Sometimes I ponder if I am praying in a right way. I open my mouth and start to speak and for one reason or another, I am simply at a lose for words. In those cases, I often just repeat things I’ve said many times in the past. It doesn’t always sound sincere, but when I’m at a loss, I just kinda go with whatever comes out. But just because they’ve been repeated doesn’t make them any less important. If the words are honest and truthful, does the tone of sincerity really matter? I would presume not because these prayers are not for the adoration of others but for the sake of prayer. And with some prayers, they are repeated because we are commanded to (IE, the Lord’s Prayer) or because they instill in us good Christian thought. What I mean by that last part is that they edify us in the way of Christ and scripture.
None of this to say that spontaneous prayer is bad. I will at times just start praying with no Apostles Creed or Lord’s prayer. My mouth just opens and I speak my prayers and needs to God. Nothing fancy. No formalities. Just simply praying what needs to be prayed. My speech in these instances are generally not carefully thought out and in some cases, not always proper, but they are honest and good prayers heard by God in the highest.
I hear people talk about one form of prayer being better than the other. Those who dislike formal prayer because it doesn’t feel as though it is from the heart and those who dislike spontaneous prayer because it lakes the structure and edification that the formal prayer contains. I feel that neither is wrong and both have their place. When one just simply needs to pray and pray right then, then perhaps in these cases spontaneous prayer may be for the best. Sometimes one just needs to get prayer out right away without distraction. On the other hand, in instances where one has the opportunity to be more thoughtful or needs to be put in a better frame of mind, then the formal prayer is much preferred. It clears ones head and speaks biblical truths to the person praying. This allows the person speaking the prayer to be more thoughtful and mindful with his words and perhaps even pray with greater reverence than he would otherwise.
In so many words, I do not feel that there is a wrong way to pray. Some ways that may perhaps be better than others, but what is most important is that you pray. Pray with a Christian mind and your prayer will be a good one. Don’t worry about getting it right or wrong. A Christian prayer is always the right prayer.
EDIT: I had link to this post on Tsu.co and a fellow poster over there provided some scripture that had slipped my mind which I felt was very relevant to this post, so I would like to add his comment to this. Acts One Eight Ministry says this:
Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” The Spirit prays for us. He prays with us. That doesn’t cover this whole article, but it does address the section about our inclination to repeat words without heart.
I felt his comment was very good and wanted to include it in the post for supporting scriptural reference. Thank you.