Prayer—conscious, intentional, and in the words of St Paul, “unceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5.12)—is the highest expression of our intellectual, physical, and spiritual life. Prayer, when we are awake to it, is life.
When you consciously and intentionally enter into the prayer that is always going on around and within you, you become spiritually active. You are free and more fully aware of being alive to more than your “self-made me” and its many compulsions, anxieties, and obsessions.
This “lesser you” will only keep you curved in upon yourself, fallen into the sin that separates you and contracts you and closes you off from the presence of the Beloved, who is always near and whose prayer is always calling you to the friendship with God that is prayer.