An old peasant was seated alone in the last pew of the village church. “What are you waiting for?” he was asked, and he answered, “I am looking at Him and He is looking at me.”
The answer of the peasant expresses the essence of prayer. True prayer is an act of communication with an Invisible Being; it is to be aware of the omnipresence of God, and to submit to His infinite might; it is to realise that he is the source of all beauty, wisdom, truth and strength.
An act of this nature is not just performed at certain times. It is a state of consciousness which permeates one’s whole being and manifests itself in all one’s actions. If one’s remembrance of God is confined to a place of worship, and not reproduced in everyday life, then one’s prayer is not prayer at all for it has not sprung from true remembrance of God.
The truth is that inconsistency of this nature can only come from artificial prayer–prayer performed because it is the done thing rather than as a conscious expression of awareness of God.