Should We Pray For The Same Thing Over And Over?

Should We Pray for the Same Thing over and over Again?

This is a very popular question in regards to how we pray. Do we just make a request to God once? Are we supposed to pray the same thing over and over again? What difference does it make, can’t He just read our minds? Are we doing the wrong thing by praying for the same thing, over and over again?

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how prayer works at the end of the day. I know what the Bible says about prayer and I know that Jesus prayed, but how everything works? No clue. In fact, I’m very much ok with not knowing how everything works because I believe that’s what makes God…God. If we could figure out everything God does and how He does it, it seems like he wouldn’t be much of a god.

So then, should we pray the same thing over and over again? The answer is yes. Why? Jesus did.

Jesus Prayed Over And Over Again For The Same Thing

While Jesus was in the garden of gethsemane on the night He was betrayed, He went away to pray to His Father multiple times. Each time He came back talking to His disciples, then He would retreat again to pray the same thing.

So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.” – Matthew 26:44

If Jesus prayed the same thing and prayed over and over again, why would we think we should pray any differently? It’s an odd feeling to pray for the same thing, but that is what Jesus did and there’s a reason for it. God doesn’t make mistakes and Jesus didn’t just “happen” to pray multiple times, using the same words. He modeled this for us as an example of how to pray.

I don’t believe it’s because God is a cruel God who just wants you to repeat yourself, but rather I think it’s a way to spend more time with Him and show reverence to the One who deserves it the most. Also, I think that if we pray multiple times over something, chances are, we really are serious about it. I can’t speak into every motivation behind multiple prayers, but I know I’ve been guilty of just praying for something once, and then I’m done. That has shown me personally over time that I really didn’t care about what or who I was praying for.

Be encouraged today as you pray to our Heavenly Father, to pray the same thing over and over again. Glorify God in your prayers by spending more time with Him and trusting He’s hearing your every word. Since His ways and thoughts are higher than ours anyway, trust that He is in control and will provide for your every need.

Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.

Discussion: Do you ever pray for the same thing over and over again? Why? What is your motivation in doing so? Please comment below and join the discussion.

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Diane P Needham
Diane P Needham
3 years ago

Thank you so much for this article. It was very helpful to me

Ann
Ann
4 years ago

I agree somewhat but if you’re saying the name thing over and over and over and over and over every night, same people, same words, exactly in the same places…..and know what the one that is praying every time is going to be the same, that’s very repetitive and, I’m sorry, boring, not heartfelt, and meaningless, to say the least. I do understand about the Lords Prayer and yes, I am a Christian, but don’t you think God likes to hear something besides the same thing come out of your prayer life than the same words? It’s habitual and has… Read more »

Eric's mom
Eric's mom
Reply to  Mike Mobley
1 month ago

amen

Lavonda Mullis Fink
Lavonda Mullis Fink
5 years ago

Thank you so much, Mike, for the scripture and words you shared. I’ve thought about this many times, but something I thought about; how many people go to therapy and tell their therapist the same thing over and over. It is part of a healing process. Would’t God be the best one we should talk to, not only with our prayer concerns but our fears, problems everyday struggles. What better Therapist than God the Father. The One who cares about what we care about and loves us like no other. The One who can actually do something about it and… Read more »

Wads Daniel
Wads Daniel
7 years ago

Great. Thanks. I am going to bring back all my old prayer requests, and I start praying for them daily.

Mike Mobley
Mike Mobley
Reply to  Wads Daniel
7 years ago

Awesome!! Thanks so much for reading and for sharing!!

Jo Panda
Jo Panda
7 years ago

If we pray for the same thing over and over, I believe it tell God we do not trust Him and that we have no faith in Just Asking once. If someone is in danger, going into surgery or facing death, or other situations this requires a Prayer Circles for that family member, friend, situation many single prayers going up. Not one prayer many times over and over. Maybe this is why prayers are answered slower? We need to TRUST the God will take care of it in His time.

Mike Mobley
Mike Mobley
Reply to  Jo Panda
7 years ago

Thanks Jo for sharing, really appreciate it. I think you make a great point that if we don’t trust God or think He can’t hear us..so we have to repeat ourselves…that is indeed a problem, but this post is talking about something different. Jesus Himself modeled praying the same thing multiple times and He obviously trusted His Father and is perfect so I think He is telling us something here. Oftentimes we pray once to God and move on vs coming back to Him over and over again and praying to Him again and again. There can be reverence and… Read more »

Eric's mom
Eric's mom
Reply to  Mike Mobley
1 month ago

good answer

Lucky
Lucky
Reply to  Jo Panda
4 years ago

What is the difference between repeatedly thanking god for the same thing and repeatedly praying for the same thing over and over

Eric's mom
Eric's mom
Reply to  Jo Panda
1 month ago

jo does have a point here

Jo Panda
Jo Panda
7 years ago

This is a good take on PRAYER but the Bible also says this . . .

Matthew 6:7-8

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles
do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not
be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Shandon Ellis
Shandon Ellis
Reply to  Jo Panda
7 years ago

Brother jo I think JESUS was speaking against hypocritical prayer not about praying the same thing all the time.Even the apostle paul prayed the same thing 3 times asking GOD to remove his thorn in the flesh.If the saints meet to pray at church one a week on Wensday and each week they meet they ask GOD to protect our nations,schools,children,homes,churches,etc I don’t think GOD believe they are doubting him.They are being persistent in their prayers.Do we just ask GOD one time to protect our homes,nation,children,etc and never ask again so he don’t think we doubt him?If that’s they cause… Read more »

Eric's mom
Eric's mom
Reply to  Shandon Ellis
1 month ago

good answer

MechTechGod
MechTechGod
7 years ago

I still don’t get it. I pray for a job and he gives me a job a few months later. i stop praying for a job… I haven’t worked in about a month. Do we have to pray over all the things we need even when we already have them or hes gonna take them from us? I need to not be living with my hard to live with parents and have my own place but i have an autistic kid i take care of and now live in a small nowhere town where there is no choices for childcare… Read more »

Steven
Steven
8 years ago

thank you so much for this article. I am using for our prayerline tonight for we are praying for the same thing as we did last night. We are not released from praying for those things. this may help explain why. thanks again and be blessed in Jesus name.

Mike Mobley
Mike Mobley
Reply to  Steven
8 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing Steven, really encouraging to read this and hope it leads to great discussion and prayer!!

Caroline
Caroline
9 years ago

We tend to pray The Lord’s Prayer regularly so why not repeat our personal prayers? I’m a very new Christian (only finding God at the start of Lent) so I’m by no means an expert but I’m praying for His help in finding my way closer to His Glory every day. What I’m finding amazing is that when I pray for specicific answers about my faith I seem to meet someone or read something that gives me the help I need. His ways really are mysterious and glorious! Thank you for this website, Mike. There’s some really helpful stuff on… Read more »

Mike Mobley
Mike Mobley
Reply to  Caroline
9 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing Caroline! Appreciate the encouragement about the site and for prayer in general. The Lord is so good to us in answering our prayers…even when we don’t realize it! Have a great week!

Daniel
Daniel
9 years ago

Jesus at this point even prayed AGAINST the very purpose of him coming on earth!
He was weak in the humanly flesh. My 2 cents, though not sinful to prayer repeatedly on same issue but repeating word for word says something is wrong!

Mike Mobley
Mike Mobley
Reply to  Daniel
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing Daniel…I would disagree that it would mean something is wrong, but I would count it more as reverence to God in how we spend more time with Him and are obedient to pray.

Jesus prayed in anguish at the garden and still submitted and was obedient to His Father…I believe He modeled perfect obedience in this moment while being able to relate to us being fully man at the same time, since He was crying tears of blood at the moment. Beautiful picture of His intimacy with the Father and His obedience that saved us.

Teresa Black Teague
Teresa Black Teague
9 years ago

amen thk u

Mike Mobley
Mike Mobley
Reply to  Teresa Black Teague
9 years ago

Thanks Teresa!!

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My prayer is that through Before The Cross whether or not you’re a follower of Christ, that you can ask questions, seek and obtain truth from the Bible, and explore various resources to help you each day.

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