John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 7 (Matthew 6:7)

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions ,.... Saying the same things over and over again,

as the Heathens do , as the worshippers of Baal, from morning till noon, 1 Kings 18:26 . This our Lord observes, to dissuade from such practices, because the Gentiles, who were odious to the Jews, used them, and the Jews were guilty of the same; had they not, there would not have been any need of such advice:

for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking ; as did the Jews, who, under pretence of "long prayers", devoured widows' houses; and with whom it is an axiom, that "everyone המרבה בתפילה נענה , that multiplies prayer is heard" F8 T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 67. 3. ; and whoever prolongs his prayer, his prayer does not return empty; and he that is long in prayer, his days are prolonged F9 Zohar in Exod. fol. 104. 4. : and, according to their canons, every day a man ought to pray eighteen prayers. Moreover, their prayer books abound in tautologies, and in expressing the same things in different words, and by a multiplicity of them.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary