty rhetoric: “Repeat not your words in prayer. Be not rash with your mouth and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God, for God is in heaven and you are upon the earth, therefore, let your words be few” (b. Berakhot 61a). “God said to Moses: ‘My children are in distress and you are making long prayers!’” (Mekilta of Rabbi Ishmael on Exodus 15:25) ..."

Allen, Ronald J. Preaching the Gospels without Blaming the Jews: A Lectionary Commentary (p. 27) Westminster John Knox Press, 2004

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