Spontaneous prayer works well in one-to-one or small group situations, but it is often inadequate in more public contexts. This may be so because the content and structure of the prayer has not been thought through, the language of the prayer is not captivating and convincing, or unnecessary repetition and awkward colloquialisms distract and annoy. Public prayers don’t have to be perfect, but they should be well framed and carefully expressed, so that God is honoured and the church is edified as its members are united in their approach to God.

The Prayer Book services of Morning and Evening Prayer were designed to help God's people pray together in a meaningful way, inspired by the reading and application of Scripture. For this reason, it was called a book of common prayer. Read the following sections with a Prayer Book in hand, either in the traditional form or in a more updated version.

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