Structure and Spontaneity in Prayer

One of the biggest challenges with regard to prayer is to develop a frequent, extended time of prayer that is at the same time energizing and sustainable over the long haul. Since prayer is the means by which we communicate with God, who is our creator and the lover of our souls, why should it not be so? I am of the strong conviction that indeed it can be so and is in fact our rightful inheritance as children of God.

But how is it possible? The secret lies in utilizing and blending two seemingly incongruous approaches to prayer – structure and spontaneity. I share this out of my own experiences in the trenches of prayer and the observation of the experience of many others. But most importantly a strong case can be made from both a Biblical perspective and common historical practice that developing a vibrant and sustainable prayer life depends upon striking a balance between structure and spontaneity.

But before I delve into the practicalities of how to do that let me define the terms I have chosen to describe the kind of prayer life I believe God intends for each of us to have. In the opening sentence I described the ideal prayer life with four words: frequent, extended, energizing and sustainable.

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