Because corporate liturgy is a time of disciplined prayer, it is important that what we pray is refined, elegant, and elevated in structure, verbiage, and tone. Extemporaneous expression, even with the best intention, creates apertures in our liturgical architecture through which human error enters our worship.
Neither praise nor worship have a style. They are to be spontaneous, unrehearsed, and not synchronized with the way anyone else praises and worships the Lord. . .The most important thing is that we praise and worship the Lord when we come together. The thing to keep in mind is that His spirit flows more freely when worship is done spontaneously and freely. – comment on the Ponder Anew Facebook page
This is a common refrain from those who find liturgical worship too formal, rigid, or rote:
Worship must be spontaneous or it doesn’t count.
Biblically, we need look no further than the heavenly liturgy recorded in Revelation 4 to see this is clearly not the case.
Historically, referring specifically to corporate worship, pervasive spontaneity is an aberration. It isn’t the norm much of anywhere until hints in the revivals of the late 19th century, followed by the birth of the full blown Pentecostal movement on Azusa Street in 1906. By the middle of the 20th century, most Protestant denominations had a charismatic renewal movement taking place somewhere within its ranks.