When my children were young, I developed an ongoing “conversation” with Hashem. It’s wasn’t formal davening, but continuous and in some ways more meaningful. Now that my children are older, I’ve gotten back to normal davening, but I miss the feeling of closeness I had.
You are really asking what the value of formal davening is as opposed to spontaneous davening. Praying from the heart is extraordinarily powerful. It’s a way of giving oneself over to Hashem by expressing one’s essence. Our words are like little notes that we write to ourselves. We revisit what we think and what we feel when we talk to Hashem. This affects not only our closeness to Hashem but our understanding of ourselves and our ability to make something of our lives. It’s hitbodedut (solitary communion with Hashem) and hitbonenut (introspection), which is vital in avodat Hashem, but it is not davening.
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