Prayers seem to fall into two types:
Routine prayers are familiar, pre-written prayers, comforting, easy to remember.
They work best when we are too frazzled to think clearly. At those times, having a prayer at hand, one that is already formed, written, and which can either be read or recalled from memory, is soothing. Routine prayers are the ones we repeat without thinking - the Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, and so on. Even shorter ones that we recall from memory can be soothing.
Some faiths and religions call them prayers, other call them chants; some people might even call some of them mantras. The effect is the same.
When we repeat these words, our minds are on a different level and we can tune out the world for a while. We can tune in to our thoughts. We can tune into a higher plane and into God. Afterward, it is often amazing at what filters up from our brain cells.
Spontaneous prayers are unprepared, casual or sudden one-on-one talks with God. Spontaneous prayers come from the heart and not from the head. They are cries for help, expressions of joy, or troubled searches for elusive answers.
They work well when there are no words already penned or memorized that will fit the situation, when we need a heartfelt personal talk with our Creator.
Some folks have an inborn talent that enables them to immediately pour out the right words in spontaneous prayer. They always seem to know the right words to say. Some of us are not that gifted, but God only needs to hear what is in our hearts.
Is One Type of Prayer Better than the Other?
Both types of prayer have a place in our lives. You can rely on pre-written prayers for times of stress, for times when you just cannot think of the right words to say. Why shouldn't you take advantage of what some other faithful soul has already shared with us? It is a tribute to the author of those words. It is a tribute to the human soul.
For times when nothing else seems to fit, you only need to open your heart to him. The right words will come.
We do not need to choose between routine and spontaneous prayer. We can easily have both types of prayer in our lives, depending on the need.