Some fundamentalists feel uncomfortable with set prayers being read in church. They feel it a hindrance to zealous praying by the Spirit. The Spirit actually can speak quite clearly though the words of a written prayer. The church of the Old Testament made extensive use of set prayers.
The Psalms are written prayers to be read out loud by the worshipers: a Hebrew Book of Common Prayer. The majority are constructed in four sections: 1. a brief invocation of God, often no more than the divine name; 2. a cry for hearing and help; 3. a statement of the nature and causes of the misfortune; and 4. a prayer for deliverance. Psalms 15, 24, 50, 75, 85, 118, and 121 are actual liturgies: the spoken (read) parts of old Hebrew services.
Christ himself made use of a set prayer in the New Testament when he taught his disciples a form to pray by, the Lord’s Prayer. The church of the Apostles used liturgies from which we get our most moving and beautiful prayers. Surely the Holy Spirit speaks whenever we recite the Nunc Dimittis from St. Luke 2. 29: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, / according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, / which thou has prepared before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, / and to be the glory of thy people Israel. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, / and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, / world without end. Amen.”
Some of the most devout men of all ages composed and used written prayers where the voice of the Spirit is clearly heard. Saint Chrysostom’s prayer is just one example: “Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.”
So often with extempore prayer the petitions go on and on and do not particularly inspire the congregation. After they are over, not all who heard them remember them. Through the ages many people filled with the spirit, and good Christians all, have used liturgical prayers with serious and sincere devotion. From personal experience I can attest that reciting the prayers in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer help me in meditating on the worship and in contacting my inner spirit. For me the liturgical prayers make my devotions lively, useful and meditative.
Romans 8:26-30. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.