“Can I pray a written prayer?”

Within the baptist tradition, there seems to be a certain repulsion towards written prayers.  For whatever reason (probably because of its association with certain other traditions or its abuse), it has a stigma. For example, the great Baptist Charles Spurgeon once said,

Be assured that free [i.e., unprepared] prayer is the most scriptural, and should be the most excellent form of public supplication. … a manner which is warranted by the word of God, and accepted of the Lord. The expression, “reading prayers,” to which we are now so accustomed, is not to be found in Holy Scripture … The phrase is not there because the thing itself had no existence. Where in the writings of the apostles meet we with the bare idea of a liturgy? Prayer in the assemblies of the early Christians was unrestricted to any form of words.[1]

I want to respond, “Eh, Spurgeon, don’t be so dogmatic here. Don’t be so harsh now.”

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