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Structured prayer vs. spontaneous prayer

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Does anyone here like to also use structured prayers (pre-written/pre-learnt prayers) in their praying, as well as more spontaneous ones? I'm just curious as to how you guys pray.

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Usually I'm more spontaneous, because I feel it's more genuine and it makes me think more about my life than repeating a written prayer does. Nothing wrong with written and pre-planned prayers, but I personally like spontaneous better.

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I usually pray spontaneousish prayers. I have a certain sort of prayers I'll pray, but there not pre-written. Being Lutheran I learned the ACTS prayer. It stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.

My mom and I read this really good book called A Simple Way to Pray by Archie Parrish. It's based on advice Martin Luther gave his barber. The advice was really good. Like focusing on praying part of the Lord's Prayer or the Ten Commandments. Or praying the Psalms. Praying the Psalms was very common in the early church. Archie Parrish suggested using suggested using pre-written prayers. Another good thing was about quieting your my mind and listening to the Holy Spirit on what to pray about. It was really good book, but I'm horrible at paraphrasing.

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Spontaneous. Except at meals, in which it's pre-written. I mean, why go on a sermon to bless your McD's?

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For me spontaneous is often more genuine than reciting the same prayers so many times that they lose meaning. But all genuine Christlike prayer is gooood. Oh and the Lord's prayer is an exception as it's what Jesus told us to do. I like to pray loads of short prayers about anything and everything through the day rather than ramble.

The apple pies they do in McD's merit special thanks in prayer IMO:)

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Structure!

Not that I don't like praying spontaneously, but I often find myself struggling for words. My favorite way to pray is just mediating on the life of Christ through the eyes of Mary while praying the rosary. I realize that a lot of le protestants will probably be like 'non!' to this but I find the repetition soothing and it helps my mind to be more focused on God. In the past I've also prayed the liturgy of the hours daily, but I'll admit that I've gotten out of the habit. Divine Mercy Chaplet's are another big one for me and I also often I find myself using the Litany of Humility to pray when I otherwise lack the words {I've got a copy of it pinned by my desk so it get's referenced frequently}. I think that would probably be my favorite just straight prayer.

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I feel traditional/structural denoms would incorporate structured prayer more liberally than others. Because I was raised strictly on spontaneous prayer, I use nothing else. Sans meal prayers, generally.

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I tend to prefer structured prayers, because in that manner I am momentarily dissolving my own ego, and allowing the wisdom of my faith tradition to speak for me.

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As I suspected, "structured" responses come from RCC and closely related groups, and "spontaneous" responses come from Protestants.

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As I suspected, "structured" responses come from RCC and closely related groups, and "spontaneous" responses come from Protestants.
Communitarian and individualist traditions.

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How many of the "Spontaneous" Response would say the lord's prayer regularly, or use it as an outline for some of their prayers?

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I generally do spontaneous prayers however I find it quite difficult sometimes to focus on what precisely I'm saying and I tend to go off on a tangent or leave things half said, so I actually think that structured prayers might be better for me (:

---------- Post added at 01:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:36 AM ----------

How many of the "Spontaneous" Response would say the lord's prayer regularly, or use it as an outline for some of their prayers?

Never, which thinking about it is actually really really bad! I think that I might tweak my prayer style a little bit!

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Guest TheNewBreed

Structured prayer? Like really? X'D

sasuke_evil_laugh_lol_gif_by_abdu1995-d4gxxbl.gif

That joke made my day lol X'D

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I've always thought that the prayers we were meant to memorize in church were a little phony. You are supposed to develop a relationship with God that is special to you, so why not treat God like your friend or parent. Sometimes it is just nice to chat rather than ask for help or be thankful.

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Guest TheNewBreed
I've always thought that the prayers we were meant to memorize in church were a little phony. You are supposed to develop a relationship with God that is special to you, so why not treat God like your friend or parent. Sometimes it is just nice to chat rather than ask for help or be thankful.

I don't know about "chatting" with God. I always saw prayer as something that's supposed to be deep and from the heart, not "Oh yeah God and today me and my girl went to the park, then I went online to CTF and something made me laugh" etc. etc. I think you might have just meant a casual prayer by "chatting" but the examples I gave I do not see as actual prayer. The Bible says that prayer from the heart is like sweet incense to Him, but if the prayer is not from the heart it does not go above the ceiling. Chatting doesn't seem to come from the heart and we are asked to live in a constant state of thankfulness as well as repentance. Not that any of us actually do it, but if you're going to pray for three minutes a day you might as well. Just my two cents

For myself (all mockery aside like in my post earlier tonight) I know that I pray once a day before I go to bed. I pray before meals, but it's not like they're meant because myself (and I think everyone who's in a "well-fed" society) are too focused on just getting to the food or our prayer before meals has become to robotic. When I do pray at night, I spend the majority of the time thanking God for creating me and giving me His grace, confess that I suck and am unforgiving, pray for the people who are on my heart or important things in my life, thank God for dying for me, then I close out. That is just how it usually tends to flow though it's not a blueprint of any sort for myself. The idea of a "structured" prayer system or praying something that someone else wrote... Well in the words of Deadpool I'd like to tell those prayers: "Keep flapping man! You can make it! I believe in you! :D" Lol, the ceiling is only so high after all...

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How many of the "Spontaneous" Response would say the lord's prayer regularly, or use it as an outline for some of their prayers?

From my understanding, we were never told to pray the Lords Prayer regularly. It was used as an outline to show people how to pray. But it is used as a basis for me.

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I asked this question because I had a lot of soul-searching to do about prayer. Anyone who knows much about my Christian life knows I have loathed praying from the very start, because I have a load of issues re: God and me that I'm working on. And work on them I have. We're getting there. Slowly.

I started praying a condensed Liturgy of the Hours (Lauds, Sext, Vespers and Compline) whilst I was away, using a Celtic model, and I've loved it thus far. It's been liberating, and it's felt like my heart's been at rest for the first time in a long while. It's been peaceful.

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Guest TheNewBreed

I don't see how anyone could pray words written by another man. You can connect to it and put your heart into the recital but it all seems to me like it develops a fallacy based relationship. If you continue to read other "near-perfect" prayers from the hearts of others towards God, then you begin to feel you share that relationship when in reality you're just reading aloud. I believe it is critically important to develop your own relationship with God instead of using structured prayer as a crutch, no matter how peaceful it may make you feel. I've found often that horrible pleading with God or even just sometimes saying, "I'm sorry but my heart isn't in it tonight. I just don't know what to say" as displeasing as it may be often brings you closer to God and shows the gaps in your relationships.

And I'm going to post this gif one more time here just cause I love it lol

sasuke_evil_laugh_lol_gif_by_abdu1995-d4gxxbl.gif

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Mike, have you ever had a situation where you couldn't find the words to explain your feelings about someone but then found some band's song that did it perfectly? It's kind of the same thing...

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

This is the litany of humility I mentioned earlier. It's simple but speaks to me personally deeper than anything I could come up with just babbling to myself {which unfortunately happens a lot in my case :-P}. I'm not saying you have to prefer structured prayer, I know plenty of Catholics even who don't. I'm just trying to get you to see where I'm coming from. I'll admit I'm mildly insulted by your GIF....

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Guest TheNewBreed
Mike, have you ever had a situation where you couldn't find the words to explain your feelings about someone but then found some band's song that did it perfectly? It's kind of the same thing... This is the litany of humility I mentioned earlier. It's simple but speaks to me personally deeper than anything I could come up with just babbling to myself {which unfortunately happens a lot in my case :-P}. I'm not saying you have to prefer structured prayer, I know plenty of Catholics even who don't. I'm just trying to get you to see where I'm coming from. I'll admit I'm mildly insulted by your GIF....

Yay! :D It served it's purpose lol. And yes I've felt that way about songs before, but I don't use songs to communicate and have personal relationship with God now do I?

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Perhaps we could refrain from posting gifs that are intended to offend; that is neither kind, nor is it Christlike. Thank you.

Some of these prayers have been prayed for many, many centuries; they're not new, but steeped in the history of Christianity. They have been prayed by Saints and the most grievous sinners alike, and that speaks deeply to my understanding of the communion of saints. We're united in the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Eph 4:4-5), we're united in one baptism by water in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19; Eph 4:4-5) and to be able to be unified by words we speak is powerful. The thought that when I go to my knees before my God and recite a canticle, someone, somewhere in the world, a stranger to me, is speaking those same words, is to me quite beautiful. We have different reasons for being Christians, different reasons for needing prayer and confession and salvation, and certainly different motives and intentions behind choosing certain prayers to pray, but we are unified in those words. It is a sense of community; it is a really vivid picture of what it is to be the body of Christ (I Cor 12:12-14).

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Mike, if you have to be insulting, go be a pain in the rear somewhere else. Also, investing in manners might be a good idea. Be respectful. Acting in such an immature manner is not appreciated.

Anyway, I've read several litanies and complines and canticles, and to be honest, they're simply wonderful. It's like reading poetry, really. It's soothing and calming, and it's great for reflection. The emotions of others who lived hundreds and hundreds of years before us have been recorded and preserved for us, and when we pray them, we're uttering the very words that they said so long before. That, alone, is awe-inspiring. I don't necessarily *pray* them, per se, but I read them, reflect on them, and contemplate and meditate.

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Structured prayers are very important. It's praying, meditating, and letting the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. While that can be done without structured prayer it's a lot easier with structured prayer. You can pray and meditate on a chapter, verses, or even just a verse of the Bible (e.g. the Psalms, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, etc). Or you can pray a prayer that isn't from the Bible. A prayer that's stood the test of time and has a lot of value behind it.

I'll admit I don't pray near as much as I should. And most of my praying is praying for people. Which of course is good. But I don't meditate on God's greatness enough. Meditating on a Psalm in the One Year Bible is something I'm going to try to start doing regularly.

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Mike, if you have to be insulting, go be a pain in the rear somewhere else. Also, investing in manners might be a good idea. Be respectful. Acting in such an immature manner is not appreciated.

THANK you.

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