Westside Baptist Church of York  
Welcome to West Side Baptist Church of York

Kermit L. Minnick, Pastor


“…do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.”


In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructed the multitudes concerning prayer. He not only told them how to pray, but He told them how not to pray: “But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen (gentiles) do.” The nations of the world had their own gods to whom they prayed, and they often used vain repetitions in their prayers. Vain repetitions are spoken in a mechanical, thoughtless and heartless manner. Indeed, in several religions prayers are expedited by means of prayers written on cloth and affixed to the branch of a tree so that every breeze is thought to waft a prayer to heaven, or similarly the wind turning a prayer wheel. Some religions encourage the use of a string of beads to repeat a set pattern of repetitious prayers. Jesus is warning the Jews of His day against falling into such vain repetitions in their prayer life. That Jesus was critical of the prayers of the worshippers of other gods would surprise many in our own day. The present tendency is to give equal validity to all religions and to deny that any one of them is true and that any one of them is false. But when Jesus Himself prayed on the night before His crucifixion, He prayed: “Father…this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Notice that Jesus called the One to whom He prayed, “the only true God.” He was not only critical of the vain repetitions of the heathen, but He denied that their gods had any real existence. Dear reader, Jesus taught that there was only one true God to whom we should pray, and that He is the One who sent Him to die for our sins that we might have eternal life.



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Lincoln Highway | PO Box 274 | Thomasville, PA 17364 | 717.225.6404