Andii Bowsher has recently written a book that might be of some use to you, especially if you’d like to combine structure with spontaneity in your prayer life. His book is called Praying the Pattern, and there is a website at Abbeynous that encourages discussion of the book.
It is the best book I’ve seen on teaching how to use the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern for prayer. Bowsher’s little book not only teaches, but provides an abundance of examples and suggestions.
Here’s what you get in this book:
A nice, brief exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. Not overdone; nothing extravagant.
A consideration of the spiritual dynamics of the prayer as a pattern: he explores here why it matters that Jesus does not begin with confession (he calls such a pattern the ‘four spiritual laws’ pattern), etc..
A suggestion that Christians build a Lord’s Prayer organizer or scrapbook, in which sections are devoted to the various petitions and we gather and collect our thoughts and poems and pictures, etc. Quite suggestive.
A list of other suggestions for ways to use the Lord’s prayer: using stones, cards, computers.
A set of reflections on “body prayer” (Doug Pagitt has a book on this).
A clever set of suggestions on how to let the Lord’s Prayer be the guide for constructing a rule of life (Tony Jones wrote a book on this).
The book concludes with an entire set of liturgies (with an apologetic for doing such a thing) that are built on the Lord’s Prayer.
Now here’s what this book does: it thinks about prayer, dwells on prayer, and teaches all about prayer through the lens of the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer.