There is a cultural aversion to written prayers within the Latter-day Saint Communion. As children, we are taught to avoid ‘vain repetitions’ in our prayers. Vain repetitions, or repeated empty or purposeless phrases, are linked in the Latter-day Saint mind to saying a memorised or “written” prayer. Yet, upon closer examination, there is no prohibition against formal “written” prayer. Indeed, some of the most important prayers in Latter-day Saint worship are formal and said by rote, like the Prayer of Consecration during the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, the Baptismal Rite, most every Prayer of Blessing, and the Ordination Rite. What prevents these prayers from being “vain repetitions” if they are literally the same prayers, repeated?
The issue with “vain repetitions” is not one of repetition but one of vanity. The Latter-day Saint is supposed to be unceasing in their prayers unto God—surely then, some degree of repetition is allowed; otherwise the host of prayers, “We thank Thee for this food and ask Thee to bless it that it may strengthen and nourish our bodies” must surely be repetitive and sometimes even vain. To avoid vanity, prayers must be imbued with sincere meaning. Thus, when the priest consecrates the Sacrament, the words are unchanged but the meaning is very much alive in the heart of the priest and the congregation.
In a Roman Catholic Handbook of Prayers published by the Midwest Theological Forum Catholic Truth Society, readers are encouraged to pray by Pope Benedict XVI and his words are quoted in full below:
This is what prayer really is—being in silent inward communion with God. It requires nourishment, and that is why we need articulated prayer in words, images, or thoughts. The more God is present in us, the more we will really be present to Him when we utter the words of our prayers. But the converse is also true: Praying actualises and deepens our communion of being with God.
Our praying can and should arise above all from our heart, from our needs, our hopes, our joys, our sufferings, from our shame over sin, and from our gratitude for the good. It can and should be a wholly personal prayer. But we also constantly need to make use of those prayers that express in words the encounter with God experience both by the Church as a whole and by individual members of the Church. For without these aids to prayer, our own praying and our image of God become subjective and end up reflecting ourselves more than the living God.
In the formulaic prayers that arose first from the faith of Israel and then from the faith of praying members of the Church, we get to know God and ourselves as well. They are a “school of prayer” that transforms and opens up our life.
Pope Benedict XVI’s argument is that written prayers do not diminish the individual meaning and personal communion with God but that they help to keep our prayers from becoming a subjective reflection of our own understanding of God. I do not suggest that the Saints should wholly abandon the practice of individual and self-composed prayers—to do so would be a great loss to the spiritual life of the members and to the Church. I do suggest that where appropriate we enhance our prayer life by incorporating the ancient prayers of the faithful; that we gain from them, as we gain from the scriptures, a better understanding of the Living God, who has been praying with us since prayer began.
 Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 130 (quoted in Handbook of Prayers (Midwest Theological Forum Catholic Truth Society, Illinois; 2013)