Prayer and converse with God is a supreme good: it is a partnership and union with God. I do not mean the prayer of outward observance but prayer from the heart, not confined to fixed times or periods but continuous throughout the day and night. Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times also, when it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in the service of others, our spirit should long for God and call him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love. Throughout the whole of our lives we may enjoy the benefit that comes from prayer if we devote a great deal of time to it. I speak of prayer, not words. It is the longing for God, the love too deep for words, a gift given to us only by God’s grace. One who tastes this food [of prayer] is set on fire with an eternal longing for the Lord.
—John Chrysostom, Homily 6 on Prayer