Is there a reason why Orthodox Jews only seem to pray the communal prayers from the siddur etc. when they are with other people, and pray private prayers to Hashem in their own words on their own... but never seem to speak out loud to Him together? Other people could join in on the intention of the prayer even spoken on the spot by a friend, but shared prayer always seems to be formal. That said, I have heard Jews blessing each other and then their friends or congregations answering amein.

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    Are you asking why people don't pray spontaneously in unison? Presumably not (how can people pray together without a shared text?), but I'm not sure what you are asking. Could you clarify? Thanks. – Monica Cellio Oct 20 '13 at 3:51
  • I mean, one person speaks to Hashem out loud from their heart rather than a text, and others listen and also agree with and (silently) pray it, since all agree. I come from a Christian background and that's very normal there. My rejection of Christianity makes me definitely opposed to letting it give false influences to Jewish practice, but in my understanding this would be a fine, acceptable, and very Jewish sort of thing to do (except that by custom I don't see it). – Annelise Oct 20 '13 at 4:30
  • (I thought of this question after seeing opinions here judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/31762/… that raising hands in prayer is a goyishe custom, even though it is mentioned in Tanach and especially psalms numerous times. So it's interesting.) – Annelise Oct 20 '13 at 4:32

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